D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc.

World Headquarters New York, NY The design for this advertising agency’s headquarters in the Manhattan theater district transformed what could have been perceived as an overwhelming building constraint into a vital aspect of the project. Cantilevered over a neighboring landmark, the building contained a zone filled with diagonal supporting trusses, which might have made flexibility in space planning seem impossible for many prospective tenants. Continue Back
By removing a floor in this area and exposing the structure, the architects created an 8,000-square-foot volume that forms the core of the project: a striking, two-story presentation/conference complex containing a series of adjacent and balcony-located conference rooms. Visitors enter this crucial double-height space via a stainless steel and slate stairway that leads from the spaces housing the New York agency’s suites on the floor above. In the conference/presentation space, a 100-foot-long expanse is dedicated to an exhibition wall illuminated by a flexible composition of lamps and fixtures. On a tier above this exhibition expanse is a translucent grid concealing a catwalk system enabling further flexibility in specialized lighting and theatrical effects.

The individual conference rooms (entered either from the exhibition space or from outside circulation corridors) can be set up as facsimiles of agency divisions, complementing whatever form of media presentation is mounted in the main space.

A system of corridors features pathways terminating in city views and break-out spaces, encouraging spontaneous staff interaction. Gridded glass walls line the corridors, allowing natural light to penetrate from the perimeter offices to interior work stations. Within this somewhat neutral volume, the qualities of light and translucency are the true protagonists.

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