HOK’s Bill Bouchey describes how, as part of Viacom’s Times Square headquarters, the company’s new Global Entertainment Group workplace offers a sleek, hospitality-driven environment reflecting its diverse culture.
Excerpted from Contract magazine:
Amidst the audio and visual cacophony of Times Square, its crowds, marquee lights, and scrolling LED tickers, the East Coast headquarters of entertainment group Viacom are surprisingly serene—yet still full of verve and energy. Spread over two floors of the larger headquarters, the Viacom Global Entertainment Group workplace accommodates senior management, marketing, and content production across brands MTV, VH1, BET, and Logo TV, and a demographic ranging from baby boomers to millennials. The group thus enlisted interior design firm HOK to craft an urbane environment that could appeal to its multigenerational workforce and clients, while capturing Viacom’s vibrant gender-inclusive culture and entertainment legacy.
The design team developed a plan to maximize comfort and choice, both prized attributes in workplaces today as they’re thought to promote employee wellness and productivity. The perimeter comprises open work and ancillary areas, glazed conference rooms, and glass-fronted private offices and a main circulation path that lines these spaces. “We retained more than half of the existing perimeter private office zone but disrupted each elevation selectively,” says Bill Bouchey, the HOK principal who led the project team. “We rethought the outdated hierarchical perimeter and created collaborative spaces, staff areas, and workspaces with ideation walls, all with views and access to daylight.”
Four work “neighborhoods” sit at the core, and consist of workstations, editing suites, or data rooms. “One of the planning principles was to leverage the corners as unique places for connections, casual collisions, collaboration, and serendipitous use,” explains Bouchey, so the quadrants feature touchdown spaces situated on the outer corners facing the perimeter.