Google search “open office plan” and a slew of headlines will pop up, all hungry to discredit the cubicle-free layout that has become the workplace norm. While it’s true that open spaces can encourage much-needed collaboration, they also cause employees to feel distracted or self-conscious. Thus the rise of companies like Spacestor , an office furnishings brand offering customizable space dividers, breakout booths, and more, which opened its first New York showroom today at 460 Park Avenue.
The British company already had brick-and-mortar spaces in London and Los Angeles, but decided to expand when it recognized a growing demand for its products on the east coast, where even the most buttoned-up firms are seeking to imitate the comfortable, mood-based offices popularized by Silicon Valley. To ensure its showroom would do the same, Spacestor tapped the expertise of frequent collaborator: Gensler .
Drawing on a well of research, Gensler devised an environment that resembles today’s most on-trend offices, blending a clean, corporate environment with clusters of hospitality-inspired soft seating and abundant plant life. The design choices embody Spacestor’s philosophy that a company's focus on wellness and personal experience are as important—or more—to finding and keeping great talent as, for example, competitive salaries.
Gensler also made generous use of Spacestor's Palisades Grid, a modular, customizable zone divider whose thin wood or metal boxes can be fitted with acoustic or privacy panels, both creating a sense of intimacy while permitting the passage of light and the illusion of open space. The firm then fitted the grid with accessories like a hanging whiteboard, mossy panels, and ceramics, ultimately delivering that much-desired balance between function and comfort.