Mission: Make Sure Teams Can Do Their Best Work
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors specializes in the design and the creation of workspace environments that advance the missions of their clients, which range from start-ups to Fortune 500 across the U.S. The guiding principle: make sure their clients feel connected to their purpose in the workplace through furnishings and interior designs that help people focus within an aesthetically pleasing space. Design experts address each aspect of a facility, including stress reduction, making visitors and clients feel welcome, and providing an environment that makes it easy to focus on tasks.
“Space really matters,” says Jason Lund, director of IT and AV for Atmosphere Commercial Interiors. “It’s about helping make sure teams can do their best work.”
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors applied that focus on the work experience to the renovations of its headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, where it occupies the third and fourth floors of an historic building. Those renovations would also include a rebranding, one that would speak to clients and staff alike.
The organization knew that its team members wanted choice and control over how they work and complete their tasks. That’s why Atmosphere Commercial Interiors set about a project that would enhance the ability of its staff to collaborate and build a culture that attracts the right talent to join their team.
That focus requires creativity on the part of its designers, so Atmosphere Commercial Interiors sought spaces that would accommodate a variety of work styles and technology that would encourage the sharing of ideas.
“We wanted to demystify technology,” says Greg Whitehead, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors VP of sales. “We wanted it to be seamless and very easy to use.”
In working with AVI-SPL, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors sought to create meeting spaces that enable staff to quickly get to work.
“We bring a lot of IT expertise to the physical workspace,” says Whitehead. “But we really need valuable partners on the integration side like AVI-SPL. Whenever you’re going about these projects, it’s important to find the right partner that you feel that close connection with, but that can also deliver the support and expertise that you need.”
“We were faced with the challenge of trying to express who we were,” says Lund.
Action: Understand the End-Users’ Perspective
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors’ IT and design teams worked closely with AVI-SPL and design company Gensler to create client spaces where the user experience is top of mind.
“This space was a huge undertaking for us,” says Whitehead. “We went about the same process that we undergo with our clients. First and foremost, understand the end-users’ perspective.”
To that end, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors interviewed and surveyed its team members, and conducted observational research to understand how its team is working today and how they might be working in the future.
AVI-SPL then worked from the design to integrate collaboration solutions into areas like huddle spaces, one-person enclaves, dual-display meeting rooms, and open collaboration spaces. The unifying theme: work how you want to.
Samsung video displays are used for signage and presentation. One pair of displays is located just inside the reception area on the fourth floor, and another is on the third floor near the staircase between floors. Both have a digital floorplan that make it easy to see which collaboration spaces and free address desks are in use and which are available. Behind the reception area, five Samsung displays form the video wall.
“The Samsung displays were perfect for the video wall,” says Kurt Johnson, AVI-SPL account manager. “They allowed us to rotate the image 90 degrees and the image quality and flexibility and configuration just made it the natural choice.”
To address audio challenges, AVI-SPL integrated wireless Shure ceiling microphone arrays in the larger conference room areas. The Intellimix DSP suite activates the appropriate microphone channel depending on who is talking and connects to a video codec or PC used for web conferencing.
“We went with Shure because of their combination of high performance and ease of installation,” says Daniel Ekblad, AVI-SPL project manager.
Biamp TesiraFORTE comes with Dante digital audio networking and carries the microphone signal from the Shure in-ceiling mic array to the amplifier. JBL speakers in the training room and larger conference rooms deliver sound from the input plate sources, microphones, and video playback signage.
Crestron 4K multi-format presentation systems in the main boardroom and classrooms enable meeting participants to start working as soon as they connect their personal devices to the table inputs. From the table, they use the Crestron touch-screen’s customizable, 7-inch interface to select and switch between sources and outputs.
“All the automation that makes that installation intuitive has Crestron behind the scenes,” says Johnson.
A 5,000-lumen Sony laser projector, deployed in the 3rd floor training room, has been a go-to for many AVI-SPL projects. Ease of use and installation are key benefits, along with its endurance.
“Through a coordinated planning effort with the Atmosphere Commercial Interiors project manager and staff, we worked around their day-to-day operations,” says Ekblad. “Their staff knew what to expect, and very few areas were out of service for very long.”
Impact: “This Is What We Can Do”
Purpose shaped the spaces at Atmosphere Commercial Interiors. Now, staff can share their work with others within meeting spaces that accommodate one-on-one sessions and groups of a half dozen or more. In the WORKLAB, team members collaborate on projects while clients are brought in to imagine what their own spaces could look like.
“When guests come into our space, I think they feel inspired and really see themselves working in a space like this,” says Megan Sciera, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors’ director of marketing.
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors has improved upon the people-place-purpose connection that informs its headquarters and makes it the kind of place people want to work in and guests want to emulate.
“The day that these doors first opened, when our team members walked in, you could just see that pride, that they saw ‘this is what we can do,’” says Lund.
And when clients walk in, they know what Atmosphere Commercial Interiors is about and what it can do for them: propose solutions that it has already validated in its own space. They can see that anyone on the Atmosphere Commercial Interiors team as well as guests that visit the space can quickly get to work.
“We’ve received very positive feedback not only from our internal employees, but also from the architecture and design community and several of the clients that have had the chance to tour the facility,” says Whitehead.
Using the new technology and the experience that surrounds it, the staff meets the business challenges presented by clients by working in an environment that is a model of inspiration. They can see in real time which spaces are available and which are occupied. They can work privately or collaborative in groups, and have the tools to feel engaged and productive. Practical touches include lounge and classroom furniture equipped with desks that have plenty of surface space for laptops and wireless sharing devices.
“They embraced the new technology, and jumped in right away to use everything once completed,” says Ekblad. “What we installed on this project was all part of their core business model, so everything flowed together nicely.”
The partnership between AVI-SPL and Atmosphere Commercial Interiors also flowed as team members on each combined their talents to realize the goal of creating a model of the collaborative workplace.
“AVI-SPL was an excellent partner for us — everything from the product expertise that they brought to the project but also the unparalleled support that they offered our team,” says Whitehead.