The interior renovation of this former distribution warehouse focuses on creating a flexible work environment through less hierarchical, task-based, multi-functional spaces. The alternative work space is designed to hold the entire regional division staff of over 1,100 people in one location.
The design embraces industrial warehouse characteristics such as open ceilings and exposed concrete block walls, conduits, and pipes. Repurposing a building that already existed in Merck’s real estate portfolio provided efficiencies and cost savings, but also challenges. Typical for a warehouse building of the 1970s, the space was devoid of windows. The only natural light in the space enters through skylights in the existing 22’ high roof decking. To distribute the natural light within the workspace, trapezoidal prism-shaped fabric diffusers hang from the ceiling to filter and reflect light from the skylight above. The diffusers - constructed of white translucent celtic cloth, aluminum tubes and galvanized steel wire - are visually prominent and define primary collaboration spaces within the office.