Archtober Building of the Day #14
Wieden & Kennedy
150 Varick Street, 6th Floor
The firm got famous with its “Just do it” campaign for Nike, and the office atmosphere retains an air of athleticism with its ESPN TV feed, sneaker shod youths with untucked shirts, full-on gym, and Heineken on tap.
The center of the reception experience is the drop-down “Coin” stair, richly sculpted in wood, serving as an amphitheater for the lounge seating at its base. There was plenty of lounge seating, empty, juxtaposed to dense clusters of the aforementioned staffers huddled in their 5-foot-by-2.5-foot sections of desk. The result of analysis of work habits and meeting room needs, the space has a range of options beyond the sliver of space for the individual. Social centers abound—pantries, vending areas, conference rooms with names like “Winners Circle,” were glassy and well stocked with bright and cheerful furniture. Long, stand-up tables provide dividers between the pods and the West Elm–style groupings of sofas and upholstered chairs set off on platforms
The one private office I spied was called the Ninja Den.
There were a lot of ideas here, and I was pleasantly surprised to note that, while many were colorful, none seemed goofy in that silly Google way. An abundance of white paint, dominating columns, and a relatively contiguous polished-concrete floor gave the interior a sense of architectonic continuity. Episodes, like the corkscrew stair, were well spaced with enough context to knit the space together into a spirited unity.
Let’s see what today’s tour brings with the Red Bull Studios.