Articles by Day: May 18, 2009
When Bill Beachy and Chris Wilson approached me about designing the new Go Media headquarters, needless to say I was honored by the invitation to be involved in such an exciting project. Given that Go Media has become synonymous with great design, I knew that this would be a project that would yield some great results.
- Create a brand-conscious environment with an industrial feel that embodies the aesthetic of Go Media and is befitting to the spirit of its mission.
- Achieve a sense of familiarity throughout the space with a recognizable color palette that is relevant to the Go Media brand. Design an environment that will excite and inspire its staff and clients.
- Incorporate elements that are exclusive to Go Media, while providing an easy-to-navigate floor plan. Feature an abundance of metal and wood to give the interior an industrial, modern feel.
1. Concept Development:
Before any ideas are presented to the client, it is helpful to first establish a rough visual design language by sketching preliminary thumbnails to get initial thoughts onto paper. Through this process of thinking through the rough forms, basic materials, and some details, the big idea starts to take shape. These rough sketches are then assembled and converted into cohesive concepts that are then presented to the client.
2. The Floor Plan:
One of the primary goals when designing the floor plan was to achieve a sense of openness throughout the office space and be easy to navigate. Initially, in the first two concepts, clean-lined, rectilinear forms were presented. Given the irregular shape of the building, careful consideration was placed on the allocation of space and appropriate clearances between forms. The introduction of curved elements proved to be the appropriate direction to reach a final approved design.
The workstations and project managers area needed to have division from the rest of the space, but not be isolated completely. This was achieved thru the use of half wall partitions with clear glass panels mounted on top. This helps to divide the spaces yet stays true to creating an open environment and adds to the progressive look of the design.
One of the details outlined in the brief was to re-use some of the existing parts of the building in the new design. To deliver on this request, a sliding door from the second floor was used on the back wall of the office to add a bit of interest to this area. Additionally, a wall mural was specified for the back wall, and creative liberty was given to Go Media to come up with a dynamic design.
3. Elevations and Reflected Ceiling Plan:
Once the floor plan was approved, then we moved on and started laying out the wall elevations and providing detailed dimensions for the build-out. A ceiling plan was created with fixture specifications that were intended to add to the overall industrial look of the environment.
4. Details/ Project Managers Area:
Upon entering the office, clients are greeted at the project manager’s area. To help draw attention to this area and designate it as one of the architectural highlights of the space, the following features were incorporated: The partition walls were lowered to 36” height and metal grating and decorative metal panels added to the outside of walls; a free-floating circular soffit comprised of wood and metal was suspended from the ceiling with pendant lights projecting through the soffit; a dark circular pattern was stained into the floor to pick up on the geometry of the ceiling detail.
Two areas with which I needed assistance were the structural details of the floating countertop and suspended ceiling soffit. Thanks to project architect, Charles Beachy, structurally sound solutions were designed to fit within the overall aesthetic of the environment.
Project Manger’s Area
The Conference Room:
An additional focal area of the office that features an in-wall aquarium housed in custom maple built-in cabinets, open ceiling, and a square soffit that matches the look of the project managers area ceiling detail. To create a sense of privacy, yet stay consistent with an open feel, an abundance of glass was used on exterior walls, room-divider aquarium was incorporated that can be viewed from both sides, and the suspended soffit was designed with an open grille look. The finishing touch on the conference room is the Go Media logo burned into the top of the table.
5. Putting it all together:
After months of conceptualizing, providing multiple versions of the floor plan, and detailing, all of the construction documents are nearing completion and the client is undoubtedly anxious to see what everything will look like together. The final step, from the designer’s standpoint, is to create a 3D illustration of the entire environment.
Establishing an architectural perspective illustration is a 3-part process, I tend not to stray from this process as I’ve found it to be a very efficient way of getting the job done.
- Create a rough geometric block-out in SketchUp and set up your final view.
- Overlay the block-out to create a final line drawing.
- Render the scene with preferred medium. The architectural illustration process will be explained in detail in a later blog.
At this point, all of the colors have not been finalized, so a few color concepts had to be presented before the final palette was approved.
Special thanks to Go Media for trusting me to create what I believe will be a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment for them.