John Snow, Inc. (JSI), a public health consulting firm, engaged OPX to transform their office environment from siloed, individual workspaces to a collaborative, synergistic space while avoiding an undifferentiated open office plan. JSI was very sensitive to maintaining appropriate levels of acoustic privacy and workplace identity, wanting to avoid a “sea of cubes” that could bring dissatisfaction with such transition.
In collaboration with JSI’s leadership team, OPX designed distinct “neighborhoods” of individual workstations within close proximity to the exterior windows, emphasizing natural light and views. As JSI’s work spans the globe, the neighborhoods were identified by geographic regions where JSI works to actively improve and support healthy living conditions.
To give spatial separation to the neighborhood planning concept, partial height dividers were created, incorporating marker boards, display shelves, filing cabinets, and similar support components. The design provided partial separation and identity to each area while allowing some light and view to increase visual flow between the work spaces.
With no private offices, all levels of staff work from same size sit-stand workstations, allowing for individual preference and flexibility. There are a variety of focus and huddle rooms, and small, medium, and large conference rooms to support various needs. Several of the conference rooms are designated “Design Labs,” and are equipped with advanced digital technology and full-wall writable surfaces to support a wide range of innovation and expression.
A small group representing JSI’s operations worked through all stages of the planning with the design team to ensure that the choices of materials and finishes provided a strong complement to the extensive multi-cultural art collection of JSI. Display niches were incorporated throughout the space, providing additional opportunities for JSI to showcase their artwork from the global regions where they improve the lives of the people they serve.
Unique finishes were installed throughout the two floors, which are connected by a new stair. Translucent resin panels with a natural glass reed pattern are located behind the reception desk and the connecting stair to bring in natural light and tie these spaces together. Acoustical circular sound clouds in the Café ceiling complement the suspended circular ring lights, providing both aesthetic and acoustical solutions in a common theme.
The JSI space transformed their work environment from a siloed, uninspired space to one full of natural light, promoting collaboration, accented with artwork and similar reminders of their corporate mission. With multiple offices throughout the country, this office demonstrates a “shining example of what an open plan can be.”