Meet The Winners: Antunovich Associates | The Migratory Office

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Chair Of The Month

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

Meet the Antunovich Associates team: winners in the Metamorphosis & Wellbeing category and tied as winners in Culture & Community category.

Patricia Rotondo, IIDA, Fitwel Ambassador – Senior Principal, Director of Interior Design

Shannon Piatek, AIA – Associate Principal

Stan Matuzik – Senior Associate

Valerie Queen, IIDA, NCIDQ, Fitwel Ambassador – Senior Associate

Check out their submission:

This is a theoretical project envisioned by the team.

The pandemic created a rapid migration of office workers from central business hubs just as brick and mortar retailers have transitioned to a more online presence. Throughout otherwise vibrant communities, the traditional mall is dying. The directory map shows a glaring amount of empty blocks where large department stores once stood. Many businesses have vanished or operate at minimal capacity.

The American mall, with its vast parking lots, escalators and air-conditioning creating a comfortable and convenient shopping experience – was built around department stores. This begs us to question, what do we do with all this empty space? Meanwhile as vaccines become readily available and the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, employees are being asked to return to the workplace. After more than a year adjusting to working from home which offered greater flexibility and shorter commutes its no surprise companies are struggling to bring people back to the office.

The solution: repurpose big box stores and retail spaces to serve as office hubs which support the emerging demands of the workforce, while breathing life back into once vibrant communities. How can entrepreneurs provide convenient sub satellite locations while leveraging the mall and its associated amenities?

Click on an image to see it full size.

To celebrate their win, we connected with the team to see how their idea evolved since it was submitted.

“The idea is still in the conceptual phase with huge potential to develop further. The pandemic created a rapid migration of office workers from central business hubs just as brick-and-mortar retailers have transitioned to a more online presence. This phenomenon is still evolving due to its nature and design solutions need to constantly adapt.

One solution to evolve our design further is through a kit-of-parts or plug and play solution allowing it to adjust to any vacant space. Our concept has become stronger as the American Mall continues to seek ways to adapt pre-existing amenities to encourage physical use of the space and gain new tenants. However, we’re seeing a large variety of spaces outside malls becoming un-occupied and so by creating a kit-of parts solution our idea will be able to expand into more markets.”

Comments from the Jury:

I very much appreciate the idea of repurposing space.I think there’s always this tendency to want to create something new. And this sort of thinking ahead and thinking from a sustainable standpoint, but also the fact that like the pandemic has really sort of changed the way we want to use space.

Not only is this project team proposing ways to repurpose to space, but they’re also really thinking through he design and infrastructure changes, that would be needed to make these small type of environments, more conducive to work collaboration and just the bringing together of people for more social related opportunities.

I think it addresses some of the migration patterns that we’re seeing in terms of where the talent lives and especially post covid. So, I think this is a very relevant idea!

I really like what I’m seeing in terms of the aspect of repurposing versus abandoning our old space.

🏆 Did this submission earn your vote? Vote for the People’s Choice award here! 🏆

Voting ends September 24th – one vote per person. 

A special thank you to our sponsors: 


Thank you to our 2021 Market Partners: Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) • Allwork.Space • IFMA Foundation • ACT • IIDA

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.
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