January 13, 2010

tvsdesign Gives SPANX a Slender New Look

Women who slip into SPANX body-thinning hosiery and apparel appear to shrink within moments. The company itself is following the opposite course as the products’ popularity has spelled major growth for the Atlanta-based brand.

To accommodate the addition of dozens of staffers since its 1998 launch, SPANX gradually expanded by adding offices in its original Buckhead building. In May 2008, they hired locally based tvsdesign to provide a fresh start for their new headquarters, a 37,000-square-foot, two-level interior located directly across the street from its previous location.

New and old couldn’t be more different. Formerly, SPANX accreted workspace largely by building multiple enclosed rooms for new hires. Today, there are only 31 private offices placed in the center of the plan (further distinguished by curved expanses of Bentley carpet in a fiery floral pattern). Ninety-one unenclosed workstations are configured into “neighborhoods” hemming closely to the windows and around meeting or file-storage areas.

These community-oriented spaces reflect SPANX culture. “This was the first time they looked at how interior design would reflect their personality and support how they work,” says tvsdesign principal Steve Clem.

“It could not just be a typical, boring office space,” adds Elizabeth Levine, a senior associate at the design firm. “They focused on their company as a family, and they wanted to have fun and be girly in a grown-up way.”

The design team chose Teknion District for the open-office workstations. Appliquéd materials and soft drapes provide extra domestic touches. The highlight of each central meeting area is a custom table with antiqued, mirrored-glass top on a hammered-iron base. All tables are unique, and they rest atop area rugs beneath white chandeliers. Many pieces were sourced from consumer retailers, such as The Rug Company and Anthropologie.

While CEO Laurie Ann Goldman’s office could be considered a luxurious living room, tvsdesign’s residential aesthetic is also best expressed in the office break room and lobby. “SPANX has a ‘board of fun,’ which is in charge of organizing fun activities. They wanted a kitchen that felt like a home, a place where they could hold a baby shower,” Levine explains. tvsdesign responded with custom millwork and a marble countertop. Meanwhile, the lobby is the stuff of feather-boa daydreams, with the faux-leather-lined elevator landing leading to a petite room clad in red-lacquered walls on which SPANX is spelled out in Hollywood lights. “It’s a glamour story,” Clem says.

Even the lucky employees who kept their private offices feel at home. The offices feature intricate baseboard molding made of durable rubber. “Little details make a big difference,” Levine says. The offices do, however, reuse furniture from SPANX’s previous headquarters—to keep the budget from getting too, well, bloated.  

All images by Brian Gassel; courtesy of tvsdesign.

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