CBRE, a leading global real estate firm, formulated its Workplace360 initiative pre-pandemic to help its clients optimize real estate strategy and craft spaces that drive innovation. COVID-19 has only reinforced the relevance of the Workplace360 initiative.
CBRE New England asked Elkus Manfredi Architects to create a design that embraced the goals of Workplace360 in its new 45,000-sf, two-floor office in Boston’s Financial District. Designers cut through the slab between the two levels to create the Heart, a broad oak stadium-style stair that also serves as seating for gatherings and conversation. The Rise Café surrounds the stair on the upper level. Together, the Heart and the Rise offer a wide array of opportunities for casual encounters among employees at all levels, allowing people with different functions to mix, breaking down silos and cross-pollinating the expertise that exists within the company.
The ceiling above the Rise is a honeycomb-patterned felt grid that controls acoustics in the double-height space while aesthetically alluding to Boston’s landmark Zakim Bridge. Designers repeated this theme throughout on stair railings and wall coverings, bringing a sense of Boston to the workspace. Mixed tables all around the Heart and Rise provide places for solitary or collective work, while booths offer acoustical privacy for both professional and personal conversations. The color palette of shades of greens and blues offers a serene office environment while celebrating CBRE’s global brand. White oak flooring for the reception area, Heart, and Rise provides a timeless and durable contemporary backdrop.
In a post-pandemic world, there must be a compelling reason for employees to come into the office. CBRE’s new workplace offers an environment that brings employees together naturally, inspiring new and exciting synergies among different functions that are yielding positive business impacts.