HR&A Advisors by CHA:COL
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Segment: Small Office
Products Used: Scrape tile, Reflect Tile, Earth Tone Tile
This project is a workplace for the Los Angeles offices of a leading consultancy firm specialising in economic, real estate and urban planning. HR&A Advisors have offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. The company approached CHA:COL regarding their upcoming relocation within a high-rise tower in downtown Los Angeles. The physical space was a compact 2,500 square feet nook on the northwestern corner of the 29th floor of this high-rise complex.
The clients, who are true urbanists at heart, wanted a project that engaged with the city in a very direct way while still maintaining a small footprint. ‘Sky-box’ was what CHA:COL nicknamed the project, since it is similar to a bird-house perched up high with dramatic views. The workplace embodies a no-waste ethic due to a clever combination of compact square footage, directional orientation and the internal layout of private and public spaces.
A Special Client
This project was very special to CHA:COL as they had a close relationship to the client, and majority of the client’s staff members and partners are also former architects. Design solutions were focused on the client’s location high up in downtown Los Angeles, celebrating the values of California. There was a design focus on openness & freshness, which also needed to balance with the client’s needs for privacy.
Designing for Collaboration
The design proposed a space plan based on pairs of spaces, rather than individual adjacent uses. These pairs of positive and negative elements serve each other based on specific rules. Three primary ‘pods’ were proposed. These were the only fully enclosed areas (as shown in the diagram plans attached) defining a basic armature. All other uses then paired with these pods depending on privacy needs. As a result, there are no fully enclosed offices; only open, semi-private or group workplaces. Collaboration and conferencing needs are met by two conference areas, large and small, that book-end the open work area. Acoustic privacy is provided by a phone booth. The firm is therefore, free to use any spatial combination it sees fit, without losing any functional needs.
The touch-down lounge and break area was placed at the far end from the entrance, by the dramatic corner. At the intersection of all views, it forces visitors and staff to co-mingle at this outer extremity. It reminds all users everyday, of the scale of work they perform and their unique place in the metropolis of Los Angeles.
Using Shaw Contract
“As designers, we now know that noise impacts health and wellness. As designers we also know that design and colour have an important impact on our moods and productivity. As a design team, while choosing flooring options for an open office environment, we therefore saw flooring as a unique tool and medium. It also became our graphic tool in distinguishing between separate areas. The solid colours and the graphic patterns chosen helped in creating transitions from open offices into conferences rooms and touchdown areas into quieter, private areas.” CHA:COL revealed.
“We saw flooring as a visual cue for the end user: subdued, neutral colours were used to denote larger open work areas, and bolder brighter colours were used to highlight smaller semi-open spaces. We also used cushion-backed tiles, especially in conference areas that were effective in absorbing noise generated by foot traffic, chair castors, drink trolleys etc.”
CHA:COL were easily able to achieve and control the overall physical and psychological health of their design by carefully choosing and specifying Shaw Contract products.
Congratulations CHA:COL for your winning project in the 2017 Shaw Contract Design Awards!