Smaller offices aren’t always a bad thing. When Cushman & Wakefield’s Kansas City team gave us the challenge of creating a new office that was flexible in function and collaborative in nature, in a space one third the size of their former office, we knew this would be an opportunity to get creative.
The new office is located directly off the Country Club Plaza and accommodates a variety of activity types in the 7,100 sq. ft. space. Aside from the reduced square footage, the main goal was to create an open, collaborative work environment. The previous office allowed for most employees to have their own offices, reducing the amount of “accidental” collaboration that can easily occur in open offices. The transition to a new type of work environment required extensive coordination with both the Kansas City and corporate Cushman & Wakefield teams.
“We started with basic space planning exercises to see how we could creatively implement Cushman & Wakefield’s corporate design standards,” said Alison LeCluyse, an interior designer and BRR’s project manager. “After the floor plan was developed with both teams, we worked closely with their national furniture dealer to select finishes and fabrics that coordinated with their brand and the desire for the office to serve as a showcase for clients.”
“We came from a more traditional office, so the vision was to create a more high-energy, collaborative space,” shared Michael Mayer, Managing Principal of the Cushman & Wakefield Kansas City office. “Most of our clients hire us because A) they trust us, and B) we’re creative, so you do see that a lot in our space. It’s important to us because you want to come across as being sophisticated, because that’s the way our clients are.”
A key element the Cushman & Wakefield team wanted to bring over to the new office are large-scale regional maps the team uses to identify properties and upcoming projects. We were able to modernize and incorporate these into the new office by creating a few abstract map walls that are dry-erase and magnetic in the core work areas.
Less square footage also meant that the office’s public spaces needed to serve multiple purposes. The main conference room and lobby/reception area were aligned in a way to allow for the total area to serve individual purposes, or merge together for a larger collective use.
“The lobby and reception area can serve as a space to greet clients, hold meetings, host company social events, and serves a breakroom for employees,” said LeCluyse. “There is a variety of seating types and high-end finishes that are an upgrade from a typical breakroom. The large conference room that’s adjacent to the lobby has a 30-foot movable glass wall that can open to create an even larger space, as well.”
Due to a tight project schedule leading up to the move-in date, our team focused on selecting design elements that could be acquired within a short timeframe. “Overall, the space is very neutral with gray, black and white tones, and moments of Cushman & Wakefield’s brand red throughout,” LeCluyse shared. “We wanted to create a timeless space that wouldn’t feel dated in years to come.”
The new office is a full embrace of the firm’s new corporate strategy for workplace design, too; the space has allowed Cushman & Wakefield to streamline their internal team coordination. “This industry is changing very rapidly, so flexibility is important. Years down the road, how we will work in the space changes, we can adapt,” Mayer said.
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