Designing an Agile Hub for Hybrid Work

Allentown, PA & Piscataway, NJ
Innovation, excellence, and organizational transparency are core values for this life sciences client who was seeking support for an evolved approach to hybrid work. As their design-build partner, Formcraft helped transform the office component of the company’s North American corporate headquarters and laboratory facility into a fully agile workspace hub.

The fully refreshed, collaboration-focused environment was intended to celebrate and promote organizational values and support their global-minded approach to flexible work. The project also served as a prototype and model for other, similar projects launched across the U.S. soon after in partnership with Formcraft.

Formcraft’s workplace strategy team worked closely with client leadership to understand and successfully deliver the project vision and goals. Together, they created a project guidebook identifying keywords and reference imagery used to define the space’s look and feel. As an employee-focused life sciences organization, site security, safety, and a sense of clean modernity were of primary importance. However, leaders also wanted the space to feel distinctly warm, comfortable, and user-friendly, especially for the company’s other employees visiting from around the world. One client leader described their culture as “collegiate.” This is a company dedicated to excellence, respectful discourse, and professionalism within a diverse scientific community.

To that end, Formcraft proposed an agile design showcasing a high level of workseat variety throughout. In any work environment, freedom of choice in location and posture is an empowering tool towards individual agency and self-driven collaboration. The design team  also recommended material selections based in the soft grays and clean whites common across the client’s existing spaces but enlivened by the introduction of deeper jewel tones and biophilic elements throughout.

The resulting space is open, bright, and accented liberally with greenery. Textiles, finishings and patterned wallcoverings take a direct cue from the client’s vibrant brand palette, extending the company’s identity into the physical space itself. The curved, organic shapes of the furnishings are meant to encourage a sense of comfort and almost residential welcome. Benching workstations within the main open workspace include rows of built-in planters soaking in sunlight from a full wall of windows.

The office includes a mix of open and enclosed work areas to accommodate varying preferences and needs. A few seats are assigned, but most are fully agile and free for anyone to use. Posture, level of privacy and technology connection all vary across the space and can be changed as needed. The largest open area includes desks, open library tables, bar-height tables, and soft café-style seating. Focus rooms provide a quiet spot to work or conduct calls. Employees select their own seats and how they want to work.

Extra care was taken to promote comfort and enhance acoustical material performance throughout. Suspended acoustic baffles and felted wall coverings are installed strategically to help limit reverberation in areas heavy in hard surfaces. Single-person focus rooms include wall-mounted light fixtures with a flattering indirect glow for video calls and a felted covering to dampen sound.

Varying upholstery fabrics, playful small-scale geometric patterns, and light oak accents add interest and depth to the palette. In the central hub where employees can grab coffee or meet casually at café-style tables, millwork wooden slats flank banquette seating. These custom elements provide a touch of screening while still allowing light and views. In the main entryway, an angled panel of dichroic glass slices through the wall separating an open lounge from the adjacent conference space. Its color seems to shift softly from blue to purple or even gold as visitors walk by, a memorable statement of greeting for those coming in to find a seat.

For an established life sciences company looking to embrace a hybrid, agile approach to workspace, this new collaborative hub delivers flexibility, connection, and choice. Formcraft planned carefully to provide an inspiring, innovative environment able to shift and evolve with the organization as they grow.

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