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Inside Retail Design Collaborative

Designed by Retail Design Collaborative

October 24, 2018 | by Tim Gerber
Reviewed by real estate expert Michael Colacino

Office Spotlight: 245 E Third St

Retail Design Collaborative finished designing their office in Los Angeles in 2017. We were able to ask them a few questions in order to learn more about their office design.

SquareFoot

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

Retail Design Collaborative 

The office is located on the street level in downtown Long Beach and is extremely visible for those passing by. Large windows span the entrance of the building and a large mural, created by artist Bumblebeelovesyou, creates a visual element along the street frontage. Since we moved here in October of 2017, our office has become a major destination for social media inspiration.  

SquareFoot

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

Retail Design Collaborative

We designed our new workspace to represent our passion and dedication for design and community. This was not just a project for us, it was an opportunity to create and design our new home. It’s in direct correlation to our design values, a multidisciplinary approach that includes interiors, landscape, and architecture.  

SquareFoot

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

Retail Design Collaborative

The design concept is based on the notion of an “Urban Gallery”; a flexible evolving workshop.  The “Urban Porches” on entries of both the 3rd street frontage and Promenade Street are defined by deep, steel plate frames encasing a composed display of glass and integrated art walls. These street porches organize the office’s primary gathering spaces and orient them to the street as a way to visibly and physically interact with the community. The porches integrate flexible spaces surrounded by gallery display surfaces for art installations, sculpture, mixed-media and product showcase.

The entry integrates an art gallery with a monolithic plywood and folded steel plate concierge station. The flexible display space can be expanded or condensed into a series of smaller spaces with large steel barn doors encased with marine grade plywood panels.

The office layout allows numerous creative teams to utilize one shared space. The design’s bold gesture removes private offices from the traditional office model to achieve the concept of a transparent workspace. Work areas and pockets of casual meeting spaces are linked by a seamless network of interior “streets and alleys”. Arranged amid the open office are 3 elevated masses that act as huddle rooms for gathering and private meetings. All workstations are custom designed and fabricated to incorporate drawing surfaces, adjustable height desks and reconfigurable collaborative tables.  The mezzanine wraps the perimeter of the interior space creating a “Bridgewalk” overlook with lounges, workspace, and collaborative pin-up zones. The programmatic elements include openwork clusters, idea lounges, enclosed collaboration spaces, war rooms, flex offices, community room, material library, digifab shop,  shower + lockers , and play areas. A portion of the service dock is transformed into an urban garden, featuring green walls, relocated city trees, a fire pit, outdoor seating and large-scale murals.  A peaceful respite for employees, the space also functions for social gatherings and community events. Street views and sunlight are captured deep into the office space from expansive glazing. Twenty skylights offer natural daylight and ventilation while reducing artificial lighting needs. 

SquareFoot

What does the space do best?

Retail Design Collaborative

We designed our office to work as a collaborative, open, co-working space for staff and the community. We incorporated multiple meeting rooms that can be utilized by the community for external events. Since we have opened, we’ve hosted over 50 events including events from yoga, pop-up shops, corporate mixers and city meetings.

SquareFoot

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

Retail Design Collaborative

The material palette was consciously derived from raw and natural materials, which really speaks to something authentic and genuine about the palette of concrete, wood, steel, and glass. Four local artists were also commissioned to paint large murals throughout the interior space and combined the two create a vibrant workplace. This adaptive-reuse project integrates environmentally sustainable design, including daylighting, natural ventilation, lighting controls, energy conserving building systems, low water consuming fixtures and landscaping, smart material selection, and indoor/outdoor gardens.

SquareFoot

What is your favorite part of this office?

Retail Design Collaborative

Our favorite part of the office is that it’s an incubator space. It was designed to evolve over time. Even in the two years, we’ve inhabited this space, we’re constantly challenging and questioning the models of the dialogue of workplace. Nothing is really precious, and this office is still something we’re comfortable to grow with.  


Photographer: Retail Design Collaborative

Designer: Retail Design Collaborative

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