Architecture Plus Information Designs Utopian Office for Publicis Groupe
When New York-based Architecture Plus Information (A+I) was called to design a new creative workplace in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City for Publicis Groupe, the expectation was high. After all, the French advertising giant is one of the oldest advertising and public relationships company in the industry and the second largest communications group in the world. Not only did the firm deliver on the promise of excellence, it also collaborated with Publicis Groupe to form a new collective called “Le Truc” (French for “thing-a-ma-jig” or “whazzit”), a model within the firm that breaks down conventional advertising norms to unleash next-level creativity. This collective of “monsters” leans into the spirit of a start-up but wields the vast resources of a world-leading marketing powerhouse.
To start, A+I had to figure out how Publicis goes about its work – the logistics of their creative process and the system under which the company operates to create its magic. Recognizing that the traditional advertising company workplace is bound by outdated norms, they set out to design a multifaceted office experience.
Like the non-linear nature of creativity, the new space supports creativity’s ebb and flow with diverse environments that support different modes of working. There are not an equal number of workstations as there are employees. Instead, a number of flexible, non-deterministic areas offer flexibility and opportunity for collaboration. Bullpens, auditoriums, libraries, nooks, niches, and lounges are available so that everyone can find a place where they work best, and at any stage of their creative process.
Vibrant yet minimal, every vignette feels like a movie set from a utopian film. Curves are a repeated motif throughout the office, as if to challenge the traditional idea of something boxed in, and echoes in the seating, the arrangement of furniture, additional furnishings, the windows, ceilings, surfaces, and more. Sunken rooms and benches establish a casual environment, both for heads down work and impromptu meetings.
A cafe and lounge space offer the opportunity for social connectivity and camaraderie to fold into work.
The spaces are bold and rich in color, which is found on the walls, floor, and furniture. Playful surprises, like the upside-down mirror and mirrored ceiling below, create a sensorial experience atypical of corporate workplaces.
Employees can even choose to work in niches and nooks, all in different moods, sizes, and modalities.
Without a doubt, A+I’s goal to create a “Clubhouse for Creativity” for Le Truc has been achieved, setting a new standard for contemporary offices of the future.
Photography by Magda Biernat.