HOK’s team designed the 220,000-sq.-ft. offices on eight contiguous floors (15 through 22) in a 32-story tower at the Shiseido Americas headquarters in New York. The idea of “transformation” guided the design concept.
Excerpted from Interior Design:
So when CEO Marc Rey began the search for new headquarters, he had a seemingly simple goal: cohesion. “He requested a place of community where beauty and leadership could shine,” begins Bill Bouchey, principal and director of design and interiors at HOK, which won the bid to design the Shiseido Americas workplace.
The building was still being renovated when HOK came on board, so the firm was able to carve out a separate lobby for Shiseido, helping to signal a unified company immediately upon entry. “Executives came to us with the concept of creating ‘one Shiseido,’” HOK principal Yelena Mokritsky recalls.
The idea of transformation—the corporation’s as well as when a person uses a Shiseido product—guided HOK’s concept. “The act of putting on makeup creates a change,” Bouchey says, “a sense of some type of beauty being achieved. We were interested in representations of that: gradients, textures, references to consumer beauty products.”
Another guiding principle of the project is omotenashi, a Japanese term referring to the utmost in hospitality. For Shiseido, it refers to being attentive to consumers and employees. HOK brought the concept to life in what’s referred to as the heart of the New York office, a double-height space that opens to a large terrace and occupies approximately half of the 19th floor, where Shiseido’s main reception is. “We tried to create an environment that felt less corporate, with more of a cafélike feel,” Mokritsky says of the multipurpose area that feels more boutique hotel than office.