These interior renovations expanded the headquarters of a corporate-benefits consulting firm that serves many Fortune 500 companies. Located on the Fort Lee Palisades in New Jersey, the firm enjoys extraordinary views of the George Washington Bridge, the Hudson River, and Manhattan. Existing offices are futuristic with backlit black grids and white neon lighting in the halls, and black formica with aluminum coffers in offices. The renovations were accomplished in several phases.
Initially, 20,000 square feet of new offices were installed on the building's fourth floor with a new 10-station computer lab, a training room, conference rooms, and a lunchroom. Fourth floor fourplex workstations are aligned down the building's length, allowing easy team rearrangement. To make identifiable "neighborhoods," and to celebrate Fort Lee (which was the home of the Palisades Amusement Park), glass dividers in the shapes of roller coasters flank each eight-station grouping along with photographs of the park's glory days in the 1950s and 1960s.
The east side of the second floor was rebuilt with similar fourplex actuarial workstations, but with a grid format to take advantage of the wider space. As on the fourth floor, evenly uplit ceiling vaults heighten and lighten each work area while pipe "chimneys" hide tel/com conduits. Colorful, neon-lit glass block panels frame the entry doors off the lobby.
To develop their new benefits phone response service, the company asked Centerbrook to transform the south end of the first floor into a showcase phone center. Soft workstations line up end-to-end and snake around columns and other obstructions. In the center of the space is a conference room, windowed to allow potential clients to observe work in action.
In response to the requests made during staff workshops, muted but rich colors are used throughout. Rectangular grids and dots, signature motifs for the company, are repeated on doors, ceilings, and wall screens. Conference tables, designed by the architect, recall the bridge outside. Overall, the offices are businesslike but cheerful, with distinctive variations for each locale.
Photography © Jeff Goldberg/Esto