ID Studios designs Volcano Corporation's new offices
By Deborah Elliott
ID Studios was recently tasked with designing a new office space in San Diego for Volcano Corporation, a medical device company known for intravascular imaging. The vision for the design was to express Volcano Corporation’s culture through the physical work environment, reflecting its uniquely informal and warm corporate atmosphere while preserving a personal connection for employees, and maintaining elements of the global brand. The result is a contemporary, clean, open concept environment where employees can freely create and collaborate on ideas, projects and products that improve the lives of patients.
Shades of blue, orange and brown appear throughout the space, reminiscent of the southern California beach vibe without being obvious or overly playful. The colors also create a comfortable juxtaposition of coolness and warmth. The coolness of the blues and metallic elements promote calm, centered thought and focus, while pops of orange inspire creative thought and energy. The white surfaces reflect light in the space, providing a bright, airy atmosphere. The wood elements support the mission of a healthy, natural environment, adding warmth both through the rich color of the wood and in a sunburst pattern of the flooring.
BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF DESIGN
The catalyst for the design was to “break down the walls” that typically exist within a corporate work environment, in an effort to reduce isolation, encourage collaboration and foster open communication. Low height, open office partitions were chosen specifically to enrich visual connections, allow natural light integration and create flexible work areas.
Flooring selection becomes a more crucial design choice in an open concept office. With an open view, flooring takes on a larger part of the visual landscape, contributing to the overall feel of the office. Flooring not only affects the general feeling of the space, but it can also help define how a space is utilized, such as separating heads-down individual workstations from nearby collaboration spaces.
The project team created unique solutions for workstations and private offices that matched the functional needs of individual groups, as well as providing informal employee connections through visual vistas within and across departments. The design process included renderings, mock-ups and a collaborative problem-solving team spirit, which helped Volcano realize its goals and set a new paradigm for the office culture.
MEETING THE MEETING NEED
Volcano provided a range of space options to support individual needs and social collaborative groups. Two-person enclosed glass pods, four-person open plan media centers and the 30-person multi-purpose room are examples of the range of options offered to employees to fit their private and collaborative work needs, providing a sense of wellbeing—physically, cognitively and socially.
As Volcano Corporation continues to grow, the multitude of conference rooms provides flexibility for the staff. Each floor is centrally organized with a range of meeting sizes in mind, from two- to three-person, four- to six-person and 12- to 14-person meeting spaces. Formal and informal options are also available. These areas are defined through the use of specialty carpets. In a more formal example, the large conference room is outfitted with Atlas Ancien broadloom in Holly Springs, which mimics the fine lines of a thumbprint, reflecting the personal focus on individual Volcano customers, as well as on individual employees.
Circular elements were used liberally as a nod to the specialty medical devices utilized in cardiovascular care, a core element of the business. For example, the project team enlisted the help of the employees’ children to paint circles on small canvases to reflect intravascular ultrasound images. These canvases, infused with the children’s own colors and styles, created a unique reflection of the business through their eyes and took personalization to a new level.
Circular elements are repeated throughout the space, starting with the wood flooring installed in a custom starburst
pattern, which greets you immediately upon arrival at reception. The starburst consists of Mirage wood planks from the Sweet Memories series, centering near the elevators and radiating outward to all corners of the building, which can also represent the casting of knowledge and awareness in an outward spiral from the heart of Volcano. The circle theme continues from this flooring up to the ceiling and lighting design and in countless places in between, from furniture shapes to a penny-tile backsplash.
Floorcovering options are abundant, and selecting the appropriate flooring is a major factor in the overall success of any design. The flooring at Volcano helped ground the design direction taken by the team in creating the feel desired by the client.
Beyond the radiating wood flooring, Shaw Contract carpet tile was selected for its compatibility with the design, and its inherent environmental sensitivity. Its flexible color range was a perfect complement to the design. The blues play off of the varying shades of brown, sparkling like a natural agate stone, while an undulating pattern emulates the striations of blown sand.
The rhythmic pattern of Shaw Contract’s Fade tile is perfect for mimicking the feel of the ocean surf’s relentless pulse against the shoreline. The multi-hued blue is reminiscent of the various colors of the ocean when looked at from above.
When installed next to the agate design, Fade Tile brought in a playful but subtle feel of surf and sand while maintaining the professionalism of an office setting. The custom wood flooring takes on the feel of driftwood, and Emser’s Eurasia Grigio porcelain tile, used in the breakrooms, mimics stone. All of these flooring choices came together to further enhance the southern California beach feeling.
Even the often overlooked LVT has been getting a makeover in recent years, so now designers have the option to make the everyday areas look beautiful, such as the copy room, where the team used Mannington’s Nature’s Path Dissolve in Render.
Overall, the flooring provided the basis and grounding for the design direction taken by the ID Studios team in creating the health and employee focused environment desired by Volcano.
Copyright 2015 Floor Focus
Copyright 2015 Floor Focus