Abrams Books retained Spacesmith for the site selection and design of their new 40,000 sf headquarters. Our team began by evaluating multiple locations while working with Abrams to develop new workplace standards to comfortably accommodate employees and provide them with needed collaboration spaces, as well as enhanced amenities. A 19th century landmarked building was chosen giving Spacesmith the opportunity to juxtapose the iconic with the new, a nod to Abrams long history in the publishing industry and its current contemporary branding effort.
Multiple workplace strategies were studied and Abrams chose a 90% open workplace, a large departure from their previous headquarters which held predominantly private offices. To manage this adjustment in culture, our team participated in town halls, strategy sessions, and furniture showroom tours.
Spacesmith highlighted an industrial-style palette by maintaining the existing terra cotta ceiling and exposed wide-flange beams. The lobby utilizes glass office fronts to create a visual line directly into the 3,000 book library of Abrams’ extensive catalog, housed on over 600 linear feet of custom made, blackened steel and raw oak displays. Booth-like reading nooks are nestled throughout and a rolling ladder navigates the 10’ tall stacks.
On the opposite end of reception, which is modeled after a residential reading room, is a flexible break out space sprinkled with colorful, easily reconfigured lounge furniture, orbited by a pantry, banquette seating, and lunch room. This community area is adjacent to a conference room with a movable door panel system that can recess into the wall cavity, further opening up this zone for large events or all staff meetings.
The firm’s brand is highlighted throughout the floor: painted metal sconces in the shape of an open book line the workplace corridors; built in 7’ high banquettes are upholstered with color popping fabrics that tell stories of New York; and in select areas, our team chose Abrams signature red to accent the space.