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The challenge

Appian, a world-leading cloud computing software company, wanted to upgrade its Tysons, Virginia, office space and deviate from an enclosed, confined office to an open setting that allowed for better communication and collaboration. With this in mind, they needed the design to maintain a sense of privacy in personal workspace areas and preserve as much of the existing interiors as possible.

In 2019, they engaged us to design an expansion floor in the neighbouring office tower;, however, the project was soon put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, we restarted the project and re-looked at the design with a focus on creating a hybrid office that would withstand future disruptors, while also focusing on creating a space that encouraged employees to return to the office.

The solution

We partnered with the client to deliver this new design by running a series of observation studies and collaborative strategies with their staff. As we monitored this process and began to gather information, we were then able to build an optimal design that maximized the available space and boosted collaboration. Over time, we were able to bring this new space to life piece by piece, like a puzzle.

The design strove to create an engaging and welcoming space through hospitality features, key brand elements, incorporation of nature, and flexible workspaces throughout. Elements of hospitality are displayed in the clubhouse which features patterned flooring, panelized millwork, coffered ceilings, and custom curving banquette seating. The clubhouse and café open to a large outdoor terrace for work and social gatherings, creating a desired indoor/outdoor work environment.

The impact

The project’s final design includes eight floors, multiple huddle rooms, white boards for “sprint” planning meetings, and an overall residential feel that reflects Appian’s brand and company culture. Our design focused on including amenities such as a pond, walking trails, sports court auditorium and cafeteria to create a welcoming environment that sparks inspiration and allows employees to decompress.

Emphasis was also placed on ensuring the employees seated in this new space felt connected to and part of the company. To this end, we integrated elements from Appian’s newly revitalized brand throughout the expansion floor. Examples include the new logo as a life-size ‘a’ sculpture in the reception and its node pattern in the metal screen and metal flooring inset. To maintain a cohesive feeling, a similar color palette and finishes to the rest of the headquarters were used while creating a unique space with a hospitality look and feel. Employees from the other office tower are also welcomed to utilize the expansion floor, further tying the headquarters spaces together.

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