Reinventing LMN’s office was an opportunity for reflection among the firm leaders. In a series of charrettes in 2013, our in-house design team explored ways to transform LMN’s two floors in a 1959 International Style downtown Seattle office tower. The need was to build on the inherent openness, light, and flexibility of the existing space while integrating a new sensibility reflecting the unique qualities of the firm’s practice. A vision emerged to de-emphasize the form of the space and focus instead on the activity within it – a simple background enabling the firm’s work, culture, and people to be its own inspiration. The end result would be a “process, not a product.”
A year after completion, LMN is looking back on the success of these ideas in practice. Scores of multi-disciplinary collaborators have come to the new office for face-to-face work sessions; project teams have explored countless design options through technology and hands-on modelling in our new flexible, collaborative work spaces; and our two high-rise floor plates have taken on the feeling of a laboratory or workshop, filled with prototypes, material samples, and pin-up walls.
As a firm, LMN remains dedicated to constantly analyzing, adapting, and reconfiguring its own space. In the coming months, we will be releasing Research posts exploring post-occupancy data and analysis of our office space. These include hard metrics on sustainability and energy efficiency from our sophisticated system of automatic sunshades, occupancy sensors, and programmable lighting, as well as more qualitative, “social science” questions of social interaction and organizational effectiveness.
We invite you to stay tuned as we continue the dialogue about people and space, using ourselves as a test case.
(Photo Credit: Doug Scott)