Contract - Walk the Talk: NCIDQ Office Interior Design by Perkins+Will

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Walk the Talk: NCIDQ Office Interior Design by Perkins+Will

25 June, 2010


The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) may have the lofty stated goal of “protecting the health, life safety, and welfare of the public,” but the reality of its situation for the last 10 years was a cramped and inefficient headquarters space in Washington, D.C., that did little to inspire its staff and did more to frustrate their functional needs. So much for the shoemaker’s child.

“The office operates in two environments,” explains NCIDQ executive director Jeff Kenney. “Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5, it is a typical office environment. Then it also has lots of committee meetings around policy, finance, nominations—all those things that are typical of a volunteer organization.” One problem as the organization grew was the lack of space to separate those two functions; volunteers and staffers often tripped over each other. The other was how the organization naturally evolved into silos. “We wanted to do more cross-training—and not just formally. We wanted to foster natural collaboration by having as many people as possible in open plan,” says Kenney.

NCIDQ turned to the Washington, D.C., office of Perkins+Will (P+W) to expand its space from 3,200 to 6,000 sq. ft., creating a functional, efficient, collaborative, and healthy office environment and an appropriate design statement in the process. “The design team formed the space to allow two additional user groups of the NCIDQ office their own domains—the NCIDQ volunteers and the NCIDQ Board of Directors,” says Tama Duffy Day, FASID, FIIDA, LEED® AP, a principal at P+W.

The boardroom, workroom, and pantry intentionally were grouped and placed away from the workplace to create areas for volunteers and the Board that are visually and acoustically separate. “In the previous office the pantry and work room were not adjacent to the boardroom, resulting in Board members and volunteers walking through the staff work area constantly, disrupting productivity for both staff and the visitors,” she continues. “In a post occupancy evaluation survey, 100 percent of the Board members strongly agreed that the location of the boardroom, workroom, and pantry allowed the Board to meet privately without disrupting the NCIDQ staff, thus supporting the design goals of providing a functional and efficient work environment.”

Kenney acknowledges how the new work space—mostly composed of 42-in.-high panel systems, with rolling tables and stools thrown in—has satisfied his goal of creating a more collaborative environment for the organization. “The interaction very naturally flows,” he notes. Beyond function, the aesthetics successfully address NCIDQ’s mission to create a space that makes a statement about the history of design.

“Given the history of NCIDQ and its core purpose to ‘protect the health, life safety, and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design,’ its new headquarters showcases the profession as evolving from one of individuals with good taste, to a profession requiring artistry and business acumen as well as demanding expertise in life safety codes, sustainability, and anthropometrics,” says Duffy Day. “This evolution was showcased through the use of iconic guest chairs, historic textiles, ergonomics, collaborative workspaces, and technical products illustrating the integration of interior design with engineering.”

The blending of design history, the Modernist movement, and technological advances are manifested in such vignettes as the set of Louis XV chairs paired with a Florence Knoll oval table in reception, with a wood, metal, and glass screen incorporating LED technology behind. In addition, that most important of evolutions—the sustainability movement—is well represented by integrated daylighting, water reduction, and energy-efficient solutions, and the use of low-VOC materials, materials with recycled content, locally sourced furniture and finishes, FSC-certified wood, and formaldehyde-free adhesives. The NCIDQ space is currently seeking a LEED Silver certification. “It is excellent in every way,” states Kenney.



Walk the Talk: NCIDQ Office Interior Design by Perkins+Will

25 June, 2010


Ken Hayden Photography

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) may have the lofty stated goal of “protecting the health, life safety, and welfare of the public,” but the reality of its situation for the last 10 years was a cramped and inefficient headquarters space in Washington, D.C., that did little to inspire its staff and did more to frustrate their functional needs. So much for the shoemaker’s child.

“The office operates in two environments,” explains NCIDQ executive director Jeff Kenney. “Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5, it is a typical office environment. Then it also has lots of committee meetings around policy, finance, nominations—all those things that are typical of a volunteer organization.” One problem as the organization grew was the lack of space to separate those two functions; volunteers and staffers often tripped over each other. The other was how the organization naturally evolved into silos. “We wanted to do more cross-training—and not just formally. We wanted to foster natural collaboration by having as many people as possible in open plan,” says Kenney.

NCIDQ turned to the Washington, D.C., office of Perkins+Will (P+W) to expand its space from 3,200 to 6,000 sq. ft., creating a functional, efficient, collaborative, and healthy office environment and an appropriate design statement in the process. “The design team formed the space to allow two additional user groups of the NCIDQ office their own domains—the NCIDQ volunteers and the NCIDQ Board of Directors,” says Tama Duffy Day, FASID, FIIDA, LEED® AP, a principal at P+W.

The boardroom, workroom, and pantry intentionally were grouped and placed away from the workplace to create areas for volunteers and the Board that are visually and acoustically separate. “In the previous office the pantry and work room were not adjacent to the boardroom, resulting in Board members and volunteers walking through the staff work area constantly, disrupting productivity for both staff and the visitors,” she continues. “In a post occupancy evaluation survey, 100 percent of the Board members strongly agreed that the location of the boardroom, workroom, and pantry allowed the Board to meet privately without disrupting the NCIDQ staff, thus supporting the design goals of providing a functional and efficient work environment.”

Kenney acknowledges how the new work space—mostly composed of 42-in.-high panel systems, with rolling tables and stools thrown in—has satisfied his goal of creating a more collaborative environment for the organization. “The interaction very naturally flows,” he notes. Beyond function, the aesthetics successfully address NCIDQ’s mission to create a space that makes a statement about the history of design.

“Given the history of NCIDQ and its core purpose to ‘protect the health, life safety, and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design,’ its new headquarters showcases the profession as evolving from one of individuals with good taste, to a profession requiring artistry and business acumen as well as demanding expertise in life safety codes, sustainability, and anthropometrics,” says Duffy Day. “This evolution was showcased through the use of iconic guest chairs, historic textiles, ergonomics, collaborative workspaces, and technical products illustrating the integration of interior design with engineering.”

The blending of design history, the Modernist movement, and technological advances are manifested in such vignettes as the set of Louis XV chairs paired with a Florence Knoll oval table in reception, with a wood, metal, and glass screen incorporating LED technology behind. In addition, that most important of evolutions—the sustainability movement—is well represented by integrated daylighting, water reduction, and energy-efficient solutions, and the use of low-VOC materials, materials with recycled content, locally sourced furniture and finishes, FSC-certified wood, and formaldehyde-free adhesives. The NCIDQ space is currently seeking a LEED Silver certification. “It is excellent in every way,” states Kenney.
 


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