This Office Used to be a Borders Bookstore

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Chair Of The Month

No to egos, no to doors, but YES to dogs at Fingerpaint. Photo by Gary Gold.

Marketing agency Fingerpaint has brought some color to Saratoga Springs, N.Y.: the company’s bright, open office redesign has all the shades of the rainbow, from chartreuse and violet partitions to the hot pink banister that connects its two floors.

The redesign was more than just aesthetic, however. It also focused on breaking boundaries – or getting rid of them entirely. The new space has no doors and, according to the agency, “no offices, no titles, and no egos.” Instead, Fingerpaint’s space encourages individuality and creativity and puts all employees on an equal playing field. Scroll down for more photos and our project profile survey!

What is the address of the project?

Fingerpaint, 395 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866

The space was formerly a Borders bookstore.

Who was the building architect?

Balzer + Tuck Architecture; Michael Tuck was the acting on-site architect.

Who was the interior architect/designer?

Philip Davis

When was the project completed?

May 2013

What is the total square footage?

Approximately 30,000 square feet.

The reception area. Photo by Gary Gold.
The reception area. Photo by Gary Gold.

How many total employees are there and what’s the daily population?

Eighty-two in the Saratoga office.

What is the location’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities?

Fingerpaint is in the center of town, on the main road of Saratoga Springs.

The office is walking distance to dozens of restaurants, boutiques, galleries and the town’s movie theater; it’s also on the public bus line.

Which furniture brands/dealers were used?

King Business Interiors

The second floor view. Photo by Gary Gold.
The view from the second floor. Photo by Gary Gold.

Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?

In an effort to help manage the demands of both Fingerpaint and home, employees are able to work from home on occasion.

Employees are provided with a laptop computer, making it easier to bring work with us. Our collaboration tools (such as Proof HQ for online reviewing and HipChat instant messaging) allow us to participate in the work and stay in touch with our teams if we need to work from a remote location.

What percentage of the space is unassigned?

Two percent.

The space under construction. Photo by Gary Gold.
The space under construction. Photo by Gary Gold.

How is the company’s brand reflected in the space?

Fingerpaint has no offices, no titles, and no egos. It is part of being a smart, employee-owned agency focused on creating something original. This unfettered approach removes the typical boundaries that hinder exploration and clear thought, and it shows in our strong strategic foundation and award-winning creative and is echoed in our space.

At Fingerpaint, because no individual offices exist, the spirit of collaboration works well in our open scheme. Employees’ desks are arranged out on the floor in clusters, fostering collaboration. Partitions across the floor are painted vivid Fingerpaint colors such as chartreuse and violet. The banister leading to the second floor is hot pink. Dozens of mini meeting areas are dispersed all over the space for small brainstorming sessions. Large meeting rooms line parts of the space’s perimeter for bigger groups that need concepting space.

The exterior of the new Fingerpaint office, which used to be a Borders. Photo by Gary Gold.
The exterior of the new Fingerpaint office, which used to be a Borders. Photo by Gary Gold.

What is the most unique feature about the space?

The lack of doors.

What was the hardest aspect of change for people in moving to this space from a former space?

Getting used to having less personal space.

Please talk about any other notable aspects of the project that make it unique.

Despite being an open environment, the furnishings keep things feeling plush and homelike. We have sectionals, couches, and oversized chairs, as well as two kitchens, one of which is a full-scale bistro. The bistro has an enormous amount of counter space that serves well for working lunches, lunch-and-learns, etc.

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