Working Spaces Offices – Kansas City

  • Client Working Spaces,
  • size 4,900 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Kansas City, Missouri, United States,
  • Industry Furniture,
  • Clockwork Architecture + Design was tasked with the design of the Working Spaces offices, an office furniture dealership located in Kansas City, Missouri.

    Working Spaces, a local furniture dealership challenged the design team to transform a dark, industrial space located in the heart of the Crossroads Art District into their new furniture showroom. The goal was to create a space that clearly displayed their furniture, while also providing a place for staff to work, collaborate and entertain clients.

    Because their new space was in a historic building, it was important that the architectural character of the shell was not covered. The hard shell of the exposed concrete ceilings, floors and columns became the designer’s first challenge. To maintain the historic character of the perimeter concrete walls, gypsum was only installed to the top of the windows. The natural finish of the walls were then exposed to the concrete deck. Additionally, all concrete columns were left untouched and exposed. This created a beautiful juxtaposition of the historic character of the building, mixed with the introduction of modern, sleek materials. The original concrete floors and ceilings were also maintained in a majority of the spaces.

    To offset the cold feel of the concrete floors and ceilings, warm textiles such as carpet, felt ceiling fins and wood cladding were blended into the space. The design team chose a neutral and timeless finish palette to ensure the design and architecture did not compete or take away from the furniture on the showroom floor. It was also important the space provided a neutral backdrop for any piece of furniture that was brought into the showroom.

    Although the goal of the showroom was to act as a minimal, sleek and simple backdrop, the design team wanted to ensure thoughtful details that celebrated the Crossroads Art District were intertwined into each space. The Crossroads is an artistic haven, full of local artists, shops and restaurants. To celebrate the Crossroad’s art scene, a custom tile installation was designed for the café backsplash. This backsplash provides a unique, sculptural installation while maintaining the functional purpose of a backsplash. The carpet that was selected for the space, which is a monochromatic geometric design was used to reflect the ‘crossroads’ seen on a map of the Crossroads Art District.

    Another goal Working Spaces had for their new showroom was to engage those outside of the industry. The showroom decided to open their doors for the First Friday’s event held each month in the Crossroads. Every month, Working Spaces would partner with a local artist to display their artwork for the event. The challenge for the design team became how to easily turn a furniture showroom into an art gallery. The solution was to provide textural wall panels in each space. Not only do the panels provide a flexible space for artists to show their work, but it also provides staff with collaboration and pin-up space during normal work hours.

    The overall layout of the space also reflects the many needs of the client. To ensure there was space to handle large workstation mock-ups and a place to host large events, minimal built-in furnishings were designed in the main reception and café space. All furniture in these areas is movable, which allows staff to quickly set up for larger events. The café was also brought to the front of the space to provide amenities for events. The rest of the space is comprised of open plan workstations, private office suites and meeting rooms along with individual phone rooms. The wallcovering claddings the phone room walls is a hand-painted pieces by a local artist. Each area has been carefully considered and designed both in terms of its function an eye-catching aesthetic. The design team worked closely with the Working Spaces team to ensure they understood how the space was used throughout the day. The result has become one of the most talked-about showrooms in Kansas City.

    Design: Clockwork Architecture + Design
    Design Team: Elle Abernathy, Chris Jimenez
    Photography: Tony Thompson