Originally published in Interiors & Sources

08/06/2012

The Cruise Web Upgrades its Fleet

DCS Design transforms the offices of online retailer The Cruise Web into a cruise for employees.

By Elianne Halbersberg
Photography by Jay Choi

 
  • Cruise Web reception area

    Cruise Web reception area

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb1.jpg

    The Cruise Web's new reception area with conference rooms to the left and an employee training center to the right. View larger

    Cruise Web reception area
  • The Cruise Web entry

    The Cruise Web entry

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb2.jpg

    The entry into the office; natural light permeates through the entire space thanks to low panel heights and large windows. View larger

    The Cruise Web entry
  • The Cruise Web call center

    A view of the call center, collaboration area and marketing center

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb3.jpg

    A view of the call center, collaboration area and marketing center. View larger

    A view of the call center, collaboration area and marketing center
  • cruise web employee cafe

    Designers also included an employee cafe and break away space with wood floors and white furniture that mimics a cruise ship

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb6.jpg

    Designers also included an employee cafe and break away space with wood floors and white furniture that mimics a cruise ship. View larger

    Designers also included an employee cafe and break away space with wood floors and white furniture that mimics a cruise ship
  • Cruise web collaboration space

    A view of the employee collaboration space, including floating multi-level acoustic ceiling details

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb4.jpg

    A view of the employee collaboration space, including floating multi-level acoustic ceiling details. View larger

    A view of the employee collaboration space, including floating multi-level acoustic ceiling details
  • Cruise Web conference rooms

    Another view of the Cruise Web call center, with conference rooms located in the interior

    /Portals/3/images/online/0812/I_0812_CruiseWeb5.jpg

    Another view of the Cruise Web call center, with conference rooms located in the interior. View larger

    Another view of the Cruise Web call center, with conference rooms located in the interior

When Frans Hansen launched Cruise Web, an online cruise retailer specializing in national and international cruise vacation planning and booking, 18 years ago, he initially set up his 70 employees in a fairly standard call center environment. Located in Calverton, Md., the location was what he describes as “a nicely designed space in a B- Class building. It was an open center with meeting rooms and typical square-shaped cubicles for our sales and service consultants.”

With an emphasis on both customer and employee satisfaction, and an eye on growth, Hansen recently decided to relocate his facility to a Class A space in a fully renovated building that had been gutted and rebuilt to LEED Gold standards.

Hansen brought in Virginia-based Davis, Carter, Scott (DCS) Design Ltd. to redesign the Cruise Web space and gave Lena Scott, principal-in-charge, and Jay Choi, lead designer, carte blanche to create a concept that best represented the company’s purpose, all while making the space conducive to employee morale and productivity.

Cruise Web’s business strategy “depends on finding and keeping the best employees,” says Hansen. With that in mind, Scott and Choi developed a bright, upbeat and energetic design that mimics the interior of a cruise ship, while maintaining a professional work environment.

And while the need for a heavily themed space might seem unnecessary for a business that conducts its sales via the phone and internet, the Cruise Web’s interior design scheme can be seen in brochures and online, and helps tie it in with other corporate branding, says Scott—all key to defining and differentiating the company.

DCS Design went to work on the new facility from top to bottom, drawing on architecture, materials and other aesthetic elements to recreate the cruise ship experience theme in the open floor plan. Within the new space, Cruise Web’s offices now have higher ceilings and surrounding windows, improving natural light coming into the work areas. The interior structures, including angled walls and color schemes, were designed to represent the cruise ship and oceanic patterns.

The exposed ceiling was painted a light blue to represent the sky, and floating, multi-level acoustic ceiling tiles were positioned at different heights to represent clouds and absorb sound. “The first concern we had with the design was noise, because Cruise Web is a call center,” says Choi. “Everyone works in an open space. The different layers of acoustic ceiling took care of that.”

The aquatic color scheme is reflected in the blues and greens of the furnishings, flooring and carpets, which is patterned to represent ocean and wave movement. Natural light through the windows and slatted walls creates reflection, as if on waves. The white tables and chairs in the café offset the vinyl hardwood flooring, and the white desks arranged throughout the call center add brightness to the collaborative environment, and keep with the interior style of a cruise ship. A small conference room is located off of the reception area and represents the ship’s bow, complete with angled windows made of blue-tinted glass.

“It was all about tweaking the design to give an irregular, hip feeling to the space,” says Choi. “My philosophy is when you can build walls, why not tweak it and use accenting colors so that it adds completely irregular power to the space. The whole space is built on a cruise theme, and it angles from the tip of the ship-front to represent the boat going through the water.”

DCS Design began work on the project in July 2011, and Cruise Web opened its new doors to staff in October. When it was time relocate the staff from their old location to the new one, Hansen hosted a tent party and cookout in the parking lot and gave his employees a walk-through of their new space. “Everyone’s jaw dropped,” he says.

Cruise Web’s new configuration can accommodate up to 110 employees, and thanks to Scott and Choi, Hansen says he now has a work environment that boosts morale, encourages retention and will attract the best talent. “I think they are so happy coming to work every day, which is really nice, and it’s important because our customers can feel that on the phone,” he says.

client
The Cruise Web
3901 Calverton Blvd.
Suite 350
Calverton, MD 20705
(800) 377-9383
http://cruiseweb.com

Project TEAM
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Davis, Carter, Scott Design Ltd.
1676 International Drive
Suite 500
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 556-9275
http://www.dcsdesign.com

 

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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