Nasty Gal Inc., based in downtown Los Angeles, is currently the fastest growing on-line fashion retailer in the United States. With their move to Los Angeles from San Francisco in 2010, the company sought a vibrant, open space with character that would allow for projected growth while maintaining a sense of intimacy and identity - one that would seemlessly house multiple departments and programs under one roof.
A two-story space in a historic downtown office building and carriage house now provides the perfect setting for open office (200+ seats) with a main hub and two pantries, multiple conference and meeting spaces, a board room, a showroom and a Creative Studio complete with photo bays and a cyclorama wall. Art department, publications, marketing, design and production, administration and an executive suite intelligently flow on the same floor, while IT and support staff share a second floor that surrounds a yoga studio and skylit atrium. Informal lounge spaces and large break-out tables encourage collaboration and open communication while aiding in zoning of departments and uses.
Private offices are kept to a minimum and maintain transparency via full-height glass. The incorporation of materials such as wood and Carrera marble and the use of vintage furniture give the space warmth, while Vitra benching workstations provide a consistent, clean and modular collaborative workspace.
As an extension of its ongoing relationship with Beats by Dr. Dre, Bestor Architecture / LMA executed the flagship headquarters for Beats in two converted warehouse buildings in Culver City, California.
The building is both progressive in sustainability and attentiveness to what makes an effective and employee-centered workplace. Projected to reach LEED Platinum and Gold achievement levels, the buildings feature high performance lighting systems, advanced ergonomic solutions, attentiveness to indoor air quality, and daylighting to each workspace highlighting Beats’ commitment to its employees.
Rather than adopt sit-stand workstations that encourage users to change positions but remain essentially sedentary at their desks, LMA advocated for and implemented a scheme that encourages users to move and interact throughout their day, with desking existing only as a “home base”. Varied task settings, from standing height work counters, phone booths, “monk’s cells” for individual focused work and coffee and food themed spaces reward employees for interacting across departments and away from their desks.
While these elements provide obvious qualitative benefits to occupants, LMA’s planning measures also yield flexibility and bottom line economics for Beats. The use of storage and meeting elements to define departmental boundaries allows Beats work units to grow with the company, unobstructed by hard edges. And despite provision of non-work amenities like a professional gym, employee café, barrista lounge and basketball court, the bias towards work space not owned or controlled by individuals allows utilization of built space at an astonishing 150SF/person, saving significantly on long-term real estate commitments.
This 5th floor tenant improvement project is located just a block away from FIDM headquarters and is the new home of its Theater Costume, Printmaking, and Textile Design Courses as well as additional Sewing and Pattern Lab classrooms.
The classrooms are organized per curriculum: the Theater Costume Classroom, Printmaking Lab, Pigment Lab, and Dark Room are grouped together at the south of the building so that students can easily move between and incorporate the resources of each. Sewing and Pattern Labs, as well as the Textile Studio, are located to the north. A large study area divides the two zones. Several of the classrooms have very specific equipment requirements, especially in the case of the Textile and Printmaking Classrooms as large looms, printmaking tables, and specialized equipment pieces were integrated into the designs of each classroom layouts.
Providing flexible student work spaces outside of classrooms was a major priority: a variety of workspaces have been allotted for student use, with each zone represented by a specific color palette. Standing height pattern tables are provided for students to continue paired school work outside of classroom hours, banquettes are provided for smaller-scale collaborative work, several round top tables are ideal for small group meetings and a custom conference table offers seating for large group projects and discussions.
Associates Purchasing is a nationally-known furniture dealership interested in establishing a go-to outpost in the heart of burgeoning downtown Los Angeles. Together with their team we designed a home for them that is both functioning showroom and flexible open work space.
The entry sequence is highlighted by a gallery area that can be reconfigured to highlight a line of furniture, tell a story, or be customized for an event. A limited palette of materials defines zones of use and compliments the existing brick and concrete of the historic Pac Mutual Building. Public, collaborative program such as the pantry, conference room and resource library, previously compartmentalized, have been joined as the heart of the space. Porous walls clad in custom wood pegboard provide a sense of privacy without closing off rooms, and become vibrant display walls for materials. Operable curtains allow for a sense of enclosure when needed.