MOI Is A Space of Transitions Thanks To The Pivot Concept

FOX Architects created the PIVOT concept, enabling MOI’s new workspace to act as both a public and private space for visitors and employees.

FOX Architects, a DC-based firm, helped create a dual-functioned workspace for MOI, an interior solutions provider that furnishes any commercial space from floor to ceiling. The dual-function needed to allow employees to work effortlessly within the space all while showcasing its furniture products to potential clients.

When was the project completed?


Upon entering MOI’s space, visitors are enveloped in a crisp white entry, accented by a custom framed installation of graphic display screens and disassembled chair-parts, designed to reflect MOI’s motto of “seeing furniture differently.” The bright entry volume frames a view into the public gathering area beyond, setting the stage for a space of transitions.

How much space (SF)?


Was this new or renovated space?

New space

This central gathering space is the heart of the MOI experience, designed to highlight how flexible the entire environment is. The training room’s expansive pivot doors open to allow circulation throughout the volume, punctuated by the timber structure above that reaches out into the social space and then angles back toward the open office, engaging the first pivot point in the ceiling plane.

Describe workspace types.

The design team’s challenge was to design a space that is a dual function: both a public-facing, highly flexible furniture showroom, while simultaneously a semi-private workspace for the corporate headquarters staff.

The design team developed an architectural concept: PIVOT. This space, acting as both public and private, open and intimate, is a space of transitions. The transition from one environment to the next is expressed through a pivotal moment in the space, by creating a hinge in the floor plane through the use of a ramp and reflecting that hinge in the ceiling plane.

To maintain showroom-level flexibility throughout the plan, the space is largely open by necessity. Through the implementation of a faceted ceiling plane, a variety of environments are revealed beneath one overarching ceiling structure, providing varying levels of privacy and acoustic insulation without the use of walls.

Beyond the pivot point, the corporate work area serves as a workspace as well as a showroom. Providing a sense of scale and privacy, the ceiling plane pivots up and down to accommodate different work styles and needs. Highlighting MOI’s product partnerships, the design team utilized products to further shape the space. To allow for refuge in an open environment, free-standing huddle rooms provide pockets of privacy in an open plan. Offices and conference spaces border the open office, allowing the majority of the space to remain a flexible showroom environment.

The corporate work area serves as a workspace as well as a showroom. Highlighting MOI’s product partnerships, the design team utilized those products to further shape the space. To allow for refuge in an open environment, free-standing huddle rooms provide pockets of privacy in an open plan.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?

A large, flexible training room, freestanding huddle rooms, café, and adjacent outdoor patio provide many spaces for hosting events and collaborating with colleagues.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?

A cross-section of the MOI team participated in a detailed visioning exercise to identify the message that this new headquarters space should portray. MOI has a motto: “seeing furniture differently,” and this notion of innovation through creativity emerged during the visioning process, and remained a touchstone for both MOI and the design team throughout the design process.

Wedge-shaped acoustic baffles form the open office ceiling plane, accompanied by sliding felt screens to allow for privacy when needed, and collaboration as desired.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?

MOI challenged the design team to push the limits of their manufacturer partnerships through design and construction. The space was designed as a showroom for not only furniture but also MOI’s interior solutions partnerships, specifically DIRTT. Ninety percent of the construction is DIRTT product and installation, designed by the architecture team, prefabricated, and installed by DIRTT. The space has been branded as a DIRTT Green Learning Center.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?

The team centered its Baltimore-based approach to the design process around the character of the region. Taking cues from the regional infrastructure, the McHenry Row development was designed to reflect a classic Baltimore aesthetic. The design team brought those exterior design inclinations into MOI’s interiors, to ensure the headquarters space feels rooted in its surroundings. Both the lighting throughout the space and the AV package were provided by Baltimore-based companies, and the environmental graphics were developed to express the city’s culture through nods to icons like Federal Hill and the Domino Sugar Factory.

The space utilizes raised-access flooring allows for easy reconfiguration of furniture and power in the open office showroom. The ceiling plane pivots up and down to accommodate different work styles and needs, providing a sense of scale and privacy without the use of walls.

What is the most unique feature of the new space?

The pivot point.

The cafe space opens to a surrounding private patio, allowing teamwork sessions and events to spill out into the exterior, and providing a link between the indoors and the surrounding neighborhood that bolsters employee wellness and sense of community.

Tell us more!

Architect: FOX Architects
General Contractor: Kinsley Construction
Structural Engineer: DIRTT + Fire Tower Engineered Timber
Electrical Engineer: Gettle + Walton

Facebook: @FOXArchitectsLLC
Instagram and Twitter: @FOXArchitects
Want to learn more about FOX projects? Click here for more!

Photography © RON BLUNT

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