WPP, a creative transformation company, wanted to collocate 4,100 employees from seven GroupM agencies as well as Kantar, WPP’s data information firm, to spur creativity and collaboration. The challenge was how to design that space while preserving the personality of each agency brand.
"I’ve heard nothing but fantastic reviews from team members, clients and partners about how well the space supports what we do and the work we do for clients.” — Kelly Clark , CEO, GroupM
The solution can be found in the new HOK-designed workplace in Lower Manhattan’s 3 World Trade Center. The space includes branded offices for GroupM’s leaders and seven of its agencies—Essence, MediaCom, Mindshare, Wavemaker, Xaxis, [M]Platform and Openmind—as well as Kantar. To incorporate each unique brand, HOK assigned a different lead designer for each space while creating a consistent aesthetic across all 13 office floors within the 80-story tower. The result is a vertical campus that offers clients easy connections to WPP’s comprehensive media expertise and encourages collaboration among creative teams.
Shared amenity spaces, agile work settings and a kit-of-parts design address WPP’s desire for its offices to be flexible to respond to changing business demands.
Sustainable design strategies have positioned the project for LEED-CI Gold certification.
The design team began by developing a master plan that established a consistent layout across all 13 office floors. This equipped each agency with flexibility to personalize its spaces with paint colors, finishes and environmental graphics. Elsewhere, kit-of-parts design elements such as polished concrete floors, blonde wood, and gray couches and chairs give each agency flexibility to rearrange spaces and fixtures. A refined industrial design aesthetic ties together all the brands while reinforcing the downtown New York setting.
To inspire agency creatives to do their best work—and to attract the most talented people—HOK designed one of the city’s largest activity-based working (ABW) environments. Reflecting the work style and needs of Millennial and Gen Z workers, agency employees aren’t assigned desks. Instead, they have freedom to move around the open-plan space to different team and personal spaces that support what they’re doing. Each floor offers a mix of bench work seats, conference, huddle and focus rooms. At the end of each day, people must clear the desk they’re using and store the materials in a locker. In lieu of hard phones, employees take all calls through their laptops.
Two floors of shared support space encourage employees to interact across agencies. Amenities here include a multifunction room, bleacher-style stairs for meetings, game room, tech bar, employee resource center, career center, training rooms, bike storage and showers. A wellness center has an exam room, nurse’s station and physical therapy room. A 3,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace—one of the largest private terraces in Manhattan—provides breathtaking views of the Hudson River and much-needed green space for New Yorkers.