Thursday 12 Jan 2012


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Francis Cauffman had not only outgrown its old office space, but the office design was also outdated.

Principals were completely separated from their teams, the space lacked any areas for collaboration, and had little natural daylight. Relocating to its new offices, in March 2011, let Francis Cauffman update its facilities, incorporate energy-saving materials, and better present the company's status as a top design firm.

Collaborative space fosters the sharing of ideas, brainstorming, and developing innovative design. The design team removed all private offices, positioning everyone on bench-style desks with no dividing panels along the perimeter of the floor. Executives and project leaders are now in the same space as their staff, facilitating easy dialogue. Lateral files with upholstered cushions were created and placed in between desks, doubling as user storage and a "quick meeting with a colleague" seat.

Sliding doors cover additional storage space so employees can display their projects and ideas, starting discussions between teams. Employees can move around the office easily, choosing the environment in which they would like to work. Because there are no private offices, Francis Cauffman designed many small meeting rooms, outfitted with mobile technology. Additional tables in the cafeteria also allow teams to have impromptu meetings. Breakout meeting spaces near the reception area have the technology to support a quick meeting or individual work. Noisier areas, like the cafeteria, are at the center of the
floor, away from workstations.

For large meetings and presentations to clients, a formal meeting area is directly adjacent to the reception desk. It lets clients proceed directly into the conference
room, as opposed to walking through the office and around workstations, disturbing employees. The room can also be divided into two smaller rooms; designers wanted the upmost flexibility.

The new environment at Francis Cauffman promotes the collaboration needed to design and construct buildings. As a national design firm, the office design fosters the innovation that clients enjoy from Francis Cauffman.