Gardner Builders Gets a Play on Hospitality through Their New Space

Gardner Builders new home was created as a place to grow, gather, work,  and connect with clients in a fun environment. Their motto, “a construction firm in the hospitality business.” was implemented within the flexible environment.

Walking into the office you are greeted by a Big G that is crafted out of plywood.

The showcase of craft and construction is a big idea communicated in Gardner Builders design.

The space is anchored on each end with play space and modifiable features such as a bar area that is included with metal mesh sliding panels to create privacy. The space has games, beer taps, and is a constant social hub for the office.

Feeling comfortable and welcomed into the office was important to the company culture as well as having a workplace that functions as good as it looks.

When was the project completed?
February 2019

How much space (SF)?
18,000 Square Feet

This bold expression of simple materials is the hallmark for the project.

Was this new or renovated space?

SF per person?
(150) SF per person

A visitor is welcomed into an open and bright coffee bar but can dive into a small booth or a lounge.

How many employees?

What is the average daily population?

“Nothing is delicate. Everything can be used.”

Is there a mobile work or work from home policy? If so, what percent of employees are remote workers?
25% work off-site

Describe workspace types:
Open plan, with drop-in benching for mobile staff -no private offices.

Creating places for field staff, clients and vendor partners to work and feel connected to the Gardner team was a top priority.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
A big variety, large board room, large training room, several lounge conference rooms, lots of focus rooms.

What other kinds of support space or amenity spaces are provided?
Mothers room and phone rooms, booths spaces for focus and open café and bar area.

The idea of a beer hall and comfortable but sturdy furniture is a theme that plays out in the space.

What is the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
It is on a major bus line and 3 blocks from light rail.

Was the “C” Suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?
Yes, Bob Gardner the founder was the main client. He has a passion for the culture of the firm and wanted the space to reflect that. No private offices, shared private space, a place for field staff and lots of places to gather.

No private offices, only shared private spaces and a place for field staff and lots of places to gather.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?
We did a workshop and interviews and program surveys.

Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?
We met with different groups to gain insight into different needs.

Having a place to land when entering the office was an important part of the design. 

Was there any other kind of employee engagement activities?
All staff meeting to build excitement

Were any change management initiatives employed?
Website to show progress and updates

Feeling comfortable and welcomed into the office was important to the company culture.

Please describe any program requirements that were unique or required any special research or design requirements.
A need to create diverse areas for privacy.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
Standing desks and wellness spaces, access to daylight and healthy food and water.

Plywood screens and metal screens created vailed privacy throughout the office.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
Yes, we used plywood screens and metal screens to create vailed privacy throughout the office. These were used to show the craft of construction and the beauty of everyday materials.

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.
We wanted to create equity in the office so we created numerous huddle rooms and lounge areas. All they had previously were a large and med conference room. Now there is a lot of diversity in how and where to meet.

A workplace that functions as well as it looks was important to the business.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?
Teknion desks, Herman Miller conference chairs and tables, Blu Dot lighting, Hightower lighting, Coalesse Furniture and a lot of custom pieces by the design firm.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
We used a large plywood G that wraps an entry lounge area with green glass that echoes the brand color and name of the business. We also have a screen with interlaced plywood letters into the plywood screen. We worked hard to make these feel unique and about craft as well as the name.

gardner builders
Showcasing craft and construction is the other big idea communicated in the design of the Gardner Builder’s office. 

What is the most unique feature of the new space?
The plywood and metal screens

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
Sit to stand meeting tables and desks. Places to focus and a wellness room.

What kinds of technology products were used?
Screens with a limited number of WayFinding because of the open space.

gardner hallway
The large meeting spaces that anchor the office are wrapped in simple plywood screen create privacy and warmth and showcase the craft of the company.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?
No challenges. Everyone was happy to have a larger office.

How did the company communicate about the changes and moves?
Weekly meetings with the whole office

If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?
That people are moving throughout the space and using it as intended. The field staff and remote workers have a place that works for them when they come in and they feel more connected to the office and the culture.

Tell us more!

Architects: StudioBV

Contractor: Gardner Builders

Photo Credit Jessica Stoe Photography

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