Gone are the days when offices mirrored corporate organization charts and individual work spaces measured their occupants’ rank and title--as the new Atlanta office of EYP at 100 Peachtree Street makes joyously evident. Previously known as Stanley Beaman & Sears before merging in 2018 with EYP, a global provider of building design, research and consulting services for government, healthcare, higher education, and science and technology, EYP’s Atlanta office occupies an open, sunny and effective workplace that is shaped by the firm’s ongoing operations, with accommodations specially tailored to support a wide range of individual and group activities. As designed by EYP’s Atlanta personnel, it also goes one big step further by promoting the distinctive culture that its people have brought to the new parent company.
The logic underpinning the new, two-floor, 20,489-square-foot facility begins with its location at the 32-story, 619,044-square-foot Equitable Building, a distinguished example of International Style architecture completed in 1968. The building features sleek black curtainwalls, soaring ceiling heights, attractive urban surroundings, and a strategic location in the Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood with easy access for motorists, MARTA riders, pedestrians and cyclists. EYP’s mezzanine and second-floor space allowed open floor plans to be easily configured around a common building core to satisfy a building program incorporating an art gallery, multiple design studios with open workstations and private offices, a training conference room, executive conference room, team work areas, kitchen, interior’s library, printing room, and storage.
Numerous design features directly reflect how EYP functions. To initiate movement and encourage collaboration between teams, for example, the design team opened up the second floor to insert an enticing, high-tech connecting stair of steel and glass. Work areas varying in size and style to allow the staff to match job tasks to particular spaces throughout the day, including such choices as standing-height work tables, open collaborative pin-up areas, sit-down team tables, closed conference rooms and private offices. The training conference room is part of EYP’s culture of lifelong learning, featuring EYP/U, an award-winning training and education program taught by in-house authorities. (It is also an egalitarian culture, since the firm is 100 percent employee-owned.)
Yet the Atlanta architecture firm that merged with EYP brought admirable qualities of its own that EYP was pleased to accommodate: a trusted partnership with clients, a low-ego, high-performance work ethic, a “big idea” culture of continuous innovation backed by strong design, an integrated practice in which clients’ needs are addressed by multi-disciplinary teams of architects, interior designers and environmental graphic designers, and a “family of creative thinkers” whose colleagues have become friends over 10, 15 and even 20 years on the job.
As a result, EYP’s new, light-filled office proudly embraces Atlanta in sweeping views in every direction of such iconic sights as Woodruff Park and Atlanta Fulton County Library, designed by Marcel Breuer. Its contemporary interiors are cleanly detailed in a museum-like vocabulary of white and glass walls, finished and exposed ceilings, wood trim and floors, and furnishings and lighting that blend repurposed pieces from the firm’s former office with new products from trusted local vendors. The art gallery, which aligns with the main entrance to be accessible to the public, is particularly dear to staff members as a reminder of their firm’s cultural roots. Contemporary local and regional art is displayed on tall white walls that create an open canvas for art and architecture that extends throughout the facility, an uncommon sight in other EYP offices.
The celebration of arts and culture within EYP’s office space continues beyond the masterpieces featured within the building. The new, modern space has recently been recognized with the 2018 AIA Georgia People’s Choice Award due to its unique architectural design.