Case Study: Pophouse HQ2 - Series 1
Case Study: Pophouse HQ2 - Series 1
When we set out to relocate our headquarters in 2019, pre-pandemic, our goals and objectives for the space as well as our design narrative, were highly focused on maximizing space for daily team member use, an equal amount of both collaborative and focus space, a fully stocked and sizeable materials library, and hosting our team and clients comfortably for meetings and reviews. Our design narrative focused on inception of our HQ as a Design Lab, promoting the work we were already doing with clients but also to propel us into continued innovation, testing, and playing. At the time, as with most organizations, our team was onsite 5 days a week and our space had to accommodate daily physical presence as the priority. This included a space plan with decent densification and priority placed on the individual’s footprint vs the collective. When the pandemic hit in 2020 and we all went home to work, we paused our Schematic efforts indefinitely with the idea that we would revisit our plans, the site, and our needs once we had more time to observe the enormous work from home experiment that was unfolding.
Fast-forward to 2022, our team felt confident in picking this project up again, with the intention of revisiting the site we’d previously selected (a 4th floor suite on Woodward Avenue). We began to consider additional real estate options within the Central Business District of Detroit, with similar square footage to the original site, but increased visibility and connection to the Detroit streetscape and community. We ultimately fell in love with the 2nd floor suite of the David Stott Building in Capitol Park. The historic charm of the site, in addition to the 2nd floor visibility to the street and adjacent Capitol Park community felt invigorating.
The programmatic development of this new site shifted significantly from our original plans. Knowing our team would operate in a hybrid capacity both currently and in the future, we focused on a balance of individual vs communal space that tipped towards the communal, but also placed a much larger emphasis on hosting clients and the hospitality experience. Rewriting the script of the office and creating a space which would inspire our team, our clients, and our work in both a physical and virtual capacity was paramount.
As we began our HQ project, we came together to align on the intent of our new space and what we needed this space to accommodate. Through our dialogue we were able to capture these philosophies which united us together in vision, allowing us to form the foundation of what type of space we needed to support our team.
Craft the Pophouse inception of brand and experience through a new headquarters that supports a diverse and seamless team and client experience, secures our strategic vision for the future of workspace, and inspires innovation and opportunity within the industry.
As we began the process for designing our new headquarters, we leaned into discovery to drive our understanding and set a direction. While we had a core team of individuals focused on the project at the onset, surveying the team was a first step in gathering the voice of the community. We devised a brief survey to collect learnings that would confirm our approach to the space. As we have seen over time with surveying our team, sentiments can shift and change. How people viewed our office before the pandemic and after had shifted, the needs were different and the way we were thinking about what this space would be for our team had evolved. As we analyzed the survey data, we were able to put the results into context of the design decisions for the headquarters. We learned about how people were working and were able to validate programming considerations in the office and share back with the team how we were implementing this feedback.
We have found that sharing back with the entire team was a critical step and part of the change management process to keep the company informed during various check points along the way. Our team, like the clients we work with every day, are invested in their office space. These inputs allow us to build holistically with perspective.
While the survey was deployed, our team began discussing the experience that we wanted to have with technology, knowing that we would want to have technology considerations mapped out early on. Technology is no longer an afterthought in the way that people work today. Having certainty that individuals could connect in efficient ways while also allowing the ability to leverage impactful solutions to showcase our work with our clients was paramount. We were able to create a list of what was important to us to have alignment and build a plan:
Summarizing these factors kept them top of mind for us as we continued the design process ensuring that we were being intentional with the technology experience from the beginning.
As part of our external research, we captured precedent from spaces that were applicable in form or function to our future office. These provided a trove of content for our team to review together, surfacing detailed features for us to react to. This exercise helped to bring in new ideas and inspiration to continue to challenge our thinking and push our design for the final space. Our perspective for variance in the precedent we reviewed was broad, allowing us to absorb as much content as we could from a spectrum of industries, scale of space and function.
Research and discovery have helped to advance our design, expand our thinking, and push creativity as we worked on the development of our future headquarters. These foundational layers become momentum for arriving at space that is in line with our core values – curious, authentic, purposeful, and fearless.