Digital Media Company
When a digital advertising firm expected they would grow from 60 to 200 employees in the coming years, they came to us looking for a relocation and consolidation of their New York offices.
Our client selected 26,000 sf of space at a beautiful 100-year-old building with loft heights and exposure to natural light on three sides. In keeping with the ad hoc and mobile workstyles of their employees, we planned informal collaborative and touchdown areas around the perimeter, and two open banks of over 200 sit-stand workstations which, at the time, was the largest single sit-stand installation in the selected furniture vendor’s history. Meeting and team-oriented rooms were sited toward the back with no private offices.
The building’s age and construction posed major challenges for our firm. The existing mechanical systems were 30 years old and needed to be brought up to code; due to the building’s archaic steel-and-terra cotta construction, we carefully designed a “highway” hung from the open ceiling that carried the office’s sprinklers, power, and cabling. Even with these structural limitations, we removed a section of the floor slab to create a two-story atrium—as this was within a landmarked building, it required five months’ of coordination with NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. We sited most of the public-facing and socially minded space around the atrium, including the main reception and boardroom on the upper floor, and a café, town hall, and ping pong and pool tables on the lower.
A+E Networks is comprised of ten individual networks, including A&E, HISTORY, and Lifetime. Upon evaluating their real estate options for their Manhattan headquarters to consolidate from three separate Manhattan locations into one, they originally planned a full relocation. When the adjacent building unexpectedly became available, they decided to stay in place, re-stack and consolidate all groups into their existing location and the adjacent building – combining the two buildings. This opportunity provided a unique situation to creatively re-plan for 320,000 sf of new office and refurbished studio space, focused on building opportunities for transparency, creativity and collaboration to create a culture shift in their corporate culture.The design team engaged A + E Networks in a complete evaluation of objectives, while also maintaining the original accelerated twelve-month schedule for design and construction. Through these discussions, A + E Networks desired a more open and loft-like space and early design decisions were made to create a core common area, expose existing structures and re-build infrastructure systems.
Through the selected demolition of a shared bearing wall, the buildings were joined. A new lobby and commons area was created to unite the ground floor spaces. The commons features informal seating for over 120, a three-story atrium surrounded by a second-floor mezzanine, conference center, café and bleachers were added to connect the floors. The commons also functions as the hub for the conference center consisting of nine rooms, two cantilevered on the third story, appearing to float above the commons. On office floors, southern perimeters were kept as open spaces, and low workstations, glass-fronted offices, and other architectural detailing allow natural light to penetrate deep within the space. To encourage employee mobility, stair access was provided and other common areas such as conference rooms and copy areas were placed at the far corners. In addition to fifteen floors of new office space, the renovation involved the upgrade of all digital production studios and technical facilities, including twenty-one edit rooms, a technical operations center, and audio and production control rooms.
Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass
In anticipation of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass’ (MCWG) lease expiration, Mancini•Duffy began planning and budgeting estimates to explore a renovation of their current office. When circumstances required them to relocate, our team evaluated thirty buildings and performed a series of test-fits, with MCWG selecting One New York Plaza due to its magnificent views, its large floorplates, and its proximity to clients and transportation hubs.
The large floorplates of this 60,000-sf space allowed for the implementation of a standardized office size program that enabled every lawyer to receive an office with a window. A reduction in space dedicated to service and administration functions was created in line with current benchmarks for law firms. The space features a dedicated conference center surrounding the monumental connecting stair and reception. All conference rooms are located off of this center spine of the building in both the horizontal and vertical axis of the facility.
The design is contemporary and timeless, mimicking MCWG’s desire to present themselves as a forward-thinking, fast-moving, modern law practice. Dark wood wenge paneling in public spaces and office entries is contrasted with an off-white stone flooring, complemented by a neutral grey color palette accented by bright colors in furniture upholstery and other select areas. MCWG’s extensive art collection is prominently displayed, and a new large ceramic tile artwork of the Brooklyn Bridge was purchased; it is showcased playfully on the elevator lobby/reception axis, evoking the view from the building beyond the office walls.
Bamiyan Cultural Centre
We participated in an international design competition, hosted by UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, for a cultural center in the Bamiyan Valley.
From the first through thirteenth centuries, the valley served as a locus of exchange between European, Indian, and Islamic cultures; today, the region is most famous for the destruction of its monumental Buddha statues at the hands of the since-deposed Taliban government in 2001. In homage to the Valley’s historic role as a place where cultures meet and collaborate, we conceived our design for the center as ruled by contrasting but interdependent forces in balance with each another.
Our design concept took inspiration from the courtyard, a central feature of the architecture in central Asia. But where courtyards typically isolate individuals from the outside, the design’s two courtyards are enclosed by glass to allow for expansive views of the valley. They also help unify the more public programmatic elements of the site such as the entrance, lobby, and performance spaces, and the more private spaces such as classrooms, workshops, and administrative areas. Balance is also expressed through the contrast of the transparent glass with massive materials such as brick, clay, concrete, and compressed earth.
These materials were selected because they could be locally-sourced, representing an additional kind of balance: the sustainable use of the earth’s resources. The cultural center, as planned, is also oriented to optimize sun and viewing angles, as well as maximize the efficiency of solar panels on the roof. This formed the basis of a radiant heating and cooling system that helps the structure sustainably achieve a consistent internal climate despite the region’s significant temperature shifts between night and day. We also included a wastewater reclamation system where flora and microorganisms would break down toxins and collect purified water into a reflecting pool facing the auditorium.
Confidential Financial Firm
When a leading New York City-based financial firm re-stacked their business units across five floors totaling 300,000 sf, it presented an opportunity to re-envision and articulate their brand. As a firm with diverse teams, their financial strategies are developed from an unconventional collective wisdom based upon a multi-disciplined range of experiences and perspectives and they desired a space that reflected this unique culture. The final solution offers a timeless, yet modern design aesthetic maximizing skyline views to provide for increased transparency and foster a sense of place for their employees and create a memorable experience for their clients.
Based on upon the main design objectives for transparency, New York centricity and unconventional wisdom, the design team evaluated strategies to create transparency from the lobby to take advantage of the New York City skyline. To extend sightlines through each floor and onto the skyline, former storage spaces located off the elevator lobbies were converted into fixed gallery space. By providing an eye-catching display to showcase art, it afforded opportunities for each business unit to define an internal brand identity. The overall design approach maximizes access to natural light, provides transparency and fosters open, creative and effective collaboration to support a variety of work styles in a unified way.
A major project challenge included planning for the varying programmatic needs of different business units. Each floor plan responded to different densities based on the requirements of the business unit, where each group selected from a series of standards developed by the design team. The planning and design solution creates an open floor plan providing transparency for both their employees and clients and capitalizes upon sightlines, with an emphasis on interior offices, perimeter workstations, informal collaboration zones and touch down locations. This project is being completed in phases; currently, 150,000 sf of the projected 300,000 sf has been completed.
Mancini•Duffy has been retained by Somerset Development to create a master plan for the interior design of Bell Works that will provide cohesion for the iconic adaptive reuse development in Holmdel, New Jersey. Working with lead redevelopment architect Alexander Gorlin Architects, Mancini•Duffy’s master plan will serve as a guiding blueprint for future developments, leasing practices, overall building renovations and tenant development plans at Bell Works.
Formerly named Bell Labs, the 2,000,000 sf Bell Works facility is currently undergoing a $100-million adaptive reuse redevelopment, the eventual result of which will be a modern, mixed-use complex. Originally designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen in 1962 as the headquarters of Bell Laboratories, the complex was constructed over a two year period, between 1962 and 1964, and was upgraded in 1982. In its new iteration, Somerset’s vision includes a pedestrian promenade within the building’s existing atrium that will serve as the central gathering space while connecting tenants and visitors to a host of dining, entertainment, and health and wellness services. The new property will also feature high-end retail and restaurants, high-quality office space, state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities, educational space, and a hotel with a conference center.
In addition to the creation of an interior master plan for the historic complex, Mancini•Duffy will also be reconfiguring the building’s various cores and infrastructure to accommodate the most efficient layouts for use by corporate tenants. The Garibaldi Group and M. Wilk Consulting serve as the exclusive office and retail leasing agents for Bell Works, respectively.
Mancini•Duffy will also be involved in the building’s future, providing architectural services for tenants including visioning and programming, test fits, design development, construction documentation and construction administration. The firm has been retained to present area block outs and renderings to assist in attracting future tenants to the finished space.
Somerset Development selected internationally recognized architecture firm, Alexander Gorlin Architects, to serve as the lead architect for the redevelopment of the facility. The firm, which specializes in a wide range of projects including historically significant, adaptive reuse developments, will oversee the execution of programming, re-branding and restoration for Bell Works’ public and common area spaces.
125 West 25th Street
Mancini•Duffy was commissioned by Normandy Real Estate Partners to provide full architectural design services for the renovation and modernization of Normandy’s 125 West 25th Street property. Located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the project calls for prime ground-floor retail and expanded retail storage in the lower level of the 12-story, 140,000-square-foot loft office building. In addition to the retail component, the top ten floors will offer new office space with fresh, modern infrastructure and layout intended to attract technology and media tenants.
Mancini•Duffy designed a unique lighted glass curtain wall encompassing the first three stories and replacing the existing and antiquated metal skin. A new tenant lobby was designed for the eastern portion of the building along 25th street, and a freight area will be constructed on the west side entrance. Plans also call for the complete upgrade and modernization of the building’s mechanical, HVAC and plumbing systems and the project is targeted to achieve LEED Gold certification.
575 Lexington Avenue
The existing building at 575 Lexington underwent a façade renovation in the early ‘90s, creating a black grid on the façade and storefront, which continued into the interior. Within the last ten years, a lobby renovation as an “insertion” was completed, reducing the size of the lobby in both area and height by adding an undulating backlit resin and metal mesh wall. Mancini Duffy was engaged by Normandy Real Estate Partners to reposition the building by re-envisioning a new lobby and first floor base building that features a redesigned storefront, entrance, elevator lobby and cabs, and a high definition media wall.
The design creates a new base building that both opens up and lightens the storefront, while also connecting to and referencing the black grid above. A two-story entry featuring a continuous monolithic tongue organizes the lobby by acting as a ceiling to the main lobby circulation space and an exterior entry canopy, thereby creating an inside/outside connection between the lobby, storefront and sidewalk beyond. Finishes and materials included white quartzite stone, statuary marble, wood, veneer, stainless steel and high end light fixtures. Accenting the space is a high definition media wall displaying natural landscapes and also features programs to suit clients and special occasions.
NBC Sports Group
Representing a consolidation of NBC Sports Group’s Northeast Operations, the 240,000 sf adaptive re-use of a portion of the former Clairol factory in Stamford, CT encompasses two buildings: a two-story administration building renovated into 60,000 sf of executive office space, and a former warehouse/factory converted into a state-of-the-art broadcast center. Groups were consolidated from Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut, bringing together NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBC.com, the Golf Channel, VERSUS, and Comcast Sports Management Group, while creating up to 450 new jobs in the State of Connecticut as part of the State’s “First Five” initiative.
The broadcast center houses six on-air studios, six control rooms, 50 graphics suites, over 50 edit rooms and 1,000 miles of broadcast cabling, and office workspace for over 300 producers and production employees. A new 40,000 sf open mezzanine overlooking the main broadcast facility creates additional office space for 250 employees, while a new two-story clear and colored glass curtain wall was designed to replace a brick, windowless wall, bringing natural light deep into the building’s interior. To support staff working long hours, amenities include a 1,600 sf double height interior lounge or “central park”, a 8,000 sf cafeteria, a 3,000 sf green roof, and a new landscaped plaza.
KPMG: Short Hills
Our long-term client KPMG has always been an early adopter of new workplace concepts — for example, employing hoteling as a means to reduce real estate requirements since 1998. Their “Workplace of the Future” initiative, which, in their words, “considers not only where its people work, but how teams and clients can work together and collaborate in new ways to deliver results” constitutes KPMG’s efforts to implement alternative workplace standards on a national level. We’ve assisted KPMG on the roll-out of this initiative at several sites, including their offices in Short Hills, New Jersey, where we relocated several departments.
The University of Rochester
Our major renovation and rebranding project with Aramark for the Danforth Dining Center focused on the food service provider’s “Fresh Food Company” concept, providing a food-court dining experience in an efficient, cost-effective setting. Dating from the ’60s and serving the entire campus community, Danforth had an antiquated mess-hall-style serving structure and numerous ad hoc modifications over time, and was a perfect candidate for a major renovation. Our approach was not only architectural: a whole new operational concept in residential dining was integral to our process.
Working together with Heineken, we developed a new design for the famed brewing company’s new corporate offices at 245 Park Avenue in New York City, a consolidation from two previous locations. The client came to us seeking a workspace with a more open, collaborative feeling rather than a space made up merely of offices and cubicles. Our dynamic solution was a heavily branded, largely open-plan floor dotted with small lounge areas suitable for impromptu meetings. To maximize shared daylight and views, private offices are kept to a minimum and located toward the core, and feature floor-to-ceiling glazing.
Veria Ayurveda Center
The Veria Ayurveda Center is not about mere buildings; it is about experience. Our goal is to resolve the opportunities and constraints of the program and site to create a space that evokes Nature, Peace and Tranquility. A major goal of Ayurveda Medicine is to condition the human body to achieve balance. Our challenge is to create a client and guest experience that celebrates and reflects that balance.
The task is to redevelop and reprogram the world famous Kutsher’s Hotel in the Catskills, NY into a wellness and fitness Resort Hotel and Spa. The facility will contain approximately 200 keys complete with dining, exercise facilities, an Ayurvedic treatment center / spa, indoor & outdoor pools, a championship golf course and clubhouse, and a museum.
In developing the design for The Veria Ayurveda Center, we sought to create a comprehensive and immersive experience for the guests, who come to the center to rediscover and rebalance. We feel that the design should not dictate flow in a way that feels forced or unnatural; rather it should elicit an experience that evolves and develops organically from the environment, a seamless sequence of journey, arrival, and discovery as one moves from one venue to another.
The built elements of the site will be designed in conjunction with environment and landscape elements. The architecture becomes one with nature, blending into the landscape through the utilization of natural, untreated materials and harmonizing with the environment through sustainable practices. The site becomes one space. Material transparency and transitional thresholds blur the transition between outdoor and indoor space, extending the outdoor experience into the built environment. Indoor and outdoor spaces, be they social or contemplative, recreation or educational, will be at one with the natural environment and merge with the natural features unique to this extraordinary site.