An Ad Agency’s Light-Infused Warehouse in East Boulder

After outgrowing their old office, this company found an inspiring and exciting new home.

OZ Architecture

The fact that this new office space was previously an unoccupied warehouse, with no HVAC, restrooms, windows, or other office infrastructure made it particularly unique and challenging from a design perspective. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

When digital advertising agency IMM outgrew its offices in downtown Boulder, Colo., they decided to relocate to the industrial Flatiron Park on the city’s outskirts. The agency enlisted OZ Architecture to transform their new space — a vacant warehouse — into “a unique office environment that would excite their employees.”

The finished project, both sleek and spirited, fills with natural light from its floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights. Biophilic design elements like in-office plants and several outdoor spaces, as well as quirky touches like a millwork sculpture that doubles as a tech-free meeting room, give the new office both an air of creativity and of calm.

Below, OZ Architecture walks us through the highlights.

OZ Architecture

The warehouse is located at the base of the Colorado Foothills in Boulder. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

Who was the building architect?

The building was an existing warehouse, OZ redesigned the exterior to include new, full-height glass windows, a second-story patio, operable garage doors, and skylights.

When was the project completed?

July 2015

What is the total square footage?

32,910 square feet

OZ Architecture

This sculptural piece of millwork is the primary feature when one enters the space. Referred to as the “Analog Room,” it provides a haven for employees in the fast-paced digital media world. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

What is the square footage per person?

180 square feet per person

How many total employees are there and what’s the daily population?

175 employees

What is the location’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities?

Mindful of the fact that public transportation is not readily available in this East Boulder location, IMM asked for extra bike parking and electric car charging stations for their staff.

OZ Architecture

IMM’s office reflects the company’s creative culture both indoors and out. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

What were the construction/hard costs per square foot?

The construction broke down to $70 per square foot, including exterior improvements, systems upgrades, and interior improvements.

Which furniture brands/dealers were used?

BCinteriors provided the workstations.

Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?

Most employees work in the office on a daily basis, so it was important to IMM that the new office included great amenities, such as a multitude of breakout zones, outdoor spaces, collaborative meeting areas, and even a house chef.

OZ Architecture

OZ Architecture helped IMM achieve its goal of designing an atypical office environment reflective of the company’s brand. Smart planning of collaboration zones like these provide employees efficient, flexible work spaces. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

What percentage of the space is unassigned?

While all employees have a dedicated workstation, approximately 50 percent of the total space is available to employees for meetings, collaboration, and flex work.

How is the company’s brand reflected in the space?

As a full-service digital advertising agency headquartered in quirky, creative Boulder, integrating impactful design features that aligned with the atypical office environment reflective of the company’s brand was critical to the success of the project.

OZ achieved this by designing a lively, open, and stylish space — fitted with unique millwork features, open floor plan, and interesting collaboration zones, which provide employees efficient, flexible work spaces. “Floating objects” effectively define the various programmatic work zones while at the same time keeping an overall connectivity of the space.

OZ Architecture

OZ Architecture

The Analog Room. Images courtesy of OZ Architecture.

What is the most unique feature about the new space?

The “Analog Room” is the most unique feature about the new space. This sculptural piece of millwork is the primary feature when one enters the space, and provides a crafted haven for employees in the fast-paced digital media world. The Analog Room was designed to be a landmark feature for IMM as well as a functional, intimate, and technology-free meeting space for employees and clients.

The “Library,” a space for employees to work quietly away from the open-plan workstations, is another impactful millwork feature. The wood-clad war rooms and “portals” that connect the different zones are definitely unique, too.

Biophilic design through the implementation of live interior landscaping provides another unique feature and addresses the owner’s goal of increasing the indoor air quality and providing green space for the employees.

OZ Architecture

Large storefront windows, skylights, and garage doors maximize daylight and allow for indoor/outdoor use. Image courtesy of OZ Architecture.

If the company moved out of a previous space, what was the hardest aspect of change for people?

The impact of this move on employees was actually one of the greatest challenges of this project. As IMM outgrew its convenient location in downtown Boulder, the company moved its headquarters to an unoccupied warehouse in a more industrial office park on the outskirts of town. Creating a space that would continue to excite and inspire employees was one of the primary goals of the project.

Please talk about any other notable aspects of the project that make it unique.

The fact that this new office space was previously an unoccupied warehouse — without an HVAC, restrooms, windows, or other office infrastructures — made it particularly unique and challenging from a design perspective.

Sustainability and environmental impact were important considerations for both the client and team. In fact, the selection of the existing site was a large part of the approach to incorporate sustainability by extending the life cycle of a building that likely would have been demolished. The space was designed with the intent to reuse, including refinishing the existing concrete slab throughout, selecting only materials with recyclable content, and purchasing carpet from a manufacturer with a net zero carbon impact.

Additional improvements to the base building were also an essential piece of the recreation of the existing space. Large storefront windows, skylights. and garage doors were added to the building’s exterior to maximize daylight and allow for indoor and outdoor use.

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