05/01/2013

?What If! Offices by Mapos

By Elainne Halbersberg | Photography by James Chororos

 
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    ?What If! is housed in a four-story historic building in the East Village. View larger

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    Mapos designed a wood-panel portal leading to a back wing called the Playground, where clients meet for brainstorming sessions. View larger

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    The third floor is home to the Beehive, an open-floor work area. View larger

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    Supercow, wearing a super cape, oversees activity from the stairwell. View larger

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    Phone booths in the Beehive and lobby allow for private calls. View larger

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    The main lobby boasts a new reception desk with a zinc front and reclaimed walnut top. Stools and a foot rail were added to create a café along the back wall. The darker furniture palette offsets the colorful existing tile floor. Mapos designed a 16-foot circular light with gold acrylic fins to illuminate the room. View larger

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    View larger

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    The café is the main open work area on the second floor. Reclaimed pine tables can slide together to accommodate groups for work sessions. The banquette faces the stairway and main circulation path. View larger

The newly renovated ?What If! offices in New York City were designed by Mapos LLC to reflect the company’s brand and culture, which is one of teamwork and creativity.

“?What If!’s clients are very large Fortune 500 companies that are looking for a new business model and strategies to help grow their business in a certain direction,” says Mapos Principal Colin Brice. “The ?What If! brand is about that sense of innovation. It’s a creative hub, a beehive of activity, and the sparks of spontaneity that happen from a group of creative people working together. The workspace needed to express that.”

Mapos went to work transforming ?What If!’s East Village space, a four-story brick building and former hospital that the company moved into several years ago. The plan was to redesign the rooms and floors so that the spaces could communicate the company’s energy.

“A lot of clients come in for meetings, creative sessions and brainstorming ideation sessions,” says Brice. “The space needed to create that individualism and teamwork for ?What If! and their clients.”

?What If!’s core principles are described as “movement and collision,” which factored into the design, from the large staircase that connects the floors to the open spaces in the third-floor Beehive and second-floor café. An “Extrovert Room” is furnished with a sectional sofa, a custom wallcovering made from a photo of a bustling East Village street scene, and DJ equipment.

“The whole space is designed so people can run into each other to spark conversation, which becomes ideation, which is the basis of ?What If!’s creativity,” Brice says.

 

 
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