Getting to the Final Four


Anyone who follows basketball and enjoyed last month’s March Madness knows what a big deal it is to make it into the final four. It’s no secret I’m a huge sports fan (ask anyone who works in the office). I get wrapped up in the games and the outcome. That’s why it was especially exciting when I learned that a client of ours, Quirky, was a contender in Fast Company’s spin on the NCAA championships.

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The publication hosted its own Office Throwdown, pitting office against office in a fierce voting competition where readers and social media followers would select their favorite New York office spaces from an elite eight. The contenders were an amazing bunch: Yelp, GrubHub, Shutterstock, Refinery29, Stack Exchange, Etsy, Tumbler — and our favored team in the brackets, Quirky.

A quick look at the video tours posted online made it apparent why each of the company’s offices were selected. Guided tours highlighted what made the space creative in its own right and what unique aspect of the brand’s culture shined through. There were a number of innovative amenity areas, including spaces for an in-office DJ, kitchens with 24/7 meals at the ready, cozy meeting areas that were more comfortable than most living rooms, treadmill desks, in-office pets and even food trucks on hand. Let the voting begin!

We quickly forwarded Fast Company’s Office Throwdown link to our circle of influence, including associates, staff, clients and social media friends, and watched them go viral. We knew we had a winner on our hands with Quirky’s 25,000-square-foot open concept headquarters on the west side waterfront, in Chelsea. Among the highlights were the space’s workshop feel, which is emphasized by the power tool areas within it and choice of unique finishes, including custom designed furniture and desktops composed of recycled bowling alley wood. The facility also houses: a broadcast studio for the weekly streamed-live presentations that are the hallmark of Quirky’s innovative business model; 3D printing; and a laser cutting facility. Then there’s the office showers, incorporated to encourage an active bike-to-work lifestyle, and a yoga room for relaxing afternoon breaks. The kitchen’s fully stocked beverage bar and smart home vignette living room add to the vibe…

And then there were two!

Yes, Quirky made it to the very final bracket! While they did not take that final match, there is something we know for sure: the project was a slam dunk. It came in on time, within budget and Quirky was so happy with the end result, that it’s poised to expand with us yet again. Now that, fellow fans, is a real win.

Scott E. Spector, AIA, is a principal at Spector Group, one of New York’s premier architecture and interior design firms and a leader in corporate tenant and building owner-based design. The award-winning company has affiliate offices nationally and internationally. To date, it has completed more than 2,000 projects.