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Unveiling Hanley Wood’s New Offices
ARCHITECT / May 13, 2013
Höweler+Yoon Architecture created an iconic collaborative office space
Hanley Wood, the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential and commercial design and construction industries, is in the midst of an exciting transformation from a legacy print publisher to a leading edge, digital-first, strategic media company. Two of the most important components of Hanley Wood’s digital transformation are:
- focusing on the needs of customers in a rapidly changing media landscape; and
- becoming a technologically diverse information provider for its audiences.
In order to increase audience engagement, Hanley Wood’s editorial department aimed to expand its opportunities for internal collaboration and idea sharing.
Late last year, Hanley Wood hired Boston-based Höweler+Yoon Architecture to reimagine the editorial department’s work space. The goal was to transform a closed office environment dominated by private offices and high-walled cubicles into a collaborative open-office plan, better suited to the needs of a media company operating in a digital-first environment.
The new space restores daylight and views of neighboring Thomas Circle. An open-office area accommodates editors, web producers, art directors, and other team members who collaborate daily. Whiteboard paint allows groups to workshop ideas directly on the perimeter walls, and to collaborate between departments. A spray-applied insulation on the ceiling dampens sound so that staff can remain productive in the open environment. Aware that meeting space is always at a premium, the team at Höweler+Yoon tucked five conference rooms behind undulated walls along the perimeter of the floor.
Running the length of the space is a feature the designers call the Link Desk, a bar-height counter that hugs a window wall and provides an area for impromptu meetings or alternative work environments. The Link Desk transforms at either end, becoming a low bench at one, and a table at the other; the hybrid built-in has become a social hub in the office.
Another signature feature is the Radar Desk, a custom-design open-plan work environment. Department heads are stationed at this sinuous table, facilitating collaboration, managing workflow to better utilize the expertise of individual editors and editorial groups and enabling the entire department to share content across all of Hanley Wood’s audiences.
Hanley Wood plans to use this space as a living laboratory, taking lessons learned from the new open floor plan and project development process to inform two future phases of construction that will complete the remodel of the entire floor.