WFH Wellness Challenge

WFH Wellness Challenge

After 6+ weeks working from home, many are eager to reunite with their colleagues, while some are getting comfortable with connecting remotely. The common denominator is managing change. Staying connected while away makes transitioning back into the office smoother, and for those who will remain a zoom call away, it allows them to feel like an active part of the team.

Our WFH (Westgroup From Home) Wellness Challenge has enlivened and engaged our staff to get and stay connected like never before…and now we’re sharing our secret sauce with all of you! Each Week our WFH Wellness Challenge provides inspiration, a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition, as well as opportunities to be your best self! Weekly goals involving sharing healthy habits, self-care, energy builders, sustainability, environmental resilience, stress relief and creativity earn participant points toward a WD charity donation and, of course, winner’s bragging rights for the week! Staff completes their goal forms and submits them with any photos of their activities; they also post some of these on our Instagram and tag @WestgroupDesigns for some online promo! Sharing the weekly updates with these great submissions serves as a scrapbook of the success along the way, which we will be continuing to do, sharing this at our quarterly all staff celebrations!

Now its YOUR TURN! We’re providing our custom template of our WFH Challenge for you to use with your staff and teams. Have fun with it, and feel free to tag @WestgroupDesigns with your photos…we may just feature YOU and your inspiring activities in an upcoming post!

DOWNLOAD OUR WELLNESS WORKSHEET HERE!

Wellness Eblast

WD Celebrates the Success of Their Client, Alignment Healthcare!

Westgroup Designs celebrates the success of their client, Alignment Healthcare, being touted as the ‘Fastest Growing OC-based Private Company’ on the Orange County Business Journal’s 2019 List.

The 110,000 sf headquarters for this National organization was designed in 3 phases on 5 floors in Orange, CA.  Previously located in several smaller offices, this new design brings the 400-person staff  together under one roof, providing a unique work environment for both their healthcare and administrative professionals. The dynamic, progressive office space features diverse work and amenity zones planned for private, open, team, social and training functions, bolstered by sophisticated digital technology. Promoting knowledge sharing and a collaborative work ethic, many spaces also have dual functions for creative flexibility. This planning and design concept continues to work well, allowing this “patient-centric” organization to grow as they do their best work on behalf of the communities they serve.

 

Orange County Business Journal 2019 September

We Design. We Deliver. We Drive Change.

We Are WD.

We Design. We innovate every day to ensure that your vision drives everything that we do. We leverage our design expertise as a tool to help achieve organizational goals and strengthen business outcomes.

We Deliver. Most of the clients we started with are still with us, and 89% of our projects come from repeat clients. We know that the optimal solution begins with selecting the right team, who have the expertise, experience and vision, and combine this with the tools, technology, values and integrity to bring it all together.

We Drive Change. For 30 years, our success, locally and internationally, has been the result of more than just the quality of our work, it has been the culmination of attitude, strategic approach and the way we treat our clients. As passionate, committed stewards of the built environment, we practice what we preach and have been named one of the Best Places to Work in Orange County by the OCBJ for a second time as we share this dedication to excellence with our clients and project partners.

Westgroup Designs Creates Unique Environment for First Tenant of Flight at Tustin Legacy

Westgroup Designs Creates Unique Environment for First Tenant of Flight at Tustin Legacy

Orange County’s First purpose-built creative Office Campus will be home to Westgroup Designs (WD) client, Work Well Win, a progressive leader in the co-working industry. WD has developed the modern design solution for the client’s companies and independent executives to work in a professional environment supported by premier amenities where comfort, air, fitness and light are optimized to enhance productivity and overall well-being.

A progressive design for Work Well Win’s first Orange County office, this space supports their expansion mission and vision, whose headquarters and first office space is located in Connecticut. This design will incorporate details paying homage to the local history and agricultural landscape, with references to the citrus fields as well as blimp hangars and reflects the company’s branded health and wellness focused approach to the working environment.

The office space which makes the most of Flight’s thoughtfully articulated flexibility, features, market-leading amenities and it’s unique setting and location, is slated to be completed Summer 2019. Read more in the OC Register.

An Immersive Experience for Optimal Communication

An Immersive Experience for Optimal Communication

Virtual Reality through Visualization is now the norm to create that desired three-dimensional immersive experience, whether gaming for fun or building physical space. This digital experience can create an understanding of a project’s look and feel, and shows the potential of where a project can go.

As part of our typical design process, beginning with space planning, we work in 3D- in real space, in real time. Here is a sample of one of our recent projects, developed with our 3D modeling technology! This digital experience, customized to satisfy the viewer’s curiosity for detail, reveals the ultimate potential of the space, enhancing the understanding of the space’s look, feel and function.

Whether designers or end users of great space, we are all visual people…and delight in being given this opportunity to see beyond what mere drawings can tell us. Utilizing tools like this on every project not only expedites the design process, saving time, but is an invaluable tool for collaboration and communication, from early conceptual modeling to the final construction documentation.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the early phase of the design process with us….Step inside and enjoy the experience!

 

Lighting The Way Toward Energy Efficiency

Lighting The Way Toward Energy Efficiency

Optimizing Your Repositioning Project, Part 3: Westgroup Designs aided Hines in developing and implementing a design solution aimed at attracting flex-office and creative tenants to their Canyon Corporate Center that would reflect their focus on energy efficiency and versatility.

A global real estate investment firm with a presence in 19 countries and a portfolio totaling 531 properties, Hines asked Westgroup to provide a strategic redevelopment vision for their 155,000 sf multi-tenant office/warehouse building, in order to create one of the most unique and differentiated office environments in the Anaheim Canyon submarket.

We renovated both the main lobby and warehouse space for increased energy efficiency and “light and bright” appeal by first studying the opportunities for daylighting before replacing and adding light fixtures in each of the spaces.

Creating a sense of arrival was a key focus for the building’s main entrance. Two rows of tall, modern LED light posts rhythmically lead visitors from the parking area toward the main entrance. Exterior entry improvements included replacing the ubiquitous reflective glazing with dual-glazed, high-performance, clear glass units to permit views into the revitalized double-height lobby space beyond. The entrance, newly flanked by silver Alucobond-wrapped columns, reinforces a sense of outdoor-to-indoor transparency.

The 30-year-old lobby was repositioned as a two-story, modern collaborative meeting space with timeless natural finishes framing mountain views. Replacing fluorescent general lighting with LED fixtures at the ceiling was just the beginning: strategically integrated LED pendants and flush, linear fixtures highlight the natural-toned finishes selected to graphically represent the hills and plains of Anaheim’s 1800’s cityscape while recalling Anaheim’s original focus as the industrial center of the County.

The dark, 25,000-square foot warehouse space was converted into a bright and inspiring industrial office space. Two rows of new punched openings glazed with glare-resistant, high-performance glass boldly punctuate the existing tilt-up exterior walls while allowing for insertion of a future mezzanine between the new upper and lower windows. An ordered array of new skylights, strategically placed to accommodate multiple existing roof-mounted mechanical units, maximize daylighting. Furthering the natural light-filled industrial aesthetic, new aluminum and glass roll-up garage doors access adjacent patio and courtyard spaces. Our introduction of new efficient glazing and skylights results in little need for artificial lighting during the day. Complemented by enhanced roof deck insulation, the former warehouse’s energy costs have been reduced significantly.

Throughout the office areas, available tenant spaces were refreshed to attract progressive, creative firms looking for wide open, bright space with industrial appeal. Augmenting the efficiency of the interior spaces, underutilized outdoor areas – including the entry plaza, side patio and a 7,000 sf enclosed courtyard – were remodeled and activated as new amenity spaces, efficiently illuminated with LED fixtures around functional gathering and feature areas. Offering tenant access during the day and evening, these enhanced landscape spaces extend the opportunities for tenants to dine, lounge, collaborate and socialize.

Our resulting design effectively combines beauty with intelligence, leveraging the benefit of natural resources and incorporating energy efficient solutions to reduce operational costs while maximizing the user experience.

Contributors

Robyn Taylor, IIDA, CID

 

The Delicate Dance of Re-positioning Requires Great Choreography

The Delicate Dance of Re-positioning Requires Great Choreography

Optimizing Your Repositioning Project, Part 2: Considering logistics and holistic design strategies implemented in tandem.

Owners, landlords and tenants who contemplate remodeling occupied space often delay for fear that construction will be too disruptive – restricting access, reducing productivity and making their lives miserable for longer than they can tolerate. And when the scale of reinvestment includes both major interior renewal and site renovations, a project can have hundreds of moving parts to coordinate. Remodeling a fully-occupied building undeniably impacts the working environment, but strategic advice and direction by an experienced design and construction team regarding logistics, sequencing and phasing can significantly mitigate Owner concerns and effects on tenants, offering the rewards of few obstacles during the process and a fresh, new look at completion: a veritable win-win.

Westgroup is currently working with an Owner who understands and welcomes this strategic approach to upgrading, updating and remodeling all common areas and outdoor amenity spaces of their more than 80% leased, 10-story, 213,000 SF corporate office tower in Orange. Design and construction choreography is key: discussion of multiple phases, multiple permits and strategic management of people and work flow was the first order of business.

Comprehensive enhancements will be both functional and aesthetic, from energy and lighting upgrades and restroom accessibility to a new, modern appearance for the dated ground floor. Including main lobbies, ten floors of common corridors and restrooms, a conferencing facility, fitness center and hospitality/food service, the remodel will also address outdoor seating and feature areas, culminating with a new and welcoming canopy to frame the entry.

Rather than completing the design and construction on a piecemeal basis, the benefit to approaching the remodel holistically is the opportunity to find synergies between amenity spaces and needs. Integrating areas of the conference center, break-out space, food service and fitness center with redesign of individual activity areas reveals opportunities for great connection and flow between them. Re-planning these areas together also contributes to more effective circulation and system efficiency, allowing for larger, more flexible and attractive user space: great for landlords and appealing to discriminating tenants.

Creating a neutral palette as backdrop for the Owner’s rotating art collection, the simple sophistication of the remodeled lobby and amenity floor features natural materials of stone, glass, steel and wood layered in geometric form to create visual interest through attention to detail transitions. Mindful of a modest budget, tight schedule, and an occupied building, this curated, streamlined and strategic approach to implementing significant changes sets the barre – to extend the choreographic metaphor – for efficiency and effectiveness in a competitive real estate market, rich with both opportunities and options.

Contributors

Robyn Taylor, IIDA, CID

 

Ken Ong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

 

 

Don’t Take Your Common Space for ‘Granite’

Don’t Take Your Common Space for ‘Granite’

Strategies for Optimizing Your Repositioning Project, Part 1: Create increased value by transforming common areas into adjacent amenity spaces that function as extensions of the primary workspace, offering benefits to tenants without having to leave the building.

The OC market continues to see competition for attractive, progressive and flexible primary workspace as “repositioning” remains a favored real estate strategy. When owners and landlords initiate an overhaul of common areas to support collaborative activities and lifestyle amenities, both established firms and start-ups can often be enticed to take less office space per person in exchange for these updated, flexible areas that are shared with fellow tenants. With lines blurred between work and play, the positive perception of work/life balance engendered by these amenity spaces can be a differentiator as firm leaders seek to recruit and retain staff in a competitive marketplace, suggesting that the contemporary work environment is all about creating the ultimate inner-office experience.

Technology is key to many of these progressive amenities. Savvy clients, familiar with flexible workplace planning concepts, already know terms like “hot desking”, “hoteling” and “virtual office”. Information access in these new common areas must also gratify immediate needs, whether for interactive wayfinding, live news, promotion or knowledge sharing, and rapidly changing technology influences their design a step further. A space, facility or amenity featuring technology must be designed with the flexibility to allow for equipment upgrades, monitor size changes, orientation and mobility if it’s to continue exceeding the expectations of tomorrow’s tenants. And while a campus environment can offer everything from cafes to fitness centers, bocce courts and medical clinics, we note a strong desire to position amenities immediately adjacent to tenant space so that they function as an effective extension of the primary workspace.

In a recent concept design, Westgroup recommended this strategy to one of our corporate clients. To modernize common areas within a pair of high rise towers originally built in the 1980s, Westgroup enhanced their visual appeal by substituting wood veneered panels for the original dark granite interior walls and matte finished stone tile for the highly-polished floor, removing associated ornamental stone and metal detailing, softening the existing sharp angles, and infusing the spaces with both natural and diffused light. Removing thick, ornamental, stone-clad columns throughout the second-floor lobby revealed a larger, brighter, more open and flexible space, perfect as a shared tenant commons for lounging, meeting, collaboration, game room and more. Creating “touch down” as well as appointed activity spaces with both high-tech and high-touch features offers new and unparalleled value to tenants, who will be able to enjoy these benefits without leaving their building.

Contributors

Robyn Taylor, IIDA, CID

 

Ken Ong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

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