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Tour Kiva’s Low-Cost and Lively Headquarters

Kiva is a non-profit that allows individuals to provide micro-finance loans throughout the world where there is limited access to traditional banking programs. The company was recently in the process of moving offices when a chance meeting between a Kiva employee and an associate from STUDIOS Architecture resulted in a low-cost, but innovative and lively space transformation.

STUDIOS architecture understood that any company’s resources are precious, and especially so for a non-profit such as Kiva. Working pro bono, they were also able to negotiate lower costs on furnishings, materials, and other services from companies excited to partner with Kiva.

The design of the space was intended to echo ‘Kiva’s personality and spirit of fun’, while remaining useful for a variety of purposes.

STUDIOS has additional notes on the project:

“Tracked sliding panels – made from reclaimed wooden doors – allow for varying levels of visual connection between the lounge and the work areas as needed, and also break up the lines of the workstations. Work areas are 100% open plan to foster interaction and activity, and provide access to daylight and views for everyone. Formal and informal collaborative areas are dispersed throughout the space, while a variety of enclosed meeting and quiet workrooms – including several telephone “booths” – allow for privacy and concentration. The break room / kitchen features grand “family” dining table that can be used as both a shared eating space and an informal meeting area. The quiet room – complete with oversized hammock – provides an inviting retreat for rest and relaxation.

Chalkboard, magnetic, and whiteboard walls are placed throughout the plan to provide a fun and lively way for Kiva staff to interact both with one another and with the space, as well as to foster communication between groups that are often isolated from one another. The application of simple, imaginative materials and creative graphic elements give the space a fresh, vibrant feel: reclaimed wood palettes are repurposed to create a warm and earthy open meeting room, while door skins are woven into steel studs to form an undulating textured wall that runs along the reception area and main walkway. Clever signage calls out functionality and wayfinding elements while also celebrating many of the countries and communities that Kiva serves.”

Photography by Sharon Risedorph