The international telecommunications company, Global Crossing, took several floors of office space as their new headquarters at 88 Pine Street, an award-winning office building designed in the 1970’s by IM Pei. The vision of their dynamic CEO was to project an extremely forward-looking identity which would embody the baseline tenets of the company: connectivity, speed, security, and cutting-edge technology.
The design solution was to strip all extraneous information from the space - partitions, hung ceilings, standard lighting, floor coverings, and to add back only what was needed to provide the appropriate workspace for the spirit and function of Global Crossing. The result is an overlay and a pronounced juxtaposition: a twenty-first century, process-oriented enterprise in a classic twentieth century corporate envelope.
The animator of the environment is the metaphor of the digital nervous system. Projecting those qualities that lie at the heart of Global Crossing, sculptural “neurons” float above workspaces and interweave through shared and public areas. These sculptural forms, lit internally by fiber optic filaments, provide continuity, fluidity, and a soft ambient glow in an otherwise dimmed environment. This concept of the neuron and all it represents became such a key symbol for the company that it was chosen to illustrate the cover of their annual report.
As a response to both the spectacular views of New York from the top floors of the building and the immediacy of communication which formed the core of Global Crossing’s mission, the project became an experimental laboratory for exploring notions of transparency and translucency, openness and enclosure. Materials employed to differentiate and connect include graduated sandblasted glass (conference rooms), clear and frosted glass (executive offices), stranded fiberglass (break-out rooms), honey-combed sandwich fiberglass (sliding partitions), tinted resin (stair treads), and fabric mesh (neurons). Floors in public areas are of tinted, polished concrete. The core of the building is exaggerated as a dense counterpoint to the lightness and fluidity of the spaces by a custom-developed rubber sheathing incorporating flecks of color from the company’s identity. It alternately reads as the “central power plant” of the operation and the infiniteness of outer space.
Material Used :
1. Petersen Geller Spurge - Woodworking
2. Modernica - Noguchi Tables
3. Allermuir - Stools
4. Newco - IronworksStairs
5. ATTA - Treads
6. Teknion - Workstations
7. Allstate Rubber - Rubber Wall
8. Lees Carpet - Carpet
9. Datesweiser - Table Base (Boardroom)
10. Get Real Surfaces - Concrete Flooring, Boardroom Tabletop
11. Carvart Glass - Glass
12. Euro-Composites - Honeycomb Panels