Presented by: CoStar News

Featuring: Susan Dwyer, Corporate Studio Director, Hendy

In today’s world, office space can’t have boring, run-of-the-mill design. It has to be engaging and collaborative. Companies seek to not only reflect their culture in the design but also their brand, particularly as they try recruiting new employees and retaining existing ones. The trend leans heavily toward working environments that employees think are so awesome that they post them on their social media.

More and more, architects and interior designers strive to help their clients create those environments, and sometimes they get some unusual requests from clients. So we asked Susan Dwyer, project director for Newport Beach, California, architectural firm H Hendy Associates: “What is the oddest or most unusual request you’ve received from a client when designing a new space?”

Here’s her response:
“One of Hendy’s clients, Branded Online, an elevated e-commerce company for apparel, beauty, and lifestyle brands based in Costa Mesa, California, holds my record of the oddest and most delightful client request when designing a new office space. We are currently designing the company’s new corporate headquarters located in Tustin, California, at The Flight, a creative office campus. Being that Branded Online is immersed in the fashion industry, the office design includes various ‘neighborhoods’ inspired by iconic fashion cities including Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and more. In designing the new space, our client challenged us to ‘think big and then go even bigger.’ To deliver on this, our team decided to incorporate large sculptural elements in each neighborhood that brings the character and atmosphere of each destination into the workspace and takes guests by surprise. For example, we’re installing a giant, 20-foot tall poodle sculpture into the Paris-themed neighborhood.

“With complete creative freedom granted to us by our client, we decided to think outside of the box and imagine a unique workplace environment that reflects the company’s brand, culture and work they do. In result, the office space will feature 25-foot high ceilings and myriad themed meeting and workspaces including an open collaboration zone below the belly of the poodle. Material used to create the poodle sculpture will include molded steel – similar to a Burning Man art installation. The Paris-themed workspace also will feature an eye-catching chandelier which will be hung from the belly of the poodle with conference room seating on the floorplate below. “The new Branded Online corporate headquarters will truly be one-of-a-kind, complete with head-turners and wow-factors in each office neighborhood. We cannot wait to see this project through to completion.”