Gensler (www.gensler.com) has applied its expertise in workplace design to its own new office in Rockefeller Center. The firm has relocated its Midtown operations from One Rockefeller Plaza to 1230 Avenue of the Americas.
The new office is designed to encourage and support the creativity and innovation of Gensler's staff. "As the leading workplace design firm in the world, we work with our clients to create environments that foster innovation," said Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, managing principal. "Now we've applied the latest thinking to the design of our own office." The office layout places a significant emphasis on collaborative spaces—including large open team areas and soft-seating areas around a circulating stair—creating a double-height central collaborative zone where designers can interact, share ideas, and discuss their work. "Many of our clients see innovation as the main driver of business growth today," said Joseph Brancato, AIA, managing principal. "They're looking to us and our design process as a model for innovation in their companies. This collaborative zone will help us open our process and our culture up to our clients."
The resource library is a central focus of the new office. The library is designed as an area of the office that the staff passes through and interacts with—rather than a room that designers only go to when they need to find a product or a finish. "Designers need to know about the latest products," said Mark Morton, IIDA, Gensler principal and design director for the new office. "With an open resource library as a central hub of the office, we plan to keep our staff constantly up-to-date about the latest products."
In keeping with its objective to foster and celebrate creativity, Gensler has carefully selected artwork that will rotate throughout the year. In addition, in the center of the circulating stair, which will be the collaborative heart of the office, Gensler has commissioned graffiti artist Jose Soto to create a two-story wraparound mural. "The art reminds us to look beyond our own work for inspiration," said Morton. "The graffiti mural links our office to the urban fabric of New York—while at the same time celebrating the creativity in our work."
The new office is also a model for sustainable design. Gensler has selected many green products and materials for the new office, and was careful to follow sustainable procedures during construction. Gensler is currently preparing its submission to the U.S. Green Building Council for the new LEED certification for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI).
Gensler's Rockefeller Center office is located in 55,650 square feet on the 15th and 16th Floors of 1230 Avenue of the Americas. The office has 280 design professionals and support staff. Gensler also has an office downtown at 48 Wall Street, with 120 professionals and staff, for a total of 400 in New York City.