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Inside Allsteel

Designed by Hickok Cole

December 4, 2018 | by Tim Gerber

Office Spotlight: 1725 I St NW

We recently got the chance to speak with Hickok Cole about their design for Allsteel‘s office in Washington DC. Through our conversation, we learned more about this multi-functional office.

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What’s the first thing someone would notice in this office?

Hickok Cole

Allsteel Resource Center is a resource center, workspace and furniture showroom. The first thing someone would notice is the visual prominence of the brand at the entry, which is reinforced through the use of perforated black steel wall panels that filter light from the atrium and showcase the brand. The second thing is the simplicity of the design, which showcases the furniture. Subtle things such as steel boxes filled with paper serve to display chairs in the product area.

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What does this office say about the company you designed it for?

Hickok Cole

The design of the office is inspired by the company’s brand. Allsteel invented the lateral file, which inspired the choice of materials and design language. The pattern of perforations on the entry wall panels interprets stacks of paper. An informal gathering space reflects the company’s Midwestern relaxed attitude. Simple materials and natural finishes allow the furniture to be at the forefront.

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Describe the layout of this office. How does this office design encourage creativity, productivity, and team happiness?

Hickok Cole

The existing floor plan posed one of the project’s greatest challenges as the building’s atrium divided the space into two distinct sides and created a barbell effect. When a visitor enters the showroom, they are immediately greeted and can go right to the conference space and furniture mock-up area or left to reception. From reception, the tour begins in the “community room” which is an informal meeting space that features a large family table and steel box hearth filled with cut logs to create a relaxed environment. Once the client learns about Allsteel and their Midwestern company values, the tour progresses through the product display area.

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What does the space do best?

Hickok Cole

The space enables Allsteel to attract and retain clients, showcase their ever-evolving brand, highlight new and innovative furniture solutions, market their product and services, support industry social events, and reflect their company values.

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What went into choosing the colors and materials for the office’s decor?

Hickok Cole

All of the materials are inspired by the company brand. Allsteel invented the lateral file, which lead to the use of steel. A large marble and wood hearth table provides an informal gathering space. Simple materials and natural finishes allow the furniture to be at the forefront. Color is used on the furniture to distinguish each workstation and furniture vignette separately. A concrete floor provides an understated look.

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What is your favorite part of this office?

Hickok Cole

It was important to Allsteel that the space reflect the company history and brand while also representing the region in which it is located. My favorite element is the entry wall with the logo that is seen when a visitor enters the space and displays backlit images of Washington DC when a person is leaving the showroom.


Designer: Hickok Cole

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