Design Within Reach, the leading modern home furniture retailer, relocated from California to its new headquarters in Stamford’s historic South End. Selecting the industrial 711 Canal Street building, MKDA wanted to preserve the space’s rich historical roots and thus devised an open space that highlights the industrial detailing of the building with modern touches. The new 27,000 square-foot space has a ground floor for retail and two floors of office and studio space.
Emphasizing the industrial theme, flooring throughout the space is a mix of carpeting and concrete while the ceilings were kept open and raw. Each floor was outfitted with a variety of Design Within Reach’s own lighting fixtures, whimsically hung around the window line of the design center to give these products street level exposure. Additionally, the project team designed a custom stairwell constructed of all brick with metal stairs to create a raw, unfinished aesthetic featuring special, spinning chandeliers of the company’s own design.
The project team conceived an airy space set against a cool white and gray color palette that contrasts with the warm interior brick walls and pops of their signature red. Rather than incorporating many private offices and solid barriers into the design, MKDA used benching systems, all-glass private offices and fixed screens to separate different work areas in an effort to promote transparency and a more democratic work environment. The main conference space was also designed in all glass with maximum flexibility as it has a sliding wall that can open to the entire space or can be closed for privacy.
On the second floor, employees have access to an open design studio, research area and full resource library to spark innovation and creativity. Keeping in line with their reputation as a top furniture provider, we included the latest contemporary furnishings throughout such as Knoll Antenna Workspaces, Artemide Lighting and Vitra Alcove Highback Sofas.