Hill Office

Andrew Franz Architect PLLC

 

In double-height, sunlit penthouse of a 1913 Beaux Arts building near Manhattan's Hudson Yards neighborhood, a former publisher's executive suite is restored to its original grand proportions and modernized as a flexible, comfortable, and transparent workplace for a corporate firm. 

Designed to promote community and collaboration, the new space balances centrally located open areas with a variety of more intimate areas for uninterrupted work or casual meetings. A new floating bridge with a coffee bar and lounge, connects two sides of the historic mezzanine floor, facilitating encounters, while a wide stair becomes a place for both planned and impromptu meetings. The circulation encourages people to move around to generate happenstance meetings and exchange of ideas.

The space is restored to its original open and majestic character, removing partitions and infilled floor areas that had been added over the years. To maintain the architectural square footage, the solution reallocates floor area by extending the historic mezzanine to a third side of the open space and adds the floating bridge at the other side of the plan, without infringing on the historic fabric. The result opens up views and allows daylight to penetrate deeply into the space while establishing connectivity horizontally and vertically.

Celebrating and democratizing the views and abundant daylight, multiple view corridors through different programmatic areas are established to capture three exposures from nearly any location in the office. Workstations are gathered at the heart of the space, perimeter areas are activated for collective use, and corner offices are eliminated. A bar of glazed meeting rooms clad in carved wood louvers is inserted near the perimeter, diffusing strong light while maintaining views and adding some warmth to the spaces. At night, the louvered bar of meeting rooms, acts as a lantern, providing illumination rather than filtering it. 

Rich, textured materials, a diverse mix of vintage and new furnishings were selected along with extensive plantings to bring a sense of human personality and comfort to the workspaces. The final solution sheds the commercial vocabulary of "corporate office space" and hierarchy in favor of the warmer, more inviting characteristics of a library or den, in an airy, open space flooded with daylight for all to enjoy.

www.andrewfranz.com

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