Earlier this year, renowned technology company Asurion hired Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P) to design a new corporate office space for its Atlanta Development Center (ADC) in Georgia.
The ADC serves as the home base for developing Asurion’s next-generation software platform. It houses a new group of technical talent – programmers, product managers and testers – who are highly sought-after in the market.
Asurion’s desire for this project was to create an open, collaborative workplace that supports the complex and ever-changing nature of software design work. The overall concept and execution of the design, however, was left to GS&P.
Initially, GS&P worked with Asurion executives to identify three primary design objectives:
- Create an energizing, creative office space that appeals to Asurion’s targeted high-demand talent and supports the company’s attraction/retention efforts
- Identify the optimal workplace design concept that supports teams’ work process – which requires both “heads-down” focus space and collaborative space
- Design an office space that can be expanded and contracted as needed, easily adding more workspace as new talent joins the company
After much research and discussion, GS&P developed the idea for a pod-themed workplace concept that was widely accepted by Asurion executives.
The ADC now contains nine 11-person pods, each housing a strategic mix of employees. Team members are not only placed in pods with their closest coworkers, but their pods are also easily accessible by others they work with frequently.
Bright green segmented desk space provides a quiet, private area for concentration that is separated from the group space. Tables and stools in the pod’s center allow for meetings and discussion.
It was the designer’s intent for each pod to be its own unique family and environment – a microcosm – where employees work in tandem in an open environment but use social cues to know when focus time or collaborative time is more appropriate. The unique pod environment aims to maximize productivity and team member satisfaction.
Additionally, the pod-themed design allows the office to expand as more team members come on board. Individual pods can be built out as needed to extend the space gradually in any of four directions.
In terms of interior design, Asurion’s new Atlanta Development Center features warm, bold graphic walls, modern furniture and eye-catching flooring. Designers aimed to create an open environment and lively, fun, modern design scheme that represents the company’s forward-thinking, creative work.
GS&P decided on a warm palette of oranges, reds, greens, yellows and magentas with furniture in complementary tones. Wall graphics are used throughout to add energy and visual interest at key circulation points.
Exposed beams and pipes and gleaming stained concrete floors foster a sleek, contemporary ambience. The extensive use of glass throughout the office – in the reception area, along the pod’s corridors and in pod entryways – also serves multiple purposes.
Team members can see inside pods to assess the current working conditions of the pod’s occupants – whether they’re talking or working privately. The glass doors and walls also contribute to the open atmosphere of the entire space and serve as “marker boards” for teams to write on with erasable markers during collaborative sessions.
The bold color palette and modern furniture carry over to the cafeteria/break room, which features tiered seating that can be adapted for various uses during team meetings and presentations.
To further support the collaborative theme throughout the Asurion office, high-top cafe tables, dining tables, stools and comfortable chairs offer a variety of seating options. This encourages teams to gather and share ideas outside of their pods and gives them the ability to work together on product solutions away from their desks and pods.
Asurion began moving into the ADC in the spring. The team is confident that the smart workplace strategy and vibrant architectural and interior design elements will sustain the environment needed to keep the company – and its employees – happy, productive, and successful.
Architect/Interior Design – Gresham, Smith and Partners
loved your playlist