In the highly competitive, talent-driven financial services industry, work-life amenities offer a distinct advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent. In transforming an existing 3600-sf office space, the client wanted an environment that blurs the line between work and play—providing sound-proof private offices, collaborative workspaces, and areas designed to allow employees to relax and recharge.
The project required the architect to apply a sensitive, yet bold approach to the design of the space—honoring the architectural history of the 20-story building (ca. 1927) in the heart of Charlotte’s Center City while creating a modern, dynamic environment to support the desired work-life balance.
This dichotomy of design is evident the moment you approach the lobby entrance, which is framed in thin tile, selected to complement the original stone found throughout the building’s common area. The vertical lines of custom dark-stained white oak flooring lead the eye to a 9 ft x 11 ft feature wall, showcasing a section of ornamental plaster that replicates a section of the historic building’s original cornice.
A cove-lit 20 ft x 10 ft gypsum board panel floats above the reception area, further emphasizing the feature wall, providing ambient lighting, and showcasing the vibrant owner-selected artwork that punctuates the space with color and texture.
The custom-designed reception desk incorporates the dark wood and light tile veneers in a modern, modular design that merges seamlessly with the space. These same materials are repeated in custom furnishings throughout the space.
The architect intentionally selected a neutral color palette, allowing artwork and furniture to add pops of color to the interior.
A 45-foot-long LED backlit ‘skylight’ originates at the lobby and runs the length of the workspace. This feature provides ambient lighting throughout and unifies the space, while directing attention to the large, historic arched window, where it terminates.
Nine-foot-tall glass interior walls throughout allow daylight to penetrate the space and provide a visual connection to the cityscape through windows that punctuate the building façade.
Private offices afford employees the efficiency of a modern work environment with the comforts of home, including sleeper sofas and entertainment connectivity.
Multi-media technology throughout frees employees from their desks and allows them to work in a more social setting, as desired. A conference room is available with the technology to support internal and external participants.
The space offers a breakroom and a private bar featuring an 80-inch LED screen for entertainment or collaborative work sessions. A custom-designed wine cooler is incorporated into the bar’s wrap-around wall and ceiling, featuring the same dark oak as the flooring.
This extensive renovation and upfit within an historic building required close coordination between the client, architect, and contractor to keep the project within budget and meet the demands of an aggressive schedule. Challenges included minimizing impact to adjacent building occupants; asbestos abatement and removal; addressing code deficiencies; managing logistics surrounding the office’s many custom details and finishes; and recreating deteriorated sections of the original plaster moldings and decorative elements.