New York, New York
Area: 23,000 SF
Photo: Michael Moran
Interior Designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects
The Barbarian Group, a new generation internet advertising agency, required a workspace design that would foster collaboration and transparency in their growing company, and challenge their creativity. They leased a 23,000 SF loft in the New York garment district to house 125-175 Barbarians, which we surgically gutted to create a large open space.
Since conventional office tools are now largely redundant, people simply need flat surfaces to work on and easily accessible places to meet and collaborate. We got excited about the idea of massively simplifying this concept by uniting all employees at a kind of ‘endless table’. Like an electrical wire, the table surface itself becomes a medium for connecting and centering a community.
The plywood structure rises from the existing oak floor as pony walls supporting the table. Because the movement routes bisect the space, we lifted the table to fly over pathways and maintain surface continuity. The resulting grotto-like spaces underneath the ‘arches’ can accommodate meetings, provide private focused workspace or high counter workspace, and house bookshelves and other storage.