‘Coffee shop meets design studio’ at HDR’s Minneapolis architecture studio

(February 12, 2016) - Imagine working in an office where there's no assigned seating. Where staff choice, wellness and collaboration are emphasized. Where every day, you choose where to sit based on your workflow—or your mood—on a bench, soft furniture, at a bar-height table, or in semi-enclosed lounge seating.

Mike Rodriguez, HDR's design principal in Minneapolis, describes their new 10,000-square-foot skyway studio in downtown Minneapolis's Mayo Clinic Square entertainment district as "coffee shop meets design studio." And not only does the glass storefront office encourage flexibility, interaction and creativity, but it's proof that we "walk the talk" here at HDR.

As Mike explains, "We encourage our clients to think about the importance of providing memorable and inspiring spaces; creating a diversity of opportunities for collaboration, interaction or concentration; and telling the story of their brand through the design solution. Our studio now reflects our intent to create the most innovative, inspiring and flexible workspaces for studio members, clients, guests and the local community."

What does the staff think now that they've been in their new home for a few weeks enjoying features such as an open hospitality-style kitchen, moveable multi-tier seating and 30 feet of writeable dry-erase walls?

"This truly is a space of collaboration," says Managing Principal Jim Thomson. "The intent was for people to get up and interact, share ideas, and critically and positively review their peers' work. We planned for this to be the case, but to see it in action is amazing!"

"Our new office layout transformed our office culture overnight," says Brian Giebink, project architect. "We're better connected and more involved with each other and all of the great things happening in our office. Every day is an adventure. Its unpredictable, dynamic nature aligns perfectly with our fast-paced office environment."

"Oh, the options," Digital Design Principal Rachel Riopel Wiley adds. "I can work however I need to on any given day. I can't deny that the location is amazing. There's lots of energy outside the door, and inside the daylighting is great."