SEARL LAMASTER HOWE STUDIO

The relocation of this architecture firm served as a reboot; providing the opportunity to design an environment fully reflective of its priorities and design process. Formerly a suite of dank private offices, the space was gutted. In the demolition process revealed maple flooring original to the vintage building and raw concrete columns, all of which we left exposed. A wall of glass reveals the space and its activities to passersby; nothing is hidden. The entry opens to the work area on the left, kitchen/communal space to the right, and the conference room straight ahead. Opposite the entry is a bank of shelving that runs the length of the space, displaying the wide variety of materials and resources that distinguish the firm’s work. A restrained palette of white and black is contrasted by accents of spalted maple and bold bands of green carpet. Staff sit at a pair of mega-sized worktables. The communal nature of the work area supports the firm’s collaborative spirit while banks of oversized monitors provide a modicum of separation. The table ends are outfitted with stools for quick collaborations and layout space. The tables hug the east facing windows, with motorized shades to control glare when necessary. A enclosed quiet room also serves as a gallery of the firm’s portfolio. The open kitchen/breakout space is centered on an island topped by a stone counter, a repurposed conference tabletop from the old location. Ledges nearby provide an ever-changing display of in-progress work.