After more than 20 years on 25th Street in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan, BKSK Architects migrated to midtown West. Completed and first occupied in 2020, the new BKSK office was conceived of as a fully shared space that inspires and supports the firm’s collaborative process. With bench seating and universal access to all amenities and rooms, the office layout gives one third of the floor to shared working, relaxing, and entertaining areas.
As one enters from the elevator ‘lobby’, a hallway displays semi-permanent art pieces created by BKSK staff. A neon logo hangs in a waiting alcove that can also be used for impromptu meetings; the prominent reception design was custom designed from terra cotta bricks. A bold purple color was chosen for accent walls and ties together the more neutral palette of furniture with visible drawing sets, material samples and projects in progress that decorate work surfaces.
The north and south walls are full rows of windows proving ample natural light and airflow throughout the day. The balance of shared space and desk space favors communication, open sightlines, and the ability to arrange seating to accommodate project teams. Large and small conference rooms have doors allowing privacy if needed and form the ends of a communal space “channel” that runs along the south wall. Flexible tables and chairs can be rearranged to accommodate meetings for between 2 and 50 people, lunchtime lectures, and happy hours with the aid of a touchscreen monitor. A large kitchen island anchors the coffee and food prep area and is used for lunch seating as well as informal gatherings. As we anticipated a more flexible work schedule, we wanted to bring an “home from work” sense to the new space. Prioritizing the ample kitchenette and gathering space brings a sense of domesticity to the workplace.
Tropical plants live throughout the office – green accents reminding us of the natural world we consider, incorporate, and protect through conscientious architecture.