NEW HAVEN, CT – Architecture, art, and advisory firm Svigals + Partners announced the completion of renovations for the local headquarters of leading educational software developer, Technolutions.
At the same time, the firm has also announced the completion of the ed-tech firm’s new workplace in Portland, Oregon. Tasked with concurrently designing both offices in a style that reflects Technolutions’ state-of-the-art product and bold mission, Svigals + Partners worked with contractors and subtrades at each location to execute similar designs with congruous finishes and branding. The resulting expressive, highly effective workplaces both present an imaginative, futuristic aesthetic intended to articulate the founding principal’s vision.
Now located in downtown’s prominent Connecticut Financial Center, the Technolutions headquarters relocated from the nearby Gold Building in a move that allowed the company – founded in 1994 by entrepreneur and philanthropist, Alexander Clark – to consolidate its operations from three separate floors to a spacious and vibrant 21,000-square-foot layout on the 22nd floor. Svigals + Partners’ design of the floor plan and the palette of furniture and finishes served as a model for the company’s Portland office expansion, where Technolutions was planning to expand from a partial floor to occupy the full 16,000-square-foot plate.
In both cases, the architects collaborated with Clark and his team to create a unique workplace vision, informed by Svigals + Partner’s own stated mission to “inspire clients to join us in creating productive playgrounds,” and eschewing traditional office styles. Expressed with an elevated Tron-esque, other-worldly sensibility based on Clark’s own vision, the workplace design delivers for both office locations in terms of supporting workflow and technology requirements.
“Bringing this unique vision to life – not in one office, but in two simultaneously – was an exciting challenge,” says Katherine Berger, NCIDQ, WELL AP, Svigals + Partners’ associate and director of interior design. “It was important to establish a visual connection between the two workplaces, so that while separated by a continent, each presents a unified and coherent image of the Technolutions brand to employees and visitors, with a consistent and coherent experience between them.”
“Now the offices not only share the same designs, but most importantly, they have a similar sense of freedom, possibility and exceptional service,” adds Berger.
Anchoring both environments is a blue glass-enclosed room used for conferencing and frequent team meetings, surrounded by 40 workstations, call rooms, casual gathering areas, and a breakroom with drop-down projection screens and cameras that capture the entire room for virtual company-wide meetings. Strategically installed speakers and projectors allow for full audiovisual access in all the office and meeting zones. The experiential lobby presents immediate step-off-the-elevator transportive impact with a perforated metal ceiling illuminated from behind that creates a dynamic effect of a starry sky in motion. Piped-in music and rotating, digital images sustain the futuristic aesthetic, as does the reception desk which, illuminated by colorful LEDs from underneath, seems to be floating untethered by gravity.
For the New Haven location much of the mechanical, engineering, and plumbing infrastructure received significant upgrades. Large equipment and trunk lines were relocated to areas with dropped accessible ceilings, improving the open ceiling concept while adding functionality and flexibility. Private offices were outfitted with glazing to give internal spaces access to natural daylight and views, while a self-leveling compound was used to correct irregular floors. The result is a visual consistency in support of the aesthetic goals, and a faultless base for the high-quality, wood-look, vinyl flooring. Integrated lighting systems incorporated throughout both spaces respond to daylight and occupancy levels, reducing operating costs.