AMC was after an inspiring office design that would consolidate their offices, act as a creative hub and house client events. After all, they’re a company that’s built on quality entertainment.
The client's brief
As a company that’s focused on user experience and engagement, it's no surprise that AMC Network's new office had to allow for seamless collaboration. They wanted a dynamic office design that supported different creative disciplines, and where desks weren't the only areas for productivity; all while acting as a drawcard for recruiting new talent. To top it off, they were also after a high-spec client-facing cinema and cafe to be integrated into the fit out.
We worked with AMC employees to establish the key design principles, following a comprehensive workplace consultancy study. It turned out that staff had a lack of meeting spaces, nowhere to collaborate and each team felt distinctly separated from one another. This was the result of years of housing different teams in three neighboring offices. We conducted time utilisation studies, surveys, detailed interviews and even team building sessions to really understand what the different teams were after, and how they could work better together. The key themes were for staff to have a collaborative environment that encouraged interaction, and less silos within the business. Most importantly, everyone at AMC had an appetite for change.
What we delivered
When you enter the office you're greeted with a double-floor staircase that's doused in natural light flowing through from the glass atrium above. This staircase is clad in a natural wood finishing which seamlessly joins all three floors together. This allows staff to easily move around (and not have to continually wait for the lifts) while also increasing the sense of open space. The open space was also the perfect place for eight over-sized TV screens to showcase AMC's programming throughout the day.
The workstations reflect a philosophy of openness, as they've been set in an open plan layout with minimal partitions to interrupt a clear view across the floor. AMC was also keen to bring staff from private offices out into the open plan layout. To facilitate this, we designed a range of 'hot offices' and small meeting rooms that're perfect for conference calls, and quiet or private work time. Flexible breakout areas have been designed to encourage collaboration and spontaneous catch-ups, along with multi-purpose meeting rooms that facilitate different meeting styles.
To make IT services more accessible, we designed a ‘genius bar’ style IT helpdesk next to the cafe, so staff could drop off their devices and have them fixed or upgraded while they have their lunch. The Vice President of IT's personal promise of ‘Don’t worry, it will just work’ has also been playfully used as a graphic on the wall next to the roller-shutter opening.
A space for premiers
AMC also wanted a space to host launch events and screenings on site, avoiding the need for external venue hire to entertain clients or host a preview screening. We designed a cosy 15 seat preview cinema, complete with heavy fabric curtains to add an element of luxury and block out any unwanted sound from the surrounding office. Not only is this more cost effective, it adds to the client experience as they can see first-hand the professional and creative environment under one roof. Staff have immediately taken to the cinema as a cool place for keynote presentations and they've even launched an after-hours cinema club!
Let there be light
Natural light flows freely throughout the building, which helps create a healthy environment. Glare reduction was a big consideration for the production teams, who spend their time editing on-screen footage. We overcame this by placing solar film on the windows, using ambient lighting, and glare-reducing black desks to help combat unwanted glare. This allows the teams to have the best of both worlds; getting a dose of vitamin D, while staying as productive as possible.
Keeping staff connected
Staff previously felt disconnected from their end product and the wider AMC network. We sought to develop a feeling of inclusiveness by breaking down physical barriers, and installing enabling technology in all of the meeting rooms. Air Play enabled screens, wireless networking and an IT infrastructure that supports BYOD (bring-your-own-device) ensure that staff constantly feel connected. Digital control panels outside the meeting rooms help increase utilisation and combat no-shows, whilst also encouraging ad-hoc usage.
This investment into the office will see long term savings for AMC, as they are set to save on business continuity, property management and external entertaining costs. So, not only does their new office provide an inspiring workplace, it also makes perfect financial sense.