Wunderman, one of the world’s largest direct and digital marketing networks, produces award-winning work for clients like Nokia, Ford, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Adidas.
So for its new offices in Irvine, Calif., Wunderman opted for something different — a single-floor space in a typical Orange County high-rise. After all, the firm believes that what sets it apart from competitors is its approach of testing creativity against business facts, which removes guesswork from the creative process.
And that balanced approach to their work is why Wunderman had no interest in replicating the cubicle mazes that have become so common in corporate environments. Its mandate to our interiors team?
“Make sure the space encourages, collaboration, noise, comfort, creativity, and fun.”
Its leaders wanted the new work environment to make people feel at home.
HOK‘s design team transformed a predictable building-standard floor into a loft-like space with exposed ceilings that emphasize the overall height. The concrete floors are polished to create a light, reflective plane. Natural light enhances a dramatic, lower-than standard artificial light level.
Visitors to Wunderman’s new floor are welcomed by a high-impact elevator lobby, which showcases a custom vinyl wall mural composed of assembled pieces reflecting the “apocalyptic” world of local graffiti artist Shark Toof.
Past the mural, the reception area registers a distinctly residential impression through its eclectic furniture, carpeting, accessories, and artwork.
Despite Wunderman’s tight space allocation of less than 200 square feet per employee, the overall feeling is open and spacious for the 100 copywriters, art directors, graphic designers, and account executives.
A Knoll benching system provides low components with generous work surfaces and storage units.
To create visual “noise,” the design introduces color and texture that convey Wunderman’s creativity. The lounge-like atmosphere features a vivid color palette. Unusual furniture, accessories and graphics act as conversation starters.
As a destination for breaks and meals, an employee cafe on the office perimeter links to an outside balcony with an open-air lounge complete with tables and colorful umbrellas. It’s an ideal, Southern California-style retreat for a staff of busy creatives.
According to Wunderman, the new office has been so well-received that its clients now want to come there for meetings.
When both employees and clients feel at home in an office, we know the design has achieved just the right balance of work and play.
- Architect/Design Firm: HOK
- Photography: Benny Chan, Courtesy of HOK