Leading architecture and interior design firm FCA unveiled its renovated Philadelphia headquarters. Through a two-year process of comprehensive research, employee surveys, and design charrettes, FCA developed a forward-facing workplace tailored strategically to the needs of its employees and the engagement of their clients in the process. The refreshed office embodies the firm’s strategy in practice, serving as a springboard for future workplaces across the country.

“It was an exciting challenge to reimagine our own workplace,” says Aran McCarthy, AIA, NCARB, President at FCA. “It required us to dig deep and discover what our team truly wants from an office. Our new office needs to give people something they cannot get at home—a choice of workstation, the flexibility to move around, a culture to relate to, and most importantly, connection to one another.”


Choice and Adjustability

By polling team members on how and where they work best, FCA developed a layout tailored specially to its workforce. Learning that its employees value choice, FCA reduced its former 80 dedicated seats to only 24 workstations. These stations provide a dedicated space for focused work, while the remainder of the office is devoted to collaborative spaces. With 19 different space typologies available—from agile zones to huddle rooms—individuals can decide how they will work on a day-to-day basis. Spaces are equipped with adjustable furnishings, allowing all members of the diverse team to maximize their individual comfort. 


Culture and Process

Throughout the research process, it became apparent that the team desired a stronger expression of company culture in the space. FCA’s new office is a visual celebration of its brand, with elements of the firm’s original logo interspersed throughout the space as representations of the company’s five guiding principles: Place, Planet, People, Process, & Prosperity. The company’s distinct creative process is highlighted throughout, with spaces to display the team’s design projects, both completed and in progress. Encouraging the team to come together, the office features a vibrant cafe serving as a central meeting point.

“The office as a place has a new purpose,” explained Ann Hoffman, IIDA, LEED AP, Director of Workplace Strategies “Our design is inspired by the concept of ‘intersections’ because we believe that the center of these intersections—the points at which people meet, interact, and influence one another—create the broadest and strongest point of view.”


Wellness: Embracing People and Planet

The refreshed office addresses the modern workforce’s demand for wellness amenities and sustainability initiatives. Biophilic strategies and daylighting enhance connection to the natural world. The wide range of work settings and adjustable furnishings accommodates a neurodiverse workforce by enabling everyone to find a mode of working that suits them best. For those in need of taking a moment to themselves, a restorative lounge offers furniture with cutting-edge fabric upholstery treated with thermo-reactive materials designed to boost energy levels. The office is currently targeting LEED Gold and WELL Gold certifications.

FCA’s refreshed Philadelphia headquarters illustrates the organization’s guiding principles. Celebrating its rich, established culture while looking ahead to a new era of work, the office celebrates the intersection of FCA’s history with its future.