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Office Oasis Above the City

Kimball Office’s recently reopened Manhattan showroom puts the integration of technology and refined design on display.

by Karina Campos

Nestled above New York City’s Park Avenue sits the revitalized Kimball Office showroom. Marked by the noticeable geometric lighting fixture peeking from the
window, the renovated space reflects the evolution of the brand from traditional, private office product to free-form, open, and social working spaces. Reopened this past May, the brand, known for its custom design work, integrated an open-office style that highlights designer and client needs. Adam Bedell, regional manager at Kimball Office, said the company wanted a “less-scripted” experience for its clients, and applying this new open space does exactly that.

Kimball’s mission is to provide a comfortable working space with featured product being adjusted every six months or so. “We aren’t a car dealership,” Bedell noted in relation to the new showroom, which allows frequent visitors to experience a consistent space whenever they step foot into the Big Apple location. With the workforce of today being less structured, the space reflects the idea that designers are no longer tethered to something—the idea for an office can now lie in the palms of our hands. The extensive line of furniture particularly caters to the on-the-go lifestyle of New York’s working professionals.

Karina Campos is an award-winning recent graduate of Syracuse University’s Industrial & Interaction Design Program. The Connecticut native was recently named “Outstanding Senior in the School of Design” by the faculty of Syracuse University’s School of Design.

Situated in the center of the showroom is a show-stopping creation that cannot be missed. Referred to as the “Design Hub,” the spectacular piece is made out of reclaimed barn wood, and serves as a place to explore creativity. It houses all material samples, and allows clients and designers to create a palette of their own, and store away any work for future use. The Design Hub also offers a venue to jot down or explore ideas, hold a meeting, or to touch down and answer emails. Being such a hit, Kimball will soon release the piece as part of its product line.

Bedell is an advocate for using the space as visitors see fit. “Sit down wherever you want, put down ideas, go grab a coffee, and use this space as your home base,” he said. Walking into the showroom, guests are greeted with a fully technological environment that doesn’t scream “tech.” For example, it offers the luxury of the internet on touch-screen televisions without feeling like you have walked into a scene from “The Matrix.”

The company’s broad range of offerings and its brand evolution to meet different work styles are two themes reflected in its products such as booths, barstools, couches, and lounges—all fitting different working styles. And, whether browsing the web during downtime or holding a brainstorm session, the combination of selections suits both work and play. The area displaying these products in the showroom is also outfitted with a whiteboard to illustrate accommodating collaborative tasks. In addition, pairing product reflects Kimball’s ability to customize its options.

A concept Kimball Office has perfected is offering the ability to utilize technology while not making every flat surface or product imbued with electricity. Its moveable TV cart, for example, allows working spaces to become tech spaces with the push of a product. The cart can be customized to fit a tech TV, whiteboard, or pin board, helping users transform their surroundings with ease.

The Narrate product meets the needs of those who want to feel part of a larger group while still having some privacy. This semi-enclosed space features comfortable cushions, a work table, and a TV, all nestled between three walls. It is ideal for meetings or a personal area with a little extra legroom.

Although the direction of Kimball is moving toward open-concept working and socializing spaces, it does honor traditional workplace ideals. Closed-office vignettes
incorporate bright materials and glass as a way to create an open line of communication, with a large conference room in sight.

Photography by Jasper Sanidad