Perkins and Will Reimagine Viacom HQ
The collegiate redesign of media giant’s New York headquarters is platform for collaboration and creative expression
In the heart of Times Square, global architecture firm Perkins and Will have unveiled their new design within Viacom’s headquarters. The global architecture firm reimagined three full floors for the media company’s Global Marketing and Legal departments that support multiple Viacom brands – from MTV, to Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
The result is a celebration of individual brand identities underpinned by a collegiate layout that encourages spontaneous collaboration and creative expression. An homage to the iconic New York City loft, workplaces are designed to be professional yet familial – from lounge-inspired break-rooms to awe-inspiring boardrooms, boasting towering views over midtown Manhattan at 1515 Broadway.
“From the outset, we worked closely with the client to understand both the needs of the enterprise groups and the Viacom brand. The redesign accommodates the unique nuances of the Global Marketing and Legal departments while also incorporating universal components across all three floors that allow for future flexibility. Even within a singular company, you’ll often find distinct cultures and workflows that require different design responses. As architects, we must be acutely sensitive to that and keep our ears open,” says Brent Capron, Design Director of Interiors at Perkins and Will. “We were also mindful to create a space with longevity, that could adapt and become more efficient over time.”
The office remains collegiate at its core with open floor layouts carved out into ‘neighbourhoods’, broken up neatly with open workspaces bordered by low partitions. Clear-coat concrete floors and even-toned work stations feature black metal accents and wood-top surfaces, while exposed high ceilings further emulate a classic loft-style design.Meanwhile informal vignettes – from soft benched seating to vibrant phone booths – support multiple types of collaboration, offering variety and choice to the community within.
Neon wayfinding and signage also add a playful pop of color while allowing the layering on of multiple brand expressions for the diverse groups that make up the company’s whole.
Viacom’s interactive and creative working ethos has been woven deep into the design itself. By way of a color-your-own-wall covering, employees can harness the walls to express, explore, and create in an open invitation to brainstorm – an especially relevant feature for the 27th and 28th floors, which are home to Viacom’s Global Marketing team.
In a nod to the urbanism and iconic views surrounding the tower, each quadrant across two of the three redesigned floors is dedicated to a specific region or country. Quirky, hand-doodled skylines line the distraction banding on full glass windows, sketching various major cityscapes from around the world.
The design scheme is built on a strong black and white base with natural wood colours and lively, stand-out graphics splashed on the walls, embodying the industrial edge of a classic New York loft.
Location: 1515 Broadway, New York, NY
Completion Date: 2019
Size: 97,000 square feet
Floors: 27th and 28th (Marketing) and 34th (Legal)
Photo Credit: Eric Laignel
About Perkins and Will
Perkins and Will, an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm, was founded in 1935 on the belief that design has the power to transform lives. Guided by its core values—design excellence, diversity and inclusion, research, resilience, social purpose, sustainability, and well-being—the firm is committed to designing a better, more beautiful world. Fast Company named Perkins and Will one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture, and industry rankings consistently place Perkins and Will among the world’s top design practices. With an international team of more than 2,700 professionals, the firm has over 20 studios worldwide, providing services in architecture, interior design, branded environments, urban design, and landscape architecture. Partners include Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen; retail strategy and design consultancy Portland; sustainable transportation planning consultancy Nelson\Nygaard; healthcare technology planning firm Genesis; and luxury hospitality design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR). For more information, visit www.perkinswill.com.