Tag Archives: office space design

Indeed.com Headquarters

Indeed.com is a data-driven company. Information, and the flow of information is the basis of what they do. Our goal was to find a way to represent this in architectural form — to create spaces that not only give the impression of a dynamic company that is highly connected and able to react to changes with great speed, but also to creatively represent the flows of data that form the core of the company.

We were able to meet these design challenges by creating public spaces that can change dramatically. The two-story lobby space is literally wrapped in huge screens that not only line the walls, but float overhead. These screens can create a multitude of immersive environments, from a calm forest, to a torrential data stream, depending on the mood and feeling desired. The screens flow from the lobby into the café, dining area, and work areas, linking the public and private areas of the office. The graphics are reemphasized in the reflections of the glass railings, walls and storefronts.

Architect: Specht Architects in collaboration with Spector Group & STG Design
Contractor: Novo Construction
Photography: Andrea Calo and Casey Dunn

The Mall Conversion

The Galleria, an upscale mall built in the Old Town district of Scottsdale, opened in 1991 to great fanfare, but struggled from the start and within a few years had closed its doors. It was empty for many years until it was eventually rebranded as a tech-oriented office facility. One space within the mall, however, remained a tough sell: an unusual bridge-like appendage that had housed a branch of the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking Academy. It had a long, narrow configuration and unusual window placements that made it difficult to easily convert to other uses.


We love the challenge of taking a hard-to-repurpose structure or parcel of land, and figuring out how to make it work. In this case, we converted this very odd “dead mall” space into to a vibrant new office facility for indeed.com. The varying qualities of light within the old mall allowed us to craft a procession through a series of work and recreation areas that each have distinct character and range from bright and sunny to shaded and relaxing.


New materials and forms chosen for the office reflect the local environment of Scottsdale. But the history of the mall wasn’t completely eliminated. Old and new are integrated into something vital and fresh. Rusted steel, terra-cotta plaster, and wood elements blend with the sage green 1990’s-era window and skylight frames forming a seamless whole. This is not a space that has the feeling of a retrofit or reluctant re-use, but dynamically embraces and celebrates its unusual nature.


Architect: Specht Architects in collaboration with Corgan Architects
Contractor: Novo Construction
Photographer: Corgan Architects


The offices for Barker, an advertising and marketing firm based in lower Manhattan, are located in what was once the attic and elevator rooms of a 1920’s era skyscraper near Wall Street. The primary design intent was to open up this dim and somewhat claustrophobic space, and create a light-filled work center that emphasizes communal problem solving and creativity.

We expanded the space by clearing out all existing walls, and cutting a large opening in the floor of the former attic space. This is a rare type of modification in an older tall building, and took a good bit of engineering to make it work. We then crafted a winding, sculptural stair that forms the centerpiece of the office. It links the main lobby below to the group work and dining areas above.

Architect: Specht Harpman

Concrete Incorporated

The Starrett-Lehigh building (1931), a landmarked International Style building occupying a full city block on Manhattan’s far west side, is known for its enormous floor plates, continuous steel ribbon windows, and elevators large enough to accommodate freight cars. The building’s profile is dominated by a “crown” of water towers on the roof, well-known to travelers on the West Side Highway.

Concrete Incorporated, a young and growing media company, desired a new headquarters that maintained the industrial character of this building. We designed a series of curved shells to be installed within the space to form private, secluded work areas. These “think tanks,” allow natural light to penetrate deep into the space during the day, while transforming into glowing lanterns at night.

An elevated steel rail, inspired by those in the nearby meatpacking district, runs through the space and suspends light fixtures, lounge seating, and sliding cork pin-up boards. With this project, our firm looked to engage and extend the reading of the local industrial landscape.

Architect: Specht Harpman
Photography: Michael Moran

Beast Productions

This project involved the renovation and adaptive re-use of an existing single-story brick building in downtown Austin, TX. The structure, built in the 1920s, housed a variety of tenants through the years–from a mom-and-pop grocery to leasing offices for new urban condos. The current owner, a film-production company, was on an extremely tight budget and wanted to re-use as much of what existed as possible, while creating something that was uniquely “Austin” in character.

We embraced this spirit of frugality, re-purposing, assemblage, and local sourcing, and used many unique strategies in the space.  Re-sawn siding from a demolished building became a wall and ceiling surfacing that gives a great deal of character to the common areas. Raw, stock steel segments from a local supplier were used to fabricate interior partitions, space dividers, and kitchen installations. Cement backer-board, a common and rough material that is usually used an an underlayment for tile, was applied as another surface treatment. Cheap off-the-shelf chandeliers were painted and installed for feature lighting. Many existing interior partitions and surfaces were re-worked and re-installed, saving money and allowing traces of the space’s colorful history to be a part of the new use.

Architect: Specht Harpman
Photographer: Taggart Sorensen

Funny Garbage

Funny Garbage, an office for a small tech startup, was one of our first projects. With no budget to speak of, we scavenged lower Manhattan for parts, and came up with a system for walls and shelving that was made from salvaged industrial shelving, scrap perforated metal, raw tile backer board, and various bits of stuff we found on Canal Street.

Despite the nonexistent budget, we were able to produce an space that expressed the ad-hoc office culture, and served them well. They took the same system and deployed it throughout numerous offices as the company expanded.

Architect: Specht Harpman
Photography: Michael Moran