Moving to a new high rise building offered a chance for the American Planning Association to create a more welcoming space for the organizations’ members and a more collaborative space for the employees. Symbolically, the walls and ceiling of the elevator lobby were papered over with an aerial photograph of the surrounding city with the APA building at its center. This announcement of the importance of the city to the Association was followed up with an emphasis on the importance of collaboration to the organization.
The staff break area was combined with the seating area and an array of conference rooms. This space also serves as a venue for receptions. The office environment itself has been transformed. Most staff have been moved out of private offices into workstations with low dividers allowing eye contact, with space for impromptu meetings. The remaining private offices are glass on two of four sides emphasizing an environment that is open and collaborative. Visually the space is ordered, well planned and most of all, open and accessible.
Photography © Karant + Associates, Barbara Karant