Gensler Spotlight: Southwest U.S.
It was unassuming, the facade of the ex-retail site Gensler Phoenix chose for its workplace in the city’s Esplanade office park. So the team brought in a lenticular brise-soleil of vertical aluminum blades that is silvery on one side and the firm’s signature red on the other. It’s just the jolt of energy needed to usher in clients and staffers to the 10,000-square-foot, ground-level interior, where echoes of the desert landscape context abound through such natural materials as black weathered steel, raw concrete, and plywood. Throughout the office, employee-sanctioned amenities include desks that pneumatically rise from sitting to standing position, a composting station, café, patio, and wellness room that serves as quiet space or a nursing-mothers station. Process is also on display: A north-facing glass wall allows for passersby to see the designers at work while simultaneously letting in natural light.
Design principal Jay Silverberg dubs it all the “living lab,” a workplace model that’s ultra-agile, collaborative, and resilient. “This office is meant to adjust with the needs of the staff, whether it’s hosting an intimate panel on trends or testing out new furnishings or charettes,” he states. At any given time, the 60-plus employees are either here, on project sites, or at client meetings, or working remote. “That flexibility is in line with how we see the hybrid future of the workplace.”
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