A Creative’s Dream: Code and Theory’s Office with a View

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Alexis Ramos
Alexis Ramos
Alexis Ramos is a Content Creator and UX Consultant at Work Design Magazine. As someone who is naturally empathetic and creative, Alexis is passionate about leveraging technology to create positive change in the world. When it comes to "work design" topics, Alexis' interests lie heavily in biophilia and user-friendly technology that help make the workplace a seamless and stress-free place to be. When she's not generating SEO-optimized, witty pieces for us, you can usually find her spending time with her rescue greyhound, Cairo.

A creative and digital agency, Code and Theory recently moved into their 62nd-floor office, housed in One World Trade Center with astounding views to keep their creative juices constantly flowing.

With keeping Code and Theory’s previous office style in mind, designers created a balance between a sharp, professional setting and a place that allows friendly and collaborative interaction to cultivate creative culture. Open sections were complemented with smaller meetings rooms to create an equal balance of buzz and private communication.

With astounding views of New York City, designers gave employees of Code and Theory the opportunity to soak it all in for creative inspiration, any time, with floor to ceiling windows and recliner chairs.

Code and Theory
Employees taking in the 360 views of NYC

When was the project completed?
January 2018

How much space (SF)?
42,367 square feet

Was this new or renovated space?
New space in One World Trade Center

SF per person?
There is an average of 230 people occupying the space daily, it’s approximately 185 SF per person.

Creative and Digital Agency
The elevator lobby bookends the experience at Code and Theory with the logo branding and painted black walls

How many employees?
500 employees across all 5 offices: New York, San Francisco, London, Manila, and Atlanta

What is the average daily population?
Approximately 230 employees.

Is there a mobile work or work from home policy? If so, what percent of employees are remote workers?
Yes, work-life balance is very important to us as a company and to our employees. We have a responsible WFH policy and approximately a dozen full-time employees that work remotely.

Describe workspace types.
We have an open floor plan with executive offices, and common spaces to socialize and collaborate.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
Collaboration is core to our culture so meeting space was a huge consideration when designing the office. In addition to our 5 main conference rooms in our New York office, we have 12 war rooms that have enabled dedicated project teams to work closely together. We also have 12 phone booths for one-on-one meetings and calls, an interview room and an industrial design studio.

<i>The executive offices provide a space for both open and private discussion</i>
The executive offices provide a space for both open and private discussion

What other kinds of support space or amenity spaces are provided?
We have the entire 62nd floor and on each side, we have collaborative open spaces which include conference tables and lounge seating. On the south side of our office, we have our game area which has couch seating, a ping-pong table, and a vintage NBA arcade game. We have an open kitchen on our floor where we provide breakfast, fruit, and snacks throughout the week as well as coffee from La Colombe.

What are the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
One World Trade Center.

The building itself provides a number of amenities. Two floors above ours on 64 is the building’s amenity floor which has a cafe, game rooms, lounge spaces, and rentable conference rooms. They also regularly host workout classes, meditation, and building meetings for all tenants. They have a program called Food which allows two outside food vendors to bring in and set up shop every day, providing a change in food options.

Then, of course, there is Westfield Mall right below us which is a full shopping center, as well as Brookfield center which has a number of restaurants and a food court. This is all accessible through the Oculus, which leads to a massive public transportation hub. You can access many train lines and the PATH, without having to step outside. Directly across the West Side Highway, there is the ferry service to New Jersey and upstate.

Was the “C” Suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?
Yes, every decision, from the floor blueprint to the location of the furniture to who was sitting where was overseen by the executive team.

<i>Each of the 12 war rooms provide a space for project-specific teams to work closely together and brainstorm ideas</i>
Each of the 12 war rooms provide a space for project-specific teams to work closely together and brainstorm ideas

Were any change management initiatives employed?
We’d been in SoHo since we were founded, so the move to the WTC was a big one and there was a lot of thought that went into how to communicate the change. We wanted to ensure the team that our culture would remain intact and that the move would be an overall upgrade.

Dan Gardner, CEO, sent out an email to the company to announce the move in July of 2017, which gave us six months of preparation. Within that time, Dan hosted town hall meetings that provided employees with the chance to ask him any questions in regards to the move. Our HR team was also at everyone’s disposal with any questions or concerns. In the months leading up to the move, we hosted tours of the new space for all employees to see the building and space while in construction. Once the team saw the space there was a general sense of excitement around the move.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
Yes, we host quarterly massages for all employees as well as weekly meditation.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
Yes. To celebrate the building and to create an industrial downtown feeling we left as many of the WTC 1 Building finishes exposed. The original concrete building core and floor were left raw and sealed. The non-friable spray-on fireproofing in the large open workspaces were left ‘as is,’ acting not only as a unique finish, but maximizing ceiling height to improve daylighting conditions that bring more natural light to our interior spaces.

Natural wood was used to bring warmth to space and designed into the furnishings and reception desk. Black steel in the lighting, glass partitions and furnishings add to the industrial, down-to-earth atmosphere.

lounge space
The space has open floor collaborative lounge areas throughout the office

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.
Throughout the office, we added bench seating to our war rooms and workspaces to increase employee collaboration.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space.
Consolidating our New York office, from spanning over three floors in our old space to now all being on the same floor, has been very beneficial.
Bench Workstations – Kimball (Xsede)
Task Chairs – Kimball (Joya)
Telephone Room Chair – Bludot (Wicket)
Visitor Seating – Allermuir (Mobile)
Conference Tables – Kimball (Xsede Customized & Restoration Hardware)
Tangram Tables – Kimball (Custom)
Conference Chairs – Arper (Catifa)
Bookshelves and Sideboard Bold (Custom)
Pantry Seating – Industry West (Slab)
Casual Seating – Bludot, Bumper, Article

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
Our aesthetic inspiration was carried over from our old office space. We wanted to keep our overall vibe consistent as it’s always been something that made Code and Theory what it is and moving, in general, was enough change in itself. We kept the black painted walls, which carried over into our new conference rooms as well as our phone booths. We also brought over most, if not all, of our unique antique pieces—this includes our restoration hardware tables, Persian rugs, our infamous chandelier that sits on the floor of our reception and our auditorium reception seating.

What is the most unique feature of the new space?
With our 360 views of New York, everyone has a window seat.

We invested in four binocular tower viewers that are located on each side of the office—which is a huge hit. We had an amazing library in our old space that we had to leave behind so we have been building out a brand new Code and Theory library—all employees are encouraged to send in book suggestions, which we then purchase and add to our library shelving that was installed throughout the office. We have a really eclectic collection that is reflective of our team.

open floor layout
A view of the open floor layout

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
When designing the floor layout it was imperative that we add a wellness room. This is a bookable private room for working or relaxing and any new mothers are given priority.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?
The security aspect in One World Trade was definitely an adjustment for everyone. We moved from a 6-floor building in SoHo with minimal security to the most secure building in New York City. Everyone had to get used to the new system of entering the building, registering visitors and scheduling deliveries.

How did the company communicate about the changes and moves?
The move was initially communicated to the company in an email from Dan Gardner, CEO. It was discussed in our quarterly company meetings leading up to the move, as well as in town hall meetings with Dan where anyone could attend and ask move-related questions. It was important for everyone to know all feedback was welcome, and that yes—moving can be scary—but in this case, it was a positive sign of growth, expansion and a fresh start.

It was important to brighten their offices with lots of light, artwork, and plants

Were there post-occupancy surveys?
Not formally. However, there was a lot of enthusiasm once we moved in—the epic sunsets, planes flying by at eye level, 360-degree views of the city.

Tell us more!
Design Architect: Dean Maltz Architect
Executive Architect: Montroy Andersen DeMarco
MEP Engineer: Robert Derector Associates

The reception lobby with signature auditorium seating, Persian rugs, and binocular tower viewer
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  1. The interior space is just a WeWork spin, it has nothing to environmentally express it’s Brand, Code & Theory


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