Location: Norwalk, Connecticut
Area: 30,000 SF
After a competitive selection process, Antinozzi Associates was awarded this project to incorporate all of Hearst’s New England newspapers into one space while respecting the company’s global brand. Based on the need to expedite the schedule due to lease agreements and consolidation, the project was completed in nine months from start of design to occupancy.
With a blank, square floor plate, our solution to this challenging space (where the core vertical elements were off-center) was to create a non-orthogonal design layout. We maximized the space of almost 200 workstations by placing the spine of the workstations perpendicular to the exterior walls which also allowed plenty of natural light. Our choice of two serpentine glass side walls to encapsulate the conference room directly off the elevator vestibule achieved maximum visibility and the ability to see through to the collaborative areas upon arrival.
An authentic, white-washed red brick on the elevator wall expressed a traditional New England look, and all of the newspaper logos were stenciled in white to represent all of the brands and announce to guests that they had arrived at the Hearst offices. The conference room axis was turned on a slight angle to the elevator wall to add interest along with the long serpentine floor to ceiling glass walls. Special ceiling detailing adds to the uniqueness of this room.
As the design developed, we noted the floor as the “Riverwalk,” as the polished concrete floor we selected took on this wayfinding function. LED lighting was incorporated to accent this unusual walkway. Hand-painted logos of the daily newspapers in each meeting room reinforced brand recognition and helped employees easily identify and enjoy the space.
Large, open collaborative spaces were created on the north and the south ends of the core to provide equal opportunity for eating areas and large meeting spaces. The pantry, storage and copy areas were also part of these main cores but out of site from the working space. Smaller informal touchdown spaces were intentionally placed throughout the floor plan to allow for impromptu meetings. One of the greatest challenges was to create interest while leaving as much existing ceiling and lighting as possible. This was achieved by removing a portion of the ceiling around all concrete columns and painting the structure above in black to create a void capital while providing a floating ceiling look. The ceiling was removed completely above the north and south collaborative spaces to break up long spans of ceiling running east to west and at the same time adding volume and interest.
With a blank, square floor space, we incorporated all the design details and goals desired by both corporate and local end-users to consolidate multiple newspapers into one branded workplace. Our solution to a challenging space where the elevator, stair and shaft core were off center, was to create a non-orthogonal design to create interest. We maximized the space with 196 workstations by placing the spine of the workstations perpendicular to the exterior walls which also allowed for us to capitalize on the natural light. Our choice of two serpentine glass side walls to encapsulate the conference room directly off the elevator vestibule achieved maximum visibility through to the collaborative area and exterior upon arrival. TV monitors were strategically placed on existing columns that we stripped from sheetrock to expose the concrete for an industrial look.
The goal to incorporate all Connecticut brands while respecting the Hearst brand globally was accomplished with several unique design elements. We installed reclaimed brick on the elevator wall to exude a traditional New England look, painted the elevator doors and frames in black metallic bristle paint for contrast and stenciled all newspaper logos in white to represent the brands and assure guests that they have arrived at Hearst Connecticut.