A New York square foot is often as cramped as a New York minute is fast.

In a New York square foot each element, finish and surface needs to do double duty.  Sometimes triple duty.

  • The owner asks: how much program can we eek out of this floor plate, and how few dollars can we spend to get there?
  • The designer asks: can we achieve our client’s goals AND deliver a space that packs a visual punch?

A few smart strategies helped us create a highly functional office space for Memorial Sloan Kettering; one that can flex to accommodate staff changes and also has lots of visual character.

A lively color palette energizes the open work areas. To extend the height of the space, we opted to expose sprinkler piping, use pendant mounted light fixtures and paint the surfaces white. The exterior wall is left uncluttered, to maximize daylight. Using the floor as an opportunity to provide a dramatic “ground,” we worked with Shaw Contract Group’s Hexagon Collection to create a custom installation pattern to define different zones in the space.

Located on two floors of a converted 8 level parking structure in downtown Manhattan, each 3,500 sf space accommodates 32 people in unassigned benching workstations and up to an additional 6 staff in a large, shared manager office. Each floor also has a small conference room, copy/storage area, and individual lockers for computers and personal items. The height and configuration of the lockers also serves as an informal meeting space and coffee bar.

As a New York City-sized space and good design dictates, many elements here do (at least) double duty.

  • Lockers act as storage for personal belongings, while forming an informal meeting space and coffee bar.
  • Carpet tiles provide movement and energy to the open work area, while providing a passive wayfinding strategy.
  • Acoustic tiles laid at underside of concrete deck for sound attenuation and to make the space feel taller.

Overall result: A personality-filled workspace that maximizes design with a minimal budget.


MSK Clinical Research Office