Most New York construction stories are all about the real estate; in particular most corporate headquarter moves are about reducing costs and increasing efficiency. However, for IPG that is only part of the story. Initiative, Mediabrands, and UM, three distinctively different brands under the IPG corporate portfolio, is a story of branding and the re-imagination of how their physical space could reflect their energetic corporate culture. Located on three separate floors at 100 West 33rd Street, in the middle of bustling Herald Square, each company operates independently and maintains their own sense of identity and individuality, which inspired designers, Ted Moudis Associates (TMA), to propose a strategy of creating shared amenities in order to encourage staff from different floors to interact; thus, creating a vertical campus.
Each company is bold, creative, and exciting – yet thematically unique. For instance, as an homage to Initiative’s numerous beverage clients, a beer garden was designed, which, with its reclining wood benches inspired by the city’s stunning High Line park, offers a more relaxed work area. For UM, a large screening room allows them to host more informal presentations to clients in a relaxed atmosphere. As for Mediabrands, spaces were created where no architecture exists by employing everything from fur-covered chairs and plush daybeds, pink sofas, and wooden hand chairs to a giant ‘desk’ lamp and plastic pool side versions of Eames chairs.
However, beyond these shared amenities, the spaces represent a total reimagining of the organization’s traditional office model that meets the needs of a technologically adroit and mobile workforce. At each company, a variety of workstyles is provided so one might work at a desk within a “neighborhood” or take their laptop and move to a huddle room, open team area, private phone booth, or communal quiet room. So, the result is a common core of workplace objectives tailored to each organization’s unique culture. Plus, the sky lounge, day beds and coffee bar are pretty cool too.