MITHUN recently began a process of realigning itself with its founding partner’s creative values of a half century ago. The agency had a strong market position but aspired to regain the creative edge of its inception. To reinvent internal creative processes, the agency’s new leadership envisioned a more dynamic, collaborative work environment that both nurtured and conveyed its creative process.
MITHUN’s new workplace at 510 Marquette in the heart of downtown Minneapolis offers a powerful urban space with coffered ceilings, city views, a penthouse and rooftop terrace. Capitalizing on three walls of perimeter daylight and city views, the design organizes enclosed spaces along the southern opaque wall and glass enclosed offices and conference rooms along the east wall. Careful integration of HVAC distribution, power, lighting, and fire-protection systems retains the powerful presence of the concrete coffered structure. A diffuse vaporous light quality evident in the raw space was enhanced with the whitewashed masonry walls and concrete floors complemented with glass, pale soaped oak and a light diffusing brushed stainless steel. The space becomes a warm yet elegant version of white space surrounding the agencies creative efforts.
The space was conceived with the idea of fluidity, and movement. By creating a great variety of alternative work spaces, from remote, quiet spaces to open relaxed collaboration spaces, the design allows the staff to customize to their daily tasks. The workday is dynamic and mobile. Open stairs connect all three floors plus the penthouse. With this mobility, the agency provides a healthy workplace as well as a creative one, allowing more staff interaction as well the creativity provided by a change of venue.