Architect: Rocky Rockefeller
Office: Banyan Drive Treehouse
True, not every business can afford a space like the Banyan Drive Treehouse located in Los Angeles, California. But according to Rocky Rockefeller, the principal of Rockefeller Partners Architects, every office should aspire to create a one-of-a-kind office. The Banyan Treehouse is perched 12 feet off the ground, which provides the client with 360-degree views and a way for her “to clear her mind,” Rockefeller says. “In every office we’ve ever worked on, we try to create a unique space where a person can accomplish what they want to accomplish,” he adds.
Architect: Philip Tusa
Office: Hudson River Studio
Plenty of us have unused rooms in our homes, so why not put these spaces to work? Philip Tusa transformed the garage adjacent to his home in upstate New York into the loft-like design studio that now functions as his office. Tusa recommends converting attic space, basements, and even wall space into usable work areas. Rooms with vaulted ceilings and generous layouts are especially helpful in creating a stylish space, and offer room for wall art and sculpture, he says.
Architect: Juan Matiz
When it came time to find furnishings for the Etsy office in Brooklyn, New York, the company looked to the people that make the site so successful: its vendors. Drapes were supplied by Etsy quilt makers, cabinets were built by Etsy carpenters, and wallpaper was fashioned by Etsy designers. “Because of what they do as a business, it was very important to try to integrate as many things from their own people,” says Juan Matiz, the principal architect for Matiz Architecture + Design, the firm behind Etsy’s office. By sourcing interior-design items from the Etsy community, the office reflects the DIY, hand-made aesthetic for which the company is known. “We did it for the sake of being authentic,” says Matiz.
Architect: Ryan Thewes
Office: Elkins Studio
Ryan Thewes, an architect based in Nashville, Tennessee, designed this home office with efficiency in mind. Choosing the right exposure and maximizing natural sunlight with custom windows requires less lighting, and lowers energy costs. It also “helps you get energized,” Thewes says. In small spaces, Thewes advises built-in desks and bookshelves to maximize the amount of floor space. Freestanding desks and furniture can clutter a small space, and worse, stifle creativity, he believes.
Architect: Cary Bernstein
Office: One & Co.
Your company’s identity should reveal itself through your office, says Cary Bernstein, an architect based in San Francisco. “Keep your eye on the long term goal of creating a great space for employees and a coherent design that represents your business,” she says. One & Co., for example, was in need of a redesign after they expanded into the office next door. “Like a hermit crab, they had moved in to an existing dot-com space that really didn’t represent them,” Bernstein says. Where the old design was a little drab and unfinished, the new space is clean and contemporary, reflecting the ad agency's desired image.
Architects: Adam Smith & Lisa Sauve
Adam Smith and Lisa Sauve faced a familiar challenge when building the WYLD offices in Detroit: A client with a shoestring budget ($1,000), a tiny space (150 square feet), and the need to accommodate up to four people. According to Smith, lighting was an easy—and cheap—place to start. Smith and Sauve borrowed a friend’s router to design the light filters, which soften the florescent glow above the desks. The filter’s pattern also mimic the design of WYLD’s website, which was an inexpensive way to reflect the brand within the interiors. “It’s customization,” Smith says. “Create your own pieces instead of going to a store.” —Eric Markowitz