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New Energy Provider

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New Energy Provider

The Great Indoors

As Houston continues its transformation from the Energy Capital of The World to the Renewable Energy Capital of The World, the new energies field is changing, too. This burgeoning field requires workspaces that act as incubators conducive to the types of complex ideation required to push the industry forward.

That challenge was precisely what drove this client to reach out to our team. As a growing department inside this client’s organization, the team didn’t yet have a space that supported their daily needs or spoke to the impact of their work.  

Our client saw an opportunity to create an environment that deeply connected to their purpose and could increase competitive advantages and boost their employees’ experiences. The new space would need to fully capture the optimistic and future-focused nature of the client’s work, with technology and innovation playing an integral role in virtually every aspect of the design. It needed to foster the collaboration and exploration of ideas, which would mean a shift in the existing team working styles.

To test how these workstyle shifts would impact employee behavior, we created pilot spaces for the team to test. The pilots emphasized how a focus on hospitality principles could lead to stronger employee engagement through solutions like soft color palettes and dedicated areas designed to encourage organic collaboration.

These pilot spaces proved to be a success, and our team utilized the insights and feedback to modify the holistic space’s design solution for the department’s new floor. These pilots' success also gave our client the confidence that the design direction would support the organizational objectives and be fully utilized by their staff.

The workplace unites technology and nature, emphasizing how the two can work in tandem to complete the department’s purpose. The space would also need to incorporate elements of nature as a way of representing the brand’s dedication to sustainability. Upon entry, guests are welcomed into an immersive elevator lobby, featuring projections of tranquil scenes of nature. These projections are dynamic and customizable, allowing the team to switch for holidays, seasons, or special events. This aesthetic inclusion makes the entryway representative of the outdoor environment or sets the stage for the internal celebrations.

Moving past the lobby, visitors and employees can enjoy a vibrant and lush living wall. However, the centerpiece of this public space is undoubtedly the LED video wall, which invites interaction via a nearby tablet to learn about the client’s initiatives across the globe.

Passing through the lobby takes employees and guests to the central work hub, where the team does most of their heads-down work. Because the team previously worked in private offices, it was particularly important that the work areas carefully balanced individual workspace with room for collaboration.

The design’s open floor plan takes full advantage of the space, with agile seating ensuring the client has the flexibility to expand their team or evolve their space without areas feeling congested.

Because of noise issues that stem from an open floor plan, the collaborative and meeting spaces needed not to interfere with solo work. We were careful to place these sections closer to the social areas toward the back of the space, accommodating any workstyle with minimal distractions.

Employees looking to take a break, chat with colleagues, or just enjoy a change of scenery can head to the cafe and lounge area. Featuring freshly poured coffee and barista services, as well as games like shuffleboard and ping pong, this area is so popular that employees from other floors and departments frequently visit.

With the design solution implemented, the new energies, employees throughout the floor enjoy a comfortable and inviting workspace that provides the freedom to envision and innovate. With a strong balance of quiet and public spaces, this appealing environment has become a preferred choice for employees, who now opt to come into the office on flexible workdays instead of working remotely.


Meredith Blackburn
Doug Hellmann


Five Stone Studios

Photography by Joe Aker

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