April 13, 2015
OTJ Architects took home two awards last week at the 2015 IIDA Mid Atlantic Chapter’s Design Awards. Accountable Health took home the Award of Merit in the under 10,000 square feet category. National Restaurant Association was honored with the Award of Merit in the between 60,000 and 99,999 square feet category.
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC) of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge of interior design among professionals and expanding the awareness and appreciation of interior design among the general public.
After selecting a space in one of the tallest buildings along Interstate 270 in Rockville, Accountable Health desired a design that maximized the views and balanced functionality with aesthetics for the company’s executive team. The intent of the design is to feel like a continuation of the interstate. The angled reception desk and curvilinear glass conference wall create successful wayfinding to the office corridor. Each executive office along this corridor symbolizes an exit ramp off the interstate.
Due to the shape of the building, space planning proved challenging. Curved walls establish meeting spaces while angled walls create offices and increase efficiency. Each office features expansive views of Rockville as well as full height glass doors and clerestory windows to increase the amount of natural light in the space. Exposed ceilings and unique lighting evoke an industrial feel and maximize the ceiling height.
Introducing the diverse materiality throughout the design, the custom reception desk is comprised of laminate, medium density fiberboard with a lacquer finish and wood planks with a live edge. A beaded curtain wall lines the adjacent conference room which provides visual privacy. Along the corridor, Nathan Allen glass adds interest to each angular office wall while modern artwork is displayed in a gallery like fashion.
National Restaurant Association
National Restaurant Association (NRA) wanted to create a space that reflected their members’ focus on hospitality, increased their brand presence and created a more collaborative culture internally. The new headquarters gave NRA a chance to implement a cultural change within their organization.
They moved from an all-office environment to a more open space in which over 60 percent of their staff reside in workstations. Having purchased the top two floors, NRA built a floor on top of the existing building incorporating 14 foot ceiling heights and an outdoor terrace with glass NanaWalls. Subtle reminders of the restaurant world are incorporated in the art and materials.
The heart of the space is the studio kitchen located in the center of NRA’s top floor. It is designed to fill multiple roles – exhibition kitchen, event space, meeting space, and the daily cafe for NRA staff. Most importantly, the space represents the core of the restaurant industry – bringing people together over good food. Increasing collaboration – both through space planning and audio-visual solutions was a priority. Besides the studio kitchen for all-staff or informal meetings, NRA’s headquarters has a variety of meeting spaces including a formal boardroom, a glass-fronted conference room, and a conference room with an integrated mobile bar that can be rolled out for events.
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