An Architecture Firm Designs for Itself
Nearing the end of a long lease, SmithGroupJJR saw great opportunity. Not only could they develop a new space that reflected their brand and current ways of working, they could also take advantage of up to-date planning schemes that would help them reduce their real estate needs. While SmithGroupJJR had been guiding clients toward more collaborative, open workspaces, their own environment was dated and hierarchical. It was time for a change. Because some of the most difficult projects are those a firm designs for itself, SmithGroupJJR began by assigning a “client” team and “design” team. The client team, made up of the firm’s future leadership, was entrusted to work with the design team as any outside client would.
Informed Planning through Objective Insight
SmithGroupJJR knew they were looking for a significant shift— from individual offices to a benching plan complemented by unassigned private and group spaces—to better support their collaborative culture and workstyle.
In addition, their wish list included:
• Transforming from an “office” to a “hub”
• Flattening the organization
• Encouraging mobile work
• Creating a laboratory for experimentation, testing,
• Making the space a showcase of their own capabilities
The team employed Haworth’s LENS™ assessment tools to identify workplace issues, gauge employee satisfaction with the previous space, diagnose organizational culture, and pinpoint opportunities to guide the culture in the desired direction. For example, even though overall satisfaction was high, employees expressed a desire for more team spaces, natural light, and acoustical privacy.
Putting Knowledge into Practice
Haworth’s leadership in workplace knowledge and assessment, combined with the ability to provide a fully integrated package, made it the perfect fit for SmithGroupJJR’s project. Throughout the process, the Haworth team provided workstation mock-ups and developed custom options and solutions for SmithGroupJJR in order to help them satisfy their goals.
What’s more, the Reside™ benching solution’s more generous dimensions, based on the North American standard, gave SmithGroupJJR confidence that their personnel would adapt to the new configuration. The new approach was not only more interactive, flexible and social, it significantly