New York, NY — Property manager CBRE and architect Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI) have completed the construction of a pre-built office space on the 21st floor of 180 Madison Ave. in Manhattan.
This is MADGI’s eighth project for CBRE at 180 Madison Ave. MADGI has already completed the main lobby renovation and upgrades for the elevator cabs.
“Tech lofts” – open loft-like spaces with minimal private offices and plenty of social space – have been the workplace design concept of choice for technology, advertising, media, and IT (TAMI) tenants for several years. More recently, this design has also been adopted by other industries. This trend makes the tech loft pre-built offices easier to lease for landlords. It used to be that the majority of pre-builts were just generic ‘plain vanilla’ boxes,” said MADGI principal Daniel Montroy, AIA.
Montroy explained. “Now the majority – maybe up to 75% in certain areas and properties – are tech lofts.”
Pre-built offices, fully finished and wired, offer tenants immediate occupancy, which is attractive to rapidly growing companies. The tech-loft design provides tenants with the flexibility to organize their workplace environment. TAMI firms near-universally prefer this kind of design to exhibit their open and egalitarian corporate cultures, and to attract Millennial employees.
“The new pre-built office houses a 525-sq.-ft. kitchen and lounge area with upscale fixtures and furnishings. It has a relaxed, residential feeling to it, ideal for formal and informal conferences. It is also a space where colleagues can relax and collaborate on new ideas,” explained MADGI project manager Sarah Bigos. The space can also be used to host events after hours. The 350-sq.-ft. conference room features glazed walls of ¼-in. tempered glass so that it feels open to the rest of the office space and fits in with the open design concept. The office houses its own passenger elevator lobby and a separate freight elevator bank.
Interior finishes include polished concrete floors with clear acrylic seal, exposed concrete ceiling slabs, and exposed steel columns. The steel elements all have received level five fire protection with spray-on intumescent paint. The I-beam steel columns were stripped of concrete for aesthetic reasons and to provide additional floor plate space. To increase the ceiling height, MADGI opted for flat oval ductwork, which allows for additional head room in comparison to square or rectangular ducts. Both the plumbing and ductwork were painted white to make them less noticeable.
The kitchen space includes two large refrigerators, both Energy Star certified, and features two water lines for coffee makers. The space was fitted with custom-made modern cabinetry finished in ash grey/brown laminate veneer. A glass Viscaya backsplash tile in gloss finish by Nemo Tile is installed behind a sink. One of the lounge area walls was painted in a dark chalkboard finish by IdeaPaint. The lounge features three decorative pendant lighting fixtures. MADGI outfitted the remainder of the space with linear LED lighting fixtures by National Lighting. The new lighting system includes daylight sensors and both automatic and manual dimming controls for optimal energy efficiency.
Murphy Kennedy Group (MKG) served as general contractor for the entire project, including both the demolition and the build-out. Demolition entailed replacing the windows and removing the existing internal divider walls, HVAC infrastructure, and lighting system.
“The major challenge was to complete the work within an eight-week time frame, which included the demolition phase,” explained MKG Principal James Kennedy.
“To deliver the project on schedule,” added MKG Project Manager Austin Purcell, “the design and construction team had to pre-purchase long-lead items early on. These included the lighting fixtures, custom carpentry, and glazing for the conference room.”