The positive impact of adding a massive, intricate and brand infused staircase and more!
Security software company Trend Micro enlisted lauckgroup to artfully design their new Austin office as an innovative and open space that prioritizes the company’s emphasis on employee communication. Rooted in Trend Micro’s culture of collaboration, the office touts one stand-out design feature: a monumental staircase that connects all three levels of the building together in a way that is both sculptural and functional.
Grounded in the break room, the dynamic run of stairs staggers up the center of the building and is lined by open seating lounges and hydration stations. A platform stage was built to incorporate a programmatic element, allowing approximately 300 people to congregate for office-wide meetings. Surrounding the stairs are a series of flexible conference rooms. The resulting office is as diverse as Trend Micro’s workforce, emphasizing interaction, collaboration, and a strong sense of company culture.
When was the project completed?
How much space?
Was this new or renovated space?
SF per person?
305 SF per person
How many employees?
What is average daily population?
Describe workspace types.
Workstations are positioned in collaborative zones along the building’s perimeter, offering each employee access to natural light to enhance productivity. Sliding markerboard walls surround collaboration spaces, creating a kinetic area that encourages employees to get up from their desks to collaborate.
What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
Grounded in the break room, the dynamic run of stairs staggers up the center of the building, lined by open seating lounges that further encourage serendipitous collaboration, as well as hydration stations. A platform stage was built to incorporate a programmatic element, allowing approximately 300 people to congregate for office-wide meetings. Surrounding the stairs are a series of flexible conference rooms that can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including meetings and team-building initiatives. Each room is outfitted with occupancy sensors to ensure that the lights are off when rooms are empty, preserving the energy being used in the space.
What other kind of support space or amenity spaces are provided?
In order to cater to Trend Micro’s diverse workforce, lauckgroup took special care to outfit the office’s wellness spaces with diversity in mind—the private rooms face Mecca and are large enough to accommodate prayer mats.
What is the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
Building is located at the Domain, in North Austin. Surrounded by live work play type set up. Access to apartment buildings, restaurants, retail, all walkable from office.
What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?
Just programming—because this was a new company HP division that was purchased by Trend Micro, we completed programming in person with users and Trend representatives.
Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?
Yes, these were conducted in person, and continued on throughout the process to ensure efficiency.
Were there any other kind of employee engagement activities?
From the very beginning, lauckgroup met with the HP user group and conducted programming activities. We learned how they operate and how they are currently working. Trend believes every office is a home, so they should all feel similar. HP division was being brought into the brand. These employees were engaged in SD and DD meetings to give input on plan and palette to ensure they felt included.
Were any change management initiatives employed?
Somewhat, yes… Because of how there teams were structured, they needed an a-typical furniture system. The HP division and Trend representatives were involved in layout suggestions and furniture meetings to accommodate how this new HP division works. This group of users were in an antiquated space previously, so lauckgroup pushed them to get up and collaborate, and provide collaborative areas consistently throughout away from their workspaces to help.
Trend encouraged these engineers to get up and interact, the stairs were a way to do this. The stairs were extra wide to provide continued movement but also support spots to stop and chat without disrupting flow.
Also hospitality bars were incorporated but did not include food prep areas, so they created the large first floor break room with gaming and collaboration and food prep areas with the goal of encouraging all people to go to first floor to be together.
Another big thing was to create destinations for employees to travel to throughout the space. One example was the destination of the living wall, which is slightly hidden to encourage exploration. This destination supports various work types, meeting, collab, lounge, and eating with flexibility.
Please describe any program requirements that were unique or required any special research or design requirements.
Stairs is a big one. The stairs weren’t necessary, it encourages interaction and collaboration vertically. They spent money to open floors, as a way to show and encourage interaction. The stairs form a base for all hands meeting with everyone in the building as well as impromptu meetings with senior leadership when they are in town.
The building is great, but in order to locate the data center into the building, this was a challenge under restriction. Because the building has so many windows, we had to build a wall to secure the data equipment with no windows.
Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
lauckgroup paid special attention to employee health, incorporating wellness initiatives throughout the new space. In order to cater to Trend Micro’s diverse workforce, the interior architecture team took special care to outfit the office’s wellness spaces with diversity in mind—the private rooms face Mecca and are large enough to accommodate prayer mats. To further the idea of energy innovation, the team of interior architects installed an LED lighting system throughout the space to supplement the massive amount of natural light flooding the office through high performance glass walls. The team was careful to position workstations and collaboration zones in a way that would provide each employee access to that natural light. Living walls and planters with their own plumbing and filtration system were constructed throughout the office. The greenery features clean air plants to improve the overall air quality in the space, reducing the need for additional high-energy air purification systems.
Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
In the collaborative zones there was great natural daylight from beginning, but we wanted to use architecture of the building and daylight to create modules on each floor for collaboration space which included marker board (full height glass) on exterior walls. Creates kinetic daylight on the exterior.
We wanted to challenge the way Trend thought about meeting space. This is more furniture implementation, but does go along with the stair. We placed meeting spaces around the stairs with lounge furniture, but they were still missing enclosed meeting spaces. Since the stairs are so central and focal we wanted all the functions to be visible to those using the stairs and to show interaction in the enclosed environment. These glass conference rooms are budded up to the stairs to allow teams to show the interaction in an enclosed environment, through the glass. Several of the meeting rooms for “long term use” have a TV, lounge and sofa furniture, dining tables to hold gatherings, etc.
The stairs go from 1-2 and then 2-3 – they didn’t want the element of the hanging stair, we wanted a floating stair. Stairs rotate up as they move they don’t align with each other. There are different support beam sizes which allowed for no elements of hanging support. The stairs are a-symmetrical with various angles underneath. We also added lighting to reinforce the look of vertical circulation.
What were the major furniture products used?
What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
One of the things that we had discussed with Trend was creating something that is more than just a logo on a wall. Since they have so many locations, each space has a “home base” feeling because of all their traveling employees. Use of maple wood ties into their Canadian connection. Their idea is to show brand through look and feel. Wood slats, denote areas of collaboration. Iconic stone is used in every office on reception desk with backlit logo on the desk. The branding elements are expressed through materiality and connection to other office.
What is the most unique feature of the new space?
Architecturally, the massive staircase that connects all three levels of the building was totally engineered from conception to execution to ensure there would be no need for suspension from the building to preserve the openness of the space. The design was then fashioned using many of the same materials as other Trend Micro locations, including maplewood and blackened metal to create a strong sense of continuity within the company’s many offices. Fine details were added, including linear light fixtures under the steps and handrails, which transform the functional space into a highly-detailed, engaging piece of structural art.
As the main focal point for vertical circulation, the intricate staircase is surrounded by interactive opportunities for employees. Grounded in the break room, the dynamic run of stairs staggers up the center of the building, lined by open seating lounges and hydration stations. A platform stage was built to incorporate a programmatic element, allowing approximately 300 people to congregate for office-wide meetings. By designing the staircase in a way that encourages people to naturally migrate toward it, lauckgroup highlights Trend Micro’s core values of communication and community.
Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
- Showers for bikers + bike storage + personal lockers.
- Living wall features a nod to biophilic design + architectural platers throughout.
- Sit to Stand desks and different areas that lend to alternative work styles and getting up from your desk.
- Staircase incorporates movement and encourages people to use it instead of taking the elevator.
- Also, used daylight harvesting in the space.
Have staff integrated with the design?
It was so rewarding to see the users integrated. It showed that our ideas paid off and that people actually use the stair, breakroom, and living wall area to collaborate in different ways to get away from their desk. We pushed them a little on conference room styles, we encouraged living room type set ups with lounge furniture, which is what they prefer after using them over the traditional conference rooms.