The Plan: Huge Designs an Office to Spark Creativity at Dock 72

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It was a good day for the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2022 when Huge, a creative marketing agency founded in Dumbo 23 years before, inked a deal for 71,000 square feet across the entire 15th floor of Rudin and BXP’s Dock 72. What the 675,000-square-foot glass office building on the Brooklyn waterfront lacks in mass transit options, it more than makes up for in light and air and a heart-rending view of Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighborhood across the water.

Stefanie Shunk, principal at Gensler, said the design of Huge’s newly unveiled headquarters involved a lot of “letting the space do the work.”

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The project came at a time when the quarter-century-old agency was making a paradigm shift in how it uses its office space. There are virtually no assigned seats at Huge’s headquarters, which makes every day a bit of an adventure as employees migrate between long work tables, clusters of upholstered furniture, and meeting rooms with bubble-like floor-to-ceiling glass partitions.

Some choose to work at a squiggle-shaped table, perhaps the most eccentric option.

There’s also a popular light-drenched walkway along a row of windows facing the grand waterfront vista. It’s lined with slanted pedestals for people to half-lean and half-sit on — a completely novel category of office furniture that Shunk simply refers to as a “perch.” The company calls the walkway the “boulevard.”

Huge was able to bring a lot of its old furniture from 45 Main Street in Dumbo to its new home at Dock 72. Gensler embraced the idea, Shunk said, because it meant the move would produce less waste.

The company also took along its trademark fuchsia accent color, which serves as the backdrop for Huge’s brand logo and is sprinkled throughout the office, including in the landing area when guests step off the bank of elevators onto the 15th floor, where pink emanates from a row of recessed lights lining the top of the walls.

“Everything’s black and white, and then they have these bubbles and pops of color,” Shunk said, describing the unique effect of Huge’s color palette.

The curvilinear layout of the office makes navigation a slightly whimsical experience.

“You’ll notice that we rounded edges,” Shunk said. “People don’t walk in right angles. They always like to cut the corner. We wanted to think about how you create flow around the floor, so it wasn’t just a series of, like, straight, monotonous lines.”

As New York City’s creative class experiments with how and where work will happen, Huge has forged a bold path at Dock 72, and that gives the company’s clients a good motive to stop by for a visit — all part of the plan, according to Shunk.

“They wanted a place that would still support their culture,” Shunk said. “How do we keep people together? How do we meet? How do we work individually? How do people really want to work?”

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.