Originally published in Interiors & Sources

05/03/2013

What If Goes For It

Innovation pioneer ?What If! redesigns its NYC office to reflect the company’s unique blend of creativity and know-how

By Elianne Halbersberg
Photography by James Chororos

 
  • What If lobby light

    What If lobby light

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    A unique overhead light fixture holds court in the lobby. Measuring 16 feet in diameter, it was custom-designed to create an instant visual impact among guests and employees. View larger

    What If lobby light
  • What If Lobby Reception

    What If Lobby Reception

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    The lobby's new reception desk features a zinc front and reclaimed walnut top. Stools and a foot rail were added to create an impromptu meeting space. View larger

    What If Lobby Reception
  • What If Kitchen

    What If Kitchen

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    Although not technically a workspace, the kitchen features a long table and plenty of seating to maximize chance encounters. View larger

    What If Kitchen
  • What If Supercow

    What If Supercow

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    Supercow, wearing a super cape, oversees activity from the stairwell, exemplifying ?What If!'s unique blend of work and whimsy. View larger

    What If Supercow
  • What If Beehive

    What If Beehive

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    The Beehive on the 3rd Floor features large worktables in front, as well as smaller, round tables made of reclaimed pine in the back. View larger

    What If Beehive
  • What If Beehive 2

    What If Beehive 2

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    A variety of seating and work table configurations allows employees to focus or collaborate as the work requires. View larger

    What If Beehive 2
  • What If Cafe

    What If Cafe

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    The Café features custom booths, banquette and lighting, all designed by Mapos. View larger

    What If Cafe
  • What If Cafe Banquette

    What If Cafe Banquette

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    The Cafe's banquette, with reclaimed pine tabletops, faces the stairway. “This is the main circulation path, and it’s another place where people can exchange ideas,” Brice notes. View larger

    What If Cafe Banquette
  • What If Phone Booths

    What If Phone Booths

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    Outside of the Beehive and in the lobby, Mapos designed “phone booths,” small spaces created for private telephone calls. View larger

    What If Phone Booths
  • What If Playground Entrance

    What If Playground Entrance

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    A yellow arch frames the hallway that leads to the Playground, and “signifies that something fun and exciting is happening through that door,” says Colin Brice. View larger

    What If Playground Entrance
  • What If Extrovert Room

    What If Extrovert Room

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    An “Extrovert Room” meeting room is furnished with a sectional sofa, a wallcovering made from a photo of a bustling East Village street scene, and DJ equipment. View larger

    What If Extrovert Room
  • What If Meeting Room

    What If Meeting Room

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    Mapos limited its work to the building’s interior, creating a range of open workspaces, meeting rooms and private spaces in existing areas and with minimal demolition. View larger

    What If Meeting Room
  • What If Lobby Floor

    What If Lobby Floor

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    The building’s existing columns were incorporated into a supporting role in the lobby, while dark living-room style furniture offsets the original—and vibrant—tile floor. View larger

    What If Lobby Floor
  • What If Stuyvesant Polyclinic building

    What If Stuyvesant Polyclinic building

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    ?What If! has been housed in the East Village’s historic Stuyvesant Polyclinic building since 2008. View larger

    What If Stuyvesant Polyclinic building

When you spend your days daring others to be different, there comes a certain expectation that you’ll follow your own advice. For leading innovation company ?What If!, the renovation of its U.S. headquarters proved to be just the opportunity.

Housed in the East Village’s historic Stuyvesant Polyclinic building since 2008, the company had outgrown the facilities and needed an environment that more accurately reflected their corporate ethos—a unique blend of audacity and authenticity that has attracted clients like Google and Kraft.

“They’d grown up there, and they needed something appropriate to display their sense of community and how they work,” says Colin Brice, principal of Mapos, the NYC design firm tapped by ?What If! to lead the project.

Mapos limited its work to the building’s interior, creating a range of open workspaces, meeting rooms and private spaces in existing areas and with minimal demolition. The limitations proved to be both challenging and advantageous for the design team.

“We have several tenets that we live and work by, and one is ‘Challenges equal opportunities,’” says Brice. “?What If! had this asset: this beautiful, historic building. Sure, it was a bit run down, but let’s leverage the existing textures and materials, uncover them, clean them up and put on a fresh coat of paint, and let the building be the star of the show.

“The opportunity is ‘Let’s balance that,’” he continues. “We’re not going to put on a historical pastiche. Let’s put in some clean lines, bring in contemporary furniture, design some custom light fixtures, new materials, great new colors, and put them in this beautiful, old setting. That balance of old and new, to us, was a great personification of the ?What If! brand: a collection of things that, when done right, really work well together.”


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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.

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 

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