Contract - Hat Trick: IA Interior Architects designs the Mountain View, Calif., office for Red Hat

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Hat Trick: IA Interior Architects designs the Mountain View, Calif., office for Red Hat

23 May, 2011

-By Holly Richmond


Hat Trick (noun): three successes of the same kind, especially consecutive ones within a limited time period.

Although the term was coined in the late 19th century and draws its origins from the sport of cricket, its meaning is cleverly applicable to Red Hat, the world’s leading open source Linux provider. Relying on innovative design services from New York-based IA Interior Architects, Red Hat is experiencing exponential success in communicating its threefold mantra—creating a global brand that is fun, collaborative, and contemporary.

The 10,000-sq.-ft. Mountain View, Calif., location is among the first of a series of offices (approaching 70 worldwide) to be completed for Red Hat by IA. The design team, lead by principal Julio Braga, set the goal of implementing and communicating intelligent, generationally inclusive spaces within the larger strategic scheme of the Red Hat brand. Braga explains that the design guidelines were developed for global use, though sufficient flexibility was incorporated in order to be inclusive of each regional office’s needs and culture. “As a company, Red Hat’s preeminent message is solid. It believes ideas come from everywhere and should be shared. This concept was applied to the design guidelines, which reach globally but focus locally. Nothing feels too big or vast—though no one stands alone or is isolated either,” Braga states.

Simon George, Red Hat’s senior manager of facilities and real estate, based at the company’s headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., believes it was IA’s ability to understand what Red Hat does and how they work that prompted the design’s comprehensive achievements. The Mountain View office has approximately 50 employees, most of whom are engineers and code writers for Linux, a leading server operating system based on the Unix family (which happens to run the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world). Red Hat also provides sales, support, and consulting services, and, thus, the offices must provide a high level of functionality for employees, as well as visitors. George says, “It was essential that the space feature an ideal balance of semi-private, collaborative, and public environments for the wide range of tasks that we undertake.”

Reflecting Red Hat’s dedication to collaboration, IA’s design presents three zones that can be opened up for large group communication or made more intimate for small group sessions. The right side of the space holds the public area, including conference rooms, open meeting areas, the break room, and reception. “There are whiteboards everywhere, which our staff loves, because no matter where they are when an idea strikes, they can write it down and bring it to life for colleagues.”

To promote fun, the break room boasts an ever-engaging Wii interactive gaming system, as well as brain-teasing, enlarged black-and white-graphics that cannot be deciphered from close up (they look like abstract images), but can be recognized from afar (hey, it’s bananas and other fruit!). Enlarged graphics also are present in several conference rooms and smaller meeting areas. Rather than fruit, however, they feature black-and-white images of computer hardware, including a motherboard and the back of a server deck, as an abstract nod to the Silicon Valley location. Sense of place and the Mountain View office’s individuality also is reflected through the majestic California red cedar color graphics that line the walls in an adjacent conference room.

A contemporary aesthetic exists throughout the entire design, including the central core, which accommodates the engineers, and the left side of the space, which contains the sales force and commercial division. “It was essential for the engineers to have a certain degree of privacy, whereas the sales team works more verbally and energetically,” Braga notes. Thus, flexibility is essential, especially for changes in technology and staff requirements. Moveable partitions, for example, allow the engineering staff to easily reconfigure, and a benching system will accommodate future expansion.

Growth actually is quite present, in the here and now, according to George. He explains that not only are Red Hat and IA currently collaborating on 20 projects that are in some phase of the design process, but also the Mountain View office, in particular, already is adding another 10,000 sq. ft. and 50 additional employees. The expansion will be complete in August. “These projects have been such a success because we, as a company, listened to our employees, and IA in turn listened to us. They created solutions that work how we work.” George believes the well-thought-out design guidelines have helped Red Hat to achieve their goals both nationally and internationally.

For its part, the IA design team is thrilled with Red Hat’s accomplishments, both internally with its own staff and externally with its clients. Braga felt that the Mountain View location was “a test” to see how successful the design guidelines would be, and to examine how they would perform in the real world. The test was a hit, and the company is thriving. “Red Hat has a very unique product and philosophy about how it delivers that product. The employees function as an absolute democracy where sharing and collaboration are key. They are passionate about what they stand for, so we gave them a design they can believe in too,” concludes Braga.

who
Client: Red Hat. Interior Design: IA Interior Architects; Julio Braga, LEED AP; John Azinaro, AIA, LEED AP; Tamarra Wickes, LEED AP; Ali Ucer. Sophia Yun, LEED AP; Mary Lee Duff, LEED AP; Al Johansen, AIA, LEED AP. Contractor: BCCI. Project Manager: Simon George (Red Hat). Lighting Design: Lightfield Inc. Engineer (MEP): Amit Wadhwa & Associates. Furniture Dealer: Storr Office Environments. Graphics: Joshua Gajownik (in-house, Red Hat). Photographer: Eric Laignel.

what
Wallcoverings: Knoll. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Abet Laminati. Flooring: Bolon, Forbo. Carpet/carpet tile: Bentley Prince Street. Carpet fiber: Antron Legacy Nylon. Ceiling: Armstrong. Lighting: Bartco. Officefront System: KI. Workstations: Steelcase. Workstation seating: Steelcase. Lounge seating: Herman Miller. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Stua. Conference table: Vecta. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: Coalesse. Files: Steelcase. Architectural woodworking: Wood Connection. Plumbing fixtures: Kohler. Sound Masking: Lencore Acoustics.

where
Location: Mountain View, CA. Total floor area: 11,500 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1.




Hat Trick: IA Interior Architects designs the Mountain View, Calif., office for Red Hat

23 May, 2011


Eric Laignel

Hat Trick (noun): three successes of the same kind, especially consecutive ones within a limited time period.

Although the term was coined in the late 19th century and draws its origins from the sport of cricket, its meaning is cleverly applicable to Red Hat, the world’s leading open source Linux provider. Relying on innovative design services from New York-based IA Interior Architects, Red Hat is experiencing exponential success in communicating its threefold mantra—creating a global brand that is fun, collaborative, and contemporary.

The 10,000-sq.-ft. Mountain View, Calif., location is among the first of a series of offices (approaching 70 worldwide) to be completed for Red Hat by IA. The design team, lead by principal Julio Braga, set the goal of implementing and communicating intelligent, generationally inclusive spaces within the larger strategic scheme of the Red Hat brand. Braga explains that the design guidelines were developed for global use, though sufficient flexibility was incorporated in order to be inclusive of each regional office’s needs and culture. “As a company, Red Hat’s preeminent message is solid. It believes ideas come from everywhere and should be shared. This concept was applied to the design guidelines, which reach globally but focus locally. Nothing feels too big or vast—though no one stands alone or is isolated either,” Braga states.

Simon George, Red Hat’s senior manager of facilities and real estate, based at the company’s headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., believes it was IA’s ability to understand what Red Hat does and how they work that prompted the design’s comprehensive achievements. The Mountain View office has approximately 50 employees, most of whom are engineers and code writers for Linux, a leading server operating system based on the Unix family (which happens to run the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world). Red Hat also provides sales, support, and consulting services, and, thus, the offices must provide a high level of functionality for employees, as well as visitors. George says, “It was essential that the space feature an ideal balance of semi-private, collaborative, and public environments for the wide range of tasks that we undertake.”

Reflecting Red Hat’s dedication to collaboration, IA’s design presents three zones that can be opened up for large group communication or made more intimate for small group sessions. The right side of the space holds the public area, including conference rooms, open meeting areas, the break room, and reception. “There are whiteboards everywhere, which our staff loves, because no matter where they are when an idea strikes, they can write it down and bring it to life for colleagues.”

To promote fun, the break room boasts an ever-engaging Wii interactive gaming system, as well as brain-teasing, enlarged black-and white-graphics that cannot be deciphered from close up (they look like abstract images), but can be recognized from afar (hey, it’s bananas and other fruit!). Enlarged graphics also are present in several conference rooms and smaller meeting areas. Rather than fruit, however, they feature black-and-white images of computer hardware, including a motherboard and the back of a server deck, as an abstract nod to the Silicon Valley location. Sense of place and the Mountain View office’s individuality also is reflected through the majestic California red cedar color graphics that line the walls in an adjacent conference room.

A contemporary aesthetic exists throughout the entire design, including the central core, which accommodates the engineers, and the left side of the space, which contains the sales force and commercial division. “It was essential for the engineers to have a certain degree of privacy, whereas the sales team works more verbally and energetically,” Braga notes. Thus, flexibility is essential, especially for changes in technology and staff requirements. Moveable partitions, for example, allow the engineering staff to easily reconfigure, and a benching system will accommodate future expansion.

Growth actually is quite present, in the here and now, according to George. He explains that not only are Red Hat and IA currently collaborating on 20 projects that are in some phase of the design process, but also the Mountain View office, in particular, already is adding another 10,000 sq. ft. and 50 additional employees. The expansion will be complete in August. “These projects have been such a success because we, as a company, listened to our employees, and IA in turn listened to us. They created solutions that work how we work.” George believes the well-thought-out design guidelines have helped Red Hat to achieve their goals both nationally and internationally.

For its part, the IA design team is thrilled with Red Hat’s accomplishments, both internally with its own staff and externally with its clients. Braga felt that the Mountain View location was “a test” to see how successful the design guidelines would be, and to examine how they would perform in the real world. The test was a hit, and the company is thriving. “Red Hat has a very unique product and philosophy about how it delivers that product. The employees function as an absolute democracy where sharing and collaboration are key. They are passionate about what they stand for, so we gave them a design they can believe in too,” concludes Braga.

who
Client: Red Hat. Interior Design: IA Interior Architects; Julio Braga, LEED AP; John Azinaro, AIA, LEED AP; Tamarra Wickes, LEED AP; Ali Ucer. Sophia Yun, LEED AP; Mary Lee Duff, LEED AP; Al Johansen, AIA, LEED AP. Contractor: BCCI. Project Manager: Simon George (Red Hat). Lighting Design: Lightfield Inc. Engineer (MEP): Amit Wadhwa & Associates. Furniture Dealer: Storr Office Environments. Graphics: Joshua Gajownik (in-house, Red Hat). Photographer: Eric Laignel.

what
Wallcoverings: Knoll. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Abet Laminati. Flooring: Bolon, Forbo. Carpet/carpet tile: Bentley Prince Street. Carpet fiber: Antron Legacy Nylon. Ceiling: Armstrong. Lighting: Bartco. Officefront System: KI. Workstations: Steelcase. Workstation seating: Steelcase. Lounge seating: Herman Miller. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Stua. Conference table: Vecta. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: Coalesse. Files: Steelcase. Architectural woodworking: Wood Connection. Plumbing fixtures: Kohler. Sound Masking: Lencore Acoustics.

where
Location: Mountain View, CA. Total floor area: 11,500 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1.

 


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