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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network | Headquarters Design

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Build out, branding.
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  • OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
    Headquarters Design
  • In 2009, I was asked to help create the new headquarters for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in Los Angeles, CA.  At the time I was based in Chicago at Harpo Studios and was borrowed out to OWN & Discovery. 

    It was new territory for all of us and having been able to influence the creation of such a massive undertaking.

    Thanks the all of the partners on the project:  OWN, Discovery Communications, Precision Consulting, Archcentric P.C., Steelcase and OEC Business Interiors.
  • Seating areas and conversation pits automatically bring people together.  Taking time to plan ahead and step outside the box to think about your space is essential. 

    Using the right style furniture in the lounge, part of the OWN Cafe, helped keep the space feel formal enough to meet with guests but casual enough to keep your feet up and do some creative brainstorming.

    The round table has a paper pad on top so you can doodle notes or write down that great idea before you forget it.
  • I wanted the OWN Cafe to be more than a place to eat or for a quick meeting.

    When you're at a party, what room does everyone hang out in? The kitchen.

    The OWN Cafe was quickly transformed into a theater for movie screenings, town halls for company meetings, special events and even a studio.
  • As a cable start up, there was a very tight budget.  I believe in quality first and there are lots of other ways to reduce the bottom line.

    I wanted the cafe to get a use so I incorporated that intention into the selection of the furniture. 

    I picked pieces that were sturdy and strong.  Playing with warm laminate wood table tops and cheerful colored seats, all from standard stock selections, was a cost effective and practical decision.
  • I struggled to come up with an idea at first for the seating in the cafe.  Using all round tables and chairs is predicable but I wanted something that would allow me create different configurations.

    Keeping the budget in mind, I opted for a nicer fabric for the benches instead of a couple extra chairs and tables.  I sacrificed more furniture for design.
  • Regardless of what people say, I do not just sit around and talk on the phone --- it's all business.

    I'm my own worst critic, like most people.  However, I found myself spending time in and using the space as I had planned it.

    I like spaces that feel like home but then right before they cross the line you get a sense of the professional mission of the business.
  • This huge space was fun to work with but had a lot of challenges.

    My plan was to treat the space as a city making three neighborhoods defined by a smaller color palette within the broader general palette.  The colors were pulled from shades and tones of the OWN logo.

    As I mentioned before, it's important to think outside the box.  Knowing that things could change at any minute, I planned the cubicles so the colored fabric panels could be easily and without causing a huge expense.
  • I'm a preserver of sunlight and will try to find any way to keep from blocking windows. 

    We needed a number of private enclosed offices and conference rooms.

    In this scenario, using floor to ceiling glass for walls allowed us to build offices in the middle of the space.
  • When I was working on the Executive Offices at Harpo Studios (portfolio - Harpo Studios | Interior Renovations), I was meeting with the principal owner of the project.

    We were discussing seating and I was given the best advice - they should feel like you are in the womb, safe and wrapped up.   Everything I do now has that feeling.  

    Mesh screens wrapped around modular sofas to create a nest.  Even though you were closed in, it provided enough privacy to escape away for a few minutes and think.

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