New York, NY – In a prelude to its milestone 50th Anniversary later this year, leading space planning and corporate interior design firm MKDA, has relocated its Manhattan office from 11 East 26th Street, where the firm had been located for 20 years, to 902 Broadway in the Flatiron District. The firm designed its new 12,500-square-foot office space, located on the 17th floor at the building, to represent the firm’s commitment to the “next generation” of space planning and interior design as well as its expectations for many more years of design excellence.
“We moved into this new space at a time when the world is also moving in a new direction, but because we view our business model to be as timeless as our interiors, we remain relatively calm amid the current economic chaos and focused on our future,” said MKDA Founder Milo Kleinberg, whose office is entirely brand-new apart from a classic Pace desk, which he has been using for almost 20 years. “I think our new space conveys this commitment to timelessness through its clean, classic design, which will endure beyond the term of the lease.”
“It’s no surprise to us that we’re expanding during a tough economic time. We have a history of relocating during recessions and of riding out economic lows by diversifying our areas of expertise as the market demands,” said MKDA President Michael Kleinberg. “For example, we are currently launching a new strategic facilities planning initiative and doing an increasing amount of landlord work in an otherwise tenant market.”
MKDA designed its space, which includes innovative collaborative spaces where project managers, architects and designers can convene to work out creative design solutions, according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Utilizing one of its LEED-certified designers, the space was designed with rich zebra wood that is approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests, as well as upholstery certified by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM that tests for low-emitting products and materials.
Furthermore, the space is bordered by all glass front private offices that allow an abundance of natural lighting to infiltrate the entire main studio, so the firm used a ‘daylight harvesting’ strategy that can generate substantial energy savings. The sensor-based system adjusts electric lighting based on the amount of daylight that penetrates the space. Additionally, lights were outfitted with occupancy sensors and long-lasting bulbs which have a 10-year life span. The entire space was designed in compliance with the latest updates to the New York State Energy Code.
“In addition, we made a commitment to local industry by using Acme workstation partitions, which were manufactured locally in Brooklyn, in our main studio,” said MKDA Partner and Co-President Jeffrey Kleinberg, who was involved intimately in all phases of the project.
The elevator bank and reception area set the tone for the entire workspace. These areas were designed with white stone flooring and white walls, some featuring white back painted glass. MKDA gave the reception area, which also features a white polished granite reception desk, a punch of color by using red seating.
The main design studio was designed to be light and airy, as well as flexible and collaborative. The area features a concrete slab ceiling painted white, pendant light fixtures that run the length of the studio—creating a very loft-like environment—and Interface carpet tiles in dark gray tones. The space was created so that all employees have private work areas with storage; however, there are ample spaces and tables where employees can comfortably collaborate. A production area, where design boards are created and laid out, runs the length of studio, and there is an adjacent design room that offers storage and additional room to work and collaborate.
“We paid particular attention to creating ‘think rooms’ or ‘war rooms’ for our employees to hash out design details,” added Jeffrey Kleinberg. “It was important that we create casual, yet productive, environments for our employees to brainstorm and work in teams. The design process is always very hands-on and group-oriented, and we wanted to provide ample resources for our employees.”
The design firm also outfitted its space with a large, modern sample and reference library as well as an executive pantry/food service bar that serves that main conference room. A large communal lunchroom features a food service bar and a handful of tables. There are three conference rooms throughout the space, including one main boardroom with storage for presentation boards, one smaller formal conference room, and an informal lounge area.
MKDA selected its furniture, fixtures and finishes from a variety of vendors in order to create an office suite that could double as a space where the firm can showcase a number of options.
MKDA is a leading corporate space planning and interior design firm with offices in New York City and Stamford, CT. Since its inception in 1959, the firm has earned a reputation as one of New York’s most respected and renowned interior architectural design firms. Its success is largely due to its intimate knowledge of the real estate market and long-running experience working with landlords and brokers throughout New York. Clients have included Silverstein Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, Capstone, Westbrook, Durst Organization, Rockefeller Philanthropy, Eze Castle, Heineken, GE Monogram, Harvest Partners, AICPA, Prudential Douglas Elliman, Lowenstein Sandler, and Wachovia, among many others. MKDA was named a 2008 Interior Design Giant by Interior Design magazine.
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