With many offices offering the option to work remotely, companies have turned a sharp focus to creating workspace environments that offer all the perks of working from home — and then some.
For the Edrington Americas team, revamping their New York office presented this exact challenge, while provoking an essential question -- how could a company founded on luxury and tradition create a space that embodies that precise essence and celebrates its individual brands, while simultaneously making the space feel as homey as possible?
With the enlisted help and collaboration of global architecture and design firm, Gensler, it seems as though the Edrington team exceeded even their own expectations with their new New York office space.
Located in the Flatiron district of New York City, the just-under 26,000 square-feet space boasts two kitchens, a full-sized and fully-stocked cocktail bar with enough seating for every employee to have two friends join them for a drink at the same time.
Chief Operating & Chief Financial Officer at Edrington, Michael Misiorski, first dreamed up the idea of the space before approaching Gensler:
“When we look at how people live in Manhattan, they live in small spaces, they share spaces — and we wanted to create an environment where they actually had space and they could actually feel comfortable, because Manhattan life is hard at times.
Finding the space took about six months and designing the space took about nine … it was getting all of the elements to make it feel like a home right, and that’s what took a long time to do. Picking out each furniture piece, each piece of art, everything had to be hand selected.”
Take a tour through the ingenious new space below:
The dedication to detail and careful curation is apparent in every nook and cranny of the spot.
Each meeting room is themed after a different brand in Edrington’s portfolio, (be it The Macallan, Snow Leopard Vodka, Tequila Partida, etc) with every piece of decor -- from the lighting fixtures, to the table materials, to the wallpaper -- selected to mimic and represent the culture, production and nature of each brand and bottle.
Jean Anderson, Principal and Design Director in the Gensler New York office, explained the inspiration and goal going into the project:
“We really worked hard hand-in-hand with [Michael] to really try to understand what it was that he was trying to achieve in the workplace, what kind of experiences he wanted to offer his employees — it really came down to several things.
One, was making sure that we were giving their employees a lot of variety and choice in the work setting while balancing making sure that they have the room to do focused work and balancing that out with the collaborative and engaging feel … [their employees] came from an environment where some of that collaboration was stifled because of the lack of meeting space and they had pretty much outgrown their space.
It was [also] really important to celebrate [the Edrington] brand. And it wasn’t just about putting up a marketing poster and calling it a day — it was really creating experiences for each of their brands. So, we took the opportunity to look at their conference rooms and outfit them in such a way that it harkens back to the essence of each of the brands, and celebrates them.”
Misiorski describes the office feel as employees' ‘first home’ and the space certainly offers that, no matter at what stage in life employees find themselves.
Ornate coat hooks are hung on the walls for employees to hang their outerwear. Beneath them, are lockers disguised as cushioned benches for employees to put away their shoes, making the entire setup feel as if you were walking through your own mudroom before heading to your desk every morning.
The space is as charming as it is elegant, lived-in as it is ornate, something that’s characteristic to the Edrington portfolio and something that Anderson and her team at Gensler strived to exemplify:
“You have the specialty branded rooms (which are pretty apparent once you learn about each of the brands) … you can see why each of the rooms embodies the spirit of the brand. But I think when you look at the overall space, it was about creating something that was kind of this ‘old world’ type of feel which I think we brought in. [It complements] a lot of the existing architecture of New York City, kind of that old world, lived-in charm. Being very comfortable and not unapproachable was really important in the design, so that when people are working there or visiting, it feels very welcoming and very authentic to who Edrington is as a brand.”
Old Macallan casks are repurposed to make lighting fixtures, a ‘breathing wall’ of greenery that’s representative of the company’s green-centric distilleries in Scotland is displayed in the hall.
But perhaps the best part of the space is the address itself: The office sits pretty at 18 West 24th Street, an ironic pairing of numbers as The Macallan was founded in 1824.
Fate? We'll let you decide that one over a nice glass of whisky neat.