The architect behind Andrew Davidson and Co.'s New York City office takes you behind the scenes of what went into creating the firm's innovative space.
From the moment we saw a picture of Andrew Davidson and Co.'s office, a sun-kissed space on the fifth-floor of a Manhattan office building, we knew we had to visit. When we stepped off the elevator, the main attraction loomed ahead of us: The Spaceship. That's the name the securities firm gave its new conference chamber, a circular room with walls lined in panels that shift color from flourescent pinks to deep blues to pale greens. A stark-white round table surrounded by chairs occupies the center of the space. One gets the eerie feeling Princess Leia could walk through the doors at any second.
Instead it's Azin Valy who enters. She's a partner at I-Beam, the archeitecture and design firm that designed the space. She gave us a tour and talked about the inspiration, conception, and construction that went into the project. And to be sure, it's more than just a conference room. The space is airy and drenched in natural light that pours through large windows. Then there's the reception desk, which is mounted to a pillar and pivots on command. Ready to beam up? Er, see more? Watch the video to find out how this space turned out so cool.
00:11 Abe Brown: My name is Abe Brown, I'm a reporter of Inc.com and we're here with Azin Valy, who designed this space here at 65 Bleecker Street for the Andrew Davidson & Company. And we're in the centerpiece of the space, which has a definite spaceship like feel to it. Azin, how did you come around for the design for this room?
00:34 Azin Valy: Well, this project, like all of our other projects, is very much in collaboration with the client. So we have a very inspiring client who kind of breaks the rules of wanting a conservative office environment. He wanted to have a non-hierarchical and fun but serious working environment, open for communication between everybody. And he wanted the centerpiece to be a conference room. And we came up with a number of different schemes and initially he was thinking of a fish tank, he called it.
01:13 Andrew Davidson: To me, probably the most important thing is that it's a circular conference room. And I... I like to have it that everyone views that all people are equal and you sort of can approach any person. And it also means if you have two people or three people, four people there's always different creative arrangements of people and how they relate to each other in the circular space where a rectangular space starts to impose its own discipline on those relationships.
01:41 Valy: And we didn't have a preconceived notion of how we wanted it to be necessarily, so we started out with a round column and then the roundness became the theme. So, with the furniture and the light fixture it was just... We tried to keep it cohesive.
01:55 Davidson: You spend a fair amount of time in an office. And while you're there, you should be experiencing the world. You don't have to be completely separate from it. That's why in this space, we have windows pretty much on all sides or on three sides. And so, we can sort of bring in a lot of what's going on outside. And natural light tells you the day has started, it progressed, we get to the end of the day and each of those has a different feeling to it. We spoke to Azin even before we had this space. We were looking at another space before that. And even in the process of trying to choose what space to rent, we wanted to talk to an architect about what we could be doing with that space and what was possible until we sort of understood the costs and the vision.