Projects: Office Facilities

RIOS, Los Angeles

RETROFIT TEAM

ARCHITECT, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, INTERIOR DESIGNER, GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND LIGHTING DESIGNER: RIOS

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Reaume Richardson

The space fuels RIOS’ desire to explore the new frontier of workplace design using its own office as a laboratory.

MOBILE INTERIOR PLANTER INSTALLER: Harold Jones Landscape Inc., (805) 582-7443

MURAL ARTIST: Aaron Kai

MATERIALS

The following is a sampling of materials used in the project:

FURNITURE DESIGN AND FABRICATION: MASHstudios

UVC SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION: Control Air Enterprises

OVERHEAD FANS: Big Ass Fans

TILE: Fred + Cathy

LOCKERS: Heartwork

THE RETROFIT

When RIOS sought a new home in 2017, the search led to the intersection of Crenshaw and Exposition. New growth in the area has been attributed to the 2016 introduction of Metro’s Expo line, which will connect to Los Angeles International Airport, leading to more growth. The 32,000-square-foot bow-truss building is adjoined to a 20,000-square-foot warehouse. The only walls inside delineate spaces for meeting and making, including a home for a laser cutter, CNC mill, focused workspaces and collaboration tables.

The space fuels RIOS’ desire to explore the new frontier of workplace design using its own office as a laboratory. The grittiness and “light touch” within the space is intentional to remove any notion of preciousness and further the ideas of exploration, evolution and flux.

Working from home in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 brought about an entirely new set of issues to explore within—and connected to—the workplace. RIOS embraced the change, and as its team supported those working from home with laptops and distributed working platforms, the team simultaneously shifted the workplace model at their physical address.

The density increased from 203 square feet per person to 515 square feet, with bookable desks and employee lockers holding essential work items. Teams can book desks together or work autonomously. The configuration acknowledges that working from home is here to stay but also underscores the importance of coming together in a physical space. Workplace culture and social interaction, as well as kickoff meetings and project charettes, are more successful with in-person interface. With that in mind, a series of collaboration tables, which bring teams together and connects them with colleagues working remotely, are interspersed throughout the space.

The design also considers important wellness items, like airflow with UVC systems installed at all air intake locations within the HVAC, the addition of over-scaled fans to keep air moving, and an abundance of plants to act as biophilic partitions and provide lushness. A materials lab allows the act of material selection to be celebrated. Selected materials become part of project collections via mobile project carts that can be moved to wherever important live or virtual discussions are occurring.

PHOTO: Jasper Sanidad

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