September 8, 2017
The Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Virginia) recently recognized OTJ’s design for Sands Capital Management. The project received an Award of Merit in the Interior Design category of the AIA Virginia’s yearly competition.
Sands Capital Management is a staff-owned growth investor that parlays a research focused approach into high-performance portfolio solutions and fosters a workplace culture grounded in collaboration, integrity, and mentorship. The design of this “trophy” workplace located in Arlington, VA aims to facilitate the retention of top talent in the hyper-competitive international finance industry. To that end, the project was driven by the dual imperatives of staff member wellness and connectivity.
Ania Leeson, OTJ’s Partner for the Sands Capital project, remarked: “The financial world is one that does not stop at 5 p.m. so creating a connected environment within the office and beyond was critical.” In response, our designers articulated the floorplate around a central, signature staircase that links four floors physically and symbolically.
A fully stocked coffee bar and a penthouse café surround this staircase and function as magnet spaces to draw staff members into casual collision points rich in opportunities for cross-departmental exchange. Camie Bingham, OTJ’s Design Director and interior design lead on this project, noted that “each floor needed to have a unique amenity to attract people from the other floors.” In addition, a glass-enclosed trading room is centrally positioned to invite staff members to gather and connect with each other and their industry.
Above all else, however, the space was intentionally designed not to feel corporate. Instead, plush common areas nod to boutique hotels with a game room, inviting lounges, and a rooftop conference space complete with an indoor/outdoor fireplace and panoramic view of the Washington monuments.