William Vitacco Associates

William Vitacco Associates

Designer
JIDK
Location
299 Broadway, New York, NY, USA
Project Year
2016
Category
Offices
Photo by Peter Kubilus

William Vitacco Associates

JIDK as Designers
  • What existed in the space before? WVA occupied the entire 5th floor but was interested in moving around some offices when a large portion of the 3rd floor became available in the building.
  • Is there anything unique about the location? The building is a very old lower manhattan office building with lots of quirks and long corridors.
  • What is the surrounding neighborhood like? The building is located on a busy section of Broadway in lower Manhattan right across from the Department of Buildings (DOB)
  • Were there other renovations made to the space? The project was a full scale renovation of nearly all existing spaces.

 

Project Questions / JIDK’s Involvement

  • How did JIDK get involved with the project? Our office is in the same building as WVA and we were referred to them by the building’s management team and broker.
  • Project Questions / Design
    • Can you walk us through the space? The 5th floor opens with a dramatic lobby with a Kenyan marble reception desk, a walnut clad messenger counter, and a large sketched mural of New York City. A long corridor of offices leads you to the executive suite and open office to the left, and a wood paneled conference room, accounting suite and canteen to the right.

     

    • What were the objectives for the space? What was the design intent? WVA is involved in projects large and small, long term, and immediate and their teams reflect that. We needed to create drawing review and filing areas, breakout and collaborative spaces as well as balancing private office space with open workstations.

     

    • What features are unique from other workplaces you’ve worked on? The client’s business deals with an inordinate amount of paper, so providing adequate storage, both at the individual stations and throughout the office was essential. Numerous calculations were performed to ensure that file storage requirements were met. 

     

    • How does the design speak to WVA brand/mission? WVA is a very no-nonsense company. They are focused, driven and straightforward and wanted an elegantly understated, adult office to reflect that.

    • What is the color palette for the space? WVA’s brand colors are silver, black and dark blue, so on the 3rd floor we used black and gray carpeting, black and white cityscapes, as well as gray wood accents. On the 5th floor, we wanted to accommodate some existing furniture, so we warmed up the palette to include dark, warm woods, walnut and brown tones in the carpeting.

     

    • How does the design address employee wellbeing? We didn’t want the space to feel overwhelmed by the amount of file storage provided, so great care was taken to use every inch as cleanly and neatly as possible. We focused very hard on reducing clutter to create a peaceful environment in order to bring calm to the individual employees and allow them to focus on their work. We also expanded the kitchen areas and made them brighter and happier to create spaces where you really want to take your break.

     

    • Were any special considerations made in terms of design? Were there any restrictions? Storage was the main issue, but along the way we also addressed acoustics - in some areas with highly customizable white noise - and the daily flow through the offices. There is a more logical hierarchy now with easier access to recreational or specialized rooms

    • Were any elements kept from the previous space? On the 5th floor, some of the layout remained the same, but the entrance and both open workspaces were reconfigured. The third floor space was previously a series of smaller suites that were demoed and combined.

     

    • Were there any challenges? The client maintained full staff and hours all through the renovation process. We worked very closely with the project manager, furniture provider, and contractor to make sure each phase blended seamlessly into the next without interruptions to their business. WVA management is very hands-on and was wonderful to work with to make this happen.

     

    • What materials are you using? Any sustainable elements? One of the major improvements to the space was the replacement of all fluorescent fixtures with modern LED lights. We now have a much better color temperature and color rendition throughout the space, and obviously a much lower power consumption. We also integrated more real wood and live plants in the space to bring a level of comfort to the space. Expediting is by nature a high pressure environment, so we tried to make everything we added to the physical space something you’d enjoy being near. Finally, we were thrilled that we could help management get rid of all bottled water stations - they are now using filtered tap water and chilled dispensers instead.

    • Any special technology incorporated into the design? The expediting business and the office of WVA specifically is working hard towards a paperless process. We worked hand-in-hand with the IT team at WVA to ensure they had everything they needed both at this time and the foreseeable future. We also incorporated a white noise system that enhances speech privacy without requiring the rebuilding of a significant portion of older partitions walls. The white noise is configurable and highly efficient and something we’d like to see more clients utilize.

    • What else should we know? In terms of working in client occupied spaces this one was one of the more difficult ones. A lot of coordination had to happen at every stage of the project, but working with Dani and Mario made things go very well. It’s hard to even visualize just how intense the amount of paper in the office was before the redesign, so we are pretty confident when we say WVA is now the most organized expediting firm in NYC.
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