As architects, we get to make contributions to community. Sometimes these contributions are significant and sometimes they are small, but hopefully all of our structures add to people’s lives in a positive way. The projects that stand out most in our hearts are the ones that give us the opportunity to rebuild, rethink the way we build and improve the communities we build for. We call them passion projects.
5871 Glenridge Drive COG Finds Home
OPPORTUNITY After a series of moves, COG found “home” in late 2017 in a custom buildout at 5871 Glenridge Drive. We shaped suite 200 in the firm’s philosophical image – collaborative, practical, and full of smart details designed to amplify the experience for everyone who enters the space, from designers and partners to interns and clients. The result is an office that represents our coming- of-age and introduction to the southeastern architecture world as a first-class firm creating real, livable and workable spaces for everyday people.
DESIGN PROCESS Drawing inspiration from the suite’s spacious, open layout as well as challenging angles and interesting nooks, we designed an entry approach to give guests a serene “landing pad” in which to pause before entering our home; sought to wow visitors with a dramatic, glass- enclosed main conference room right upon entry; carved out casual meeting spaces and a centerpiece communal kitchen; and worked to give our young professionals both their own personal space and the room to support spontaneous small-group meetings right at their desks. The latter represents a break from today’s trendy, packed-out but wide-open office concepts, and was consciously made to help staff feel comfortable and have some privacy, but still able to collaborate.
LESSON LEARNED Designing for ourselves required a good amount of introspection: How does our team work best? What kind of lighting feels most natural? What should we borrow from our previous office spaces and what should we leave behind? From our moves we had learned a few things about building out a workspace (make sure your IT provider is on board and working on your low-voltage connections long before move-in…ensure your server room is both open enough to cool down the computers and in a secure location…don’t create a situation where the first thing guests see is a big, red fire extinguisher….), but mostly about ourselves as a group—how we work, gather, interact, and make the best of our time together every day, and how a smart space all our own can support great design and meaningful creative collaboration.