Project of the Week: EdQuarters, Santa Monica, California, USA, M+M Creative Studio
We’ve featured offices from the cutting edge to the sublime and beyond on WorldBuild365. Now, we take you inside an award winning office space from American design practice M+M Creative Studio.
EdQuarters, as it is colourfully known, is the head offices of US car sales website Edmunds.com. Garnering many plaudits, including a coveted “Best Office Design Award” at 2016’s International Space Design Awards, you can probably guess this is no ordinary office space.
It is the automotive connection that really shifted M+M’s creative minds into a higher gear. Responding to a brief that specified a work space that highlights Edmunds.com’s desire for innovation and free thinking, without your standard identikit office feel, the US studio has crafted a playful office area that delights at every turn.
EdQuarters covers 13,285 square metres of both indoor and outdoor space across two stories. M+M were presented with a blank canvas over which they have piled on elements of pure colour, thematic installations and a number of high-tech features that really set this office space apart from the pack.
Curvaceous volumes are found throughout EdQuarters’ interiors, harking back to the twists and turns of tarmac roads and racetracks scattered throughout the US. Circular shapes can be found across the office. This adds a another link to Edmunds.com’s automotive business by symbolising vital car elements, such a steering wheel or tyres.
However, nothing cements the driving theme as much as the lobby’s central focal piece. Two Chevrolet Corvette sports cars, one from 1966 and the other from 2016 celebrating Edmunds’ 50 years as a company, are positioned wheel to wheel, with the 2016 car suspended from the ceiling, above the central desk. If you did not know Edmunds’ business was cars, then this core installation will certainly give you a huge clue.
Repurposing vintage cars, be they toy or once fully functioning automobiles, is a central tenant of M+M’s design. A 1946 Cadillac Fleetwood has been chopped and changed into a beer and coffee bar on the office’s second floor. Elsewhere, a mural constructed of over 2,470 vintage Matchbox toy cars forms Edmunds.com’s company logo, further reinforcing the automotive feel.
But cars do not an office make. And, with Edmunds.com consistently scooping up best workplaces awards, H+H had to offer more than just automotive nostalgia. Decked out with numerous amenities, EdQuarters provides just that.
The main work areas can be found up on the second floor. Featuring plank-desking, the space is flexible enough to offer employees comfort and personal space. It is here where other programmatic requirements, such as the “Pit Stop” IT support space or “Rest Stop” quiet rooms, are located too.
The best way to descend from level to level, you might think, is by stairs. Not according to M+M. The design team added one of the office’s most playful features: a 9-metre stainless steel slide called the “Expressway”. Touches like this are what separates EdQuarters from the dull, drab offices most of us unfortunately work in. A colossal central staircase provides upstairs access in a more mundane fashion.
But that is not all. Other features packed into the building include touch screen displays, a 13-square metre outdoor projection screen, two 2,700 litre fish tanks and sliding glass panelling. The sliding panels provide further functionalities by transforming indoor areas into outdoor spaces for rest and relaxation.
Internally, the palette is bold without being brash. It’s almost entirely “All-American”: all vibrant reds, cool blues and icy whites. Metallic silvers offset the more bolder colours, while images of famous or stylistically distinct cars are dotted across much of the interior areas.
By incorporating a number of features, while linking them back to Edmunds.com central business operations, and not overlooking the more intuitive, playful side of office design, M+M Creative Studio’s EdQuarters claims pole position as WorldBuild365’s first Project of the Week of 2017.
Images: © Benny Chan @Fotoworks
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