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Office Empire State of Mind: Top NYC Workplace Design Trends of 2019

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Gabrielle Dalvet
Published on

New York is known for its trend-setting, and with workplace design, it’s no different. Here are some of the best interior design trends we saw injected into NYC offices.

We kicked off 2019 by heading to New York for the workplace conference Future Offices. Like most of us non-New Yorkers, it’s hard to walk around the Big Apple and not feel inspired by all of the creative spaces. After a few weeks recharging at home afterward, we had fun researching the latest office renovations on Office Snapshots to see what we could learn from the newest interior design trends being rolled out across Manhattan.

Design Republic brings neighborhood flair to Yelp’s office expansion

Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find inspiration for your office design. In the case of being located in NYC, that inspiration can come from the neighborhoods you work and live in. Maintaining the themes from their original design by Design Republic, the expansion builds on the neighborhood inspiration of Soho and Hell’s Kitchen, which employees originally voted on.

The new space includes a cafe and a large lounge space with a variety of breakout spaces, all of which draws inspiration from Grand Central Station. There are obvious parallels between an iconic piece of New York architecture known for being a high traffic crossroads and the high volume space that this cafe and lounge represent, so it was natural for Design Republic to incorporate things like curved archways and a classic large clock (complete with a Yelp logo).

Convene Design highlights Japanese concept Kintsugi in Lower Manhattan HQ

There’s a lot of history in a building over one hundred years old, and Convene Design decided to embrace their newest NYC space’s rich heritage. By highlighting existing building blemishes, Convene Design tapped into a Japanese concept called Kintsugi, which Wikipedia defines, “As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

”Part of the original elements they incorporated into their new office includes the terrazzo and mosaic flooring from 1907, plaster ceilings with pockmarks, and concrete walls with markings from contractors past. Convene Design then merged this concept successfully with their other theme for the project: “contained perfection.” Using full glass walls for meeting rooms, they channeled the right amount of privacy with ambient lighting and reflectivity. People experience different lighting throughout the day, which adds to the enjoyable experience of working in the space. They also brought in bright and lush carpeting, which alludes to the neo-renaissance exterior of the building.

Woods Bagot helps CFA Institute’s office evolve to a more collaborative and dynamic environment

CFA Institute may be known for its grueling financial exams, but as an organization, it’s looking to become more collaborative and dynamic. Their new NYC office, designed by Woods Bagot, create an environment armed to do just that with a flexible and open design filled with well-lit and roomy spaces.Instead of a stuffy reception desk blocking the entryway, they opted for a beautiful, open kitchen space.

They made sure a lot of the space had access to the full height windows that bring in the energy of the outdoors. Employees can work from shared workbenches or dip into private focus rooms as needed. Lounge spaces are laden with comfort-driven soft seating while the large conference room has the right amount of professionalism to represent a true boardroom. And while the color scheme is a minimalist’s dream of clean black, white, and gray, they also incorporated lush plant life and colorful murals throughout.

Gensler worked with spirits company Edrington to make their new office more flexible while still elevating their brand story

Edrington is a 100+-year-old international spirits company with a large number of liquor brands under their domain. Working with Gensler, they looked to marry past with present in their new NYC office by nailing the right flexible workplace design trends with a proper ode to their brand heritage, all while making sure the guest and employee experience was well-elevated.To help maintain an allusion to the past, they left the original fluted-white columns, hardwood floors, and white tin ceilings to blossom in the new design.

The first thing guests see when they arrive via a private elevator is a custom bar with their entire product collection sitting on backlit glass shelves. Fully stocked, it’s always ready for events, meetings and general social hours.The workplace is made up of three neighborhoods: meeting rooms, a quiet car and lounges, creating a flexible place for employees. Where relevant, Gensler and Edrington bring in additional nods to the brand history with archival photography and advertisements. Conference rooms take on their own look and feel depending on the spirit they were named after, including Macallan, Highland Park, Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse.

Corgan infuses the Bustle offices with the “speed of light”

Growing quickly, Bustle knew they had to create a space to work with their fast expansion, bring their team closer together in a cohesive way, and celebrate their culture and brand. Working with design firm Corgan, the two developed a concept around the “speed of light,” as the magazine brand aims to continuously learn about the world and pump out news faster than ever before.Their entire office incorporates this speed of light idea in more obvious ways as well as subtle ones.

The largest impact is clearly felt looking at their new welcome zone -- where they bid adieu to the stodgy reception desk (a theme we’re picking up on throughout these offices) and replaced it with an exciting light and mirror experience that inspires people as they walk through the space to start their day.The rest of the office plays off the light and color schemes in quieter ways, with glass, light and colorful swatches woven throughout the workplace.

The interior design reinforces the idea that top creative talent will feel like their needs are met to explore their craft, including a workspace specifically for Facebook Live. Everywhere you look, the AV and IT is properly integrated so every space can be an impromptu focus or collaboration space, enabling the true idea of plug and play.

Brand, flexibility, authenticity, heritage, and no more reception desks are the key highlights we’ve taken away from this tour around NYC’s latest and greatest offices. What office design trends are you seeing in the marketplace these days?

Sources: Office Snapshots

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