December 3, 2015

New York Offices of Mount Sinai Health System by Gensler NY

Gensler50-icon When Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners merged in 2013, forming Mount Sinai Health System, Gensler came on board to create the new entity’s Manhattan headquarters. That meant consolidating 2,000 employees, 35 offices, and myriad departments—billing, finance, IT, HR, and legal among them—in a single location and establishing a new, unified identity. “The big idea was togetherness,” says principal and design director E J Lee.

Further complicating the pursuit of cohesiveness was the space itself, in a mid-rise near Grand Central Station: 450,000 square feet spread over six floors not all consecutive or equal in size. In addition, the client, “though really good at building hospitals,” says Lee, had never built a workspace. Luckily, she adds, “they were very decisive.” That attribute proved key in keeping the project on budget and on schedule.

> See the project’s resources here

The team began by touring the existing offices, meeting staff, observing work methods, and ascertaining the degree of privacy and security each employee required. The designers’ findings revealed a clear need for both focus spaces and collaboration areas. Another priority that emerged was employee health and wellness.

Those mandates manifested in abundant common areas spread across the six floors: various team spaces, think tanks, project areas, and social hubs that foster interaction and collaboration. A communal cafe, on the 4th floor, encourages employees to circulate throughout the building.

Eating areas feature generously proportioned tables suited to large gatherings, and a landscaped terrace on the 4th floor provides direct access to fresh air and the outdoors.

Shortly after the phased, five-month move-in, Lee visited to see if the project had worked as intended. She found—at 6 PM on a Friday—numerous employees gathered in a collaborative space. The feedback? “Lots of, ‘OMG, we love it! We’re so using this space’,” the design director recounts. “One person told me that for the first time ever, he looked forward to going to work on Monday.” Success achieved.

> Project Resources

Project Team:

Gensler: Jan L. Gross; James Simon; Katelyn Finn; Christina Skowronski; Keiko Kato; Matt Piechowiak; Isabel Herrera; Sonya Dufner; Jose Troconis. Landscape Consultant: Harrison Green. Graphics: Novo Arts. Lighting Consultants: Kugler Ning Lighting Design. Audiovisual Consultant: Avteg Consulting Engineers. Structural Engineer: Severud Associates. MEP: Edwards & Zuck. Woodwork: Midhattan Millworking Corp. General Contractor: J.T. Magen & Company.

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