Anmahian Winton designed Orange Labs as the first American outpost of Orange, PLC, France Telecom’s wireless phone division. Five contiguous one-story brick buildings dating from the late nineteenth century house this facility. They are part of an industrial fabric of similar buildings comprising several blocks, converted over time to office and commercial use.
The Orange Labs program consists of three distinct but interwoven business models: Think Tank, Venture Capital, and Incubator. Alleyways that had divided the existing buildings were opened up and replaced with six luminous steel and glass atria that form thresholds between the business operations, allowing Orange Labs to operate as a single 25,000 square foot enterprise. While the atria effectively separate the three elements of the program, they also unify them. The glass volumes are planted with a dense stand of bamboo and create common landscapes open to the sky and weather, drawing daylight and seasonal elements deep into the space.
Central to Orange’s operation is the Think Tank, a core space with bookshelf walls that mechanically expand and contract as needed. When the walls contract, the room functions as an intimate brainstorming space. When the walls expand, it grows to become a state-of-the-art lecture space. Our firm designed custom furniture pieces as well as a modular plywood desk system for this project. The modular system allows for multiple configurations and the creation of collaborative working environments.