AE Superlab were commissioned by One Kings Lane, one of the fastest growing lifestyle and home furnishings brands in America, to design their new creative headquarters in New York.
Located between Soho and Tribeca, two of Manhattan’s most fashionable neighborhoods, the design draws aesthetic inspiration from the edgy industrial history of the neighborhood as well as from the more refined palette of the One Kings Lane brand.
Contained within the 40,000 square foot space is a varied mix of programs and activities each demanding a unique set of functional requirements but needing to function harmoniously as a whole.
The offices house Creative Directors, Copy Editors, Buyers, Web Designers, Business Developers, Photographers, Set Designers, Photo Retouchers, as well as an entire section of staff dedicated to shipping, receiving, locally warehousing, cataloguing, and prepping the constant flow of merchandise to be photographed for the website on a daily basis.
Each of the various disciplines dictated a specific set functional and spatial requirements that had to be met within the confines of the 40,000 square foot space. A core directive of the challenging design brief was to find a way to integrate these various requirements harmoniously and efficiently.
The Lunch Room is the heart of the office, a carefully composed zone that balances the existing space’s raw industrial feel with a light and minimalist design that also reflects the brand's elegant residential aesthetic. At various times, the room will serve a variety of purposes ranging from formal banquets to impromptu meetings to all-hands meetings where all 200+ employees can gather and join the San Francisco office for a company wide conference via two large retractable projection screens.
An oversized and well appointed central kitchen island, along with a custom wood and steel “floating” shelf suspended from the ceiling, comprise the visual focal point of the Lunch Room space, and provide a generous work surface for what is the most highly trafficked part of the office.
AE Superlabs designed a variety work and meeting zones to suit the various needs of the One Kings Lane employees. Two large, generously daylit open office areas occupy the southeast and southwest corners of the floor plate. A mix of private offices and conference rooms of various sizes ring the central core. In addition, five smaller “phone booths”, each uniquely themed and styled provide either a private sanctuary or a cozy space for quick meetings with up to three people.
It was important to both AE Superlab and One Kings Lane that despite the difference in allocated budget for the various zones within the office, both Front of House and Back of House areas receive the same level of attention to detail and careful consideration of space, materials and access to light and air.
Also located within the office is “The Studio” an exclusive, by appointment only showroom, that offers customers an opportunity to experience a guided and curated shopping experience and also catch a glimpse of the One Kings Lane creative employees at work.
With a large, deep square shaped floorplan to work within, it was crucial to organize spaces in a way that maximizes natural light to the areas that require it most, such as photo sets and open office zones, while locating those areas with less need, such as photo-retouching and IT rooms, towards the core of the building.
Thoughtfully located seating vignettes dotted throughout the space provide yet more opportunities for informal meetings or solo work in a less rigid setting.
Located at adjacent to the photography sets, the plant room takes full advantage of the day-long diffuse natural lighting afforded by its northerly orientation.
The library, styled in a dramatic yet serene matte black color palette, is deliberately tucked away in a quiet corner of the office. The space provides a welcome respite from the bustle of the office, and an opportunity to focus on the task at hand. Occasional splashes of color and pattern provide an occasional visual spark.