Lippincott & Margulies Office
Machado and Silvetti organized the top floor into three major zones. The first, a handsome reception area, provides seating for clients and establishes the overall materials palette for this level: wood, perforated aluminum, blackened steel, and glass.
Within this world of rectilinear, paneled elements, specialty door pulls and an unusual terrazzo treatment establish a witty, sensuous counterpoint. The terrazzo originates in the elevator lobby as a screen wall, wraps down to form a bench, continues into the reception area as flooring, and finally turns upward and across to form a transaction surface for the main reception desk.
Beyond this area is a space the designers term “the wood box,” essentially a thick wall that contains many program elements–administrative assistant work stations, storage, a pantry, and so on. According to Love, “We wanted to organize a lot of the service program inside the `box’ so we could make the rest of the plan as open as possible.” The outer surface of the box is wrapped in fiddleback anigre veneer with a special horizontal coursing of Mankato-Kasota golden buff limestone, and the interior is treated with perforated aluminum ceiling panels and walls painted a warm ochre. Beyond the box is a broad passageway; with street views at either end, it gives the effect of hovering above the grand expanse of Park Avenue. Senior management offices are located along the perimeter. They meet the passage across a freestanding, luminous wall that incorporates clear, sandblasted, and translucent blue glass panels.
Furniture interior in each office
Because the partners spend much time out of town, the offices were designed to accommodate changing program needs. Each office contains a primary work station for the individual partner along with a meeting area that allows others to use the room for small conferences when the partner is out of town. Furniture is high-end, corporate modern, including Aeron chairs and Herman Miller stainless steel tables with custom marble tops. Thick partitions between the private offices provide concealed storage and open shelving on both sides.
On the lower level, the box is not expressed and the space was left relatively open. At either side of the stairwell are large open areas with semi-private work stations. Machado and Silvetti left the concrete ceiling exposed at this level to maximize height and provide what Love calls “a more downtown feeling.” Across the open expanse of the lower floor, work station walls were lined with cork to gain ample pin-up space and reduce sound transmission.
Within this very sensible arrangement, a few special elements appear to lighten the tone. The stone that runs around the edge of the “wood box” is treated with a deft touch. For much of its length it serves as horizontal ornament, only to transform into a writing surface at the administrative assistant desks and a fold-out buffet in one of the conference rooms. Along the closet doors, the stone was sculptured into distinctive cabinet pulls. Perhaps most inventive of all are the extravagant door pulls located at the entrance to the reception area and the senior office and meeting spaces. Carved maple shafts wrapped with stitched leather tops, the pulls offer an unmistakable moment of pleasure at the clients’ fingertips.