Phenomblue is a branding agency whose growing staff needed a bigger home. Their new office is designed to inspire both high-energy collaboration and focused solitude.
Today, their 7,600 sq. ft. workplace is built with “pop culture” in mind, blending steel, concrete, wood, and salvaged materials.
Orange, lime green, and white walls complement the emblematic blue surfaces throughout. Hanging lights serve as way-finding devices. A mix of concrete and carpeted floors balance the acoustic environment. Two glass-paneled garage doors rescued from a nearby cupcake shop open up the space to a large conference room and an outdoor patio.
“Phenomblue’s space is unlike anything that exists in Omaha today,” said Joe Olsen, Phenomblue CEO and president. “We hope it inspires others to embrace modern office design and continues to make Omaha a destination for gifted talent.”
Elements of the design reinforce the creative process that drives the agency. For instance, an open-ceiling design exposes pipes, beams, ducts, vents, and lights — all painted white like an industrial cloudscape. Whiteboard-paint turns walls into canvases.
Most strikingly, a raw-plywood armature visually and thematically connects the space. It bridges the corridor between the main collaboration area, the huddle rooms, and the spacious community room. There, staff can find tables, chairs, couches, TV, a kegerator, and a billiard table that offer temporary distractions and serendipitous interactions.
The unfinished-looking armature is an icon for the agency. It’s an organic reminder of the opportunity for improvement and the varied perspectives present in the agency.
“It’s about taking something raw and filling it with talent to create a polished and refined, creative environment,” said Jimm Wagner, vice president and general manager. “It’s similar to how we work – starting with something raw and ending up with something defined and polished.”
Right before the armature terminates, part of it splits from the mainline. It banks down into a terraced-platform that merges with an elevated walkway and wheelchair-accessible ramp. A sinuous blue surface curves around the walkway underneath, echoing the contours of a skate park.
The office also reflects a future-forward emphasis on the conditions that spark innovation: individual privacy and group collaboration.
Rolling desks offer the option for face-to-face interactions and idea exchanges. Various-sized huddle rooms present a distraction-free environment for both small groups and individuals to generate and refine their work. And a large community room makes for a great place to hang out, share a meal, grab a beer, play a game of pool, or watch TV.
The community room effectively anchors the office in the world outside of work. Tables and chairs make it a great venue for company lunches and afternoon refreshments. After work, the room can transform itself into a place where marketing executives from around the city participate in leadership groups and networking events.
By providing a ready escape from work stress and a path to authentic social interaction, the community room becomes an anti-burnout zone. It keeps the team grounded in real life and creates the space necessary for staff to reconnect with that vital inner spark where creativity and innovation originates.
Plus, you can skateboard through it.