The client wanted to present an image that was up-to-date and forward-looking, polished but somewhat industrial and a bit formal at the same time. The company's "Customer First" reputation meant that the new space must appeal to vastly different customer segments, ranging from small, independent contractors needing to rent equipment or find replacement parts to large construction companies negotiating the purchase of huge equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The company also does a large international business involving very sophisticated international and high-volume clients. The interior design of the office space had to make this diverse group of customers feel comfortable and also needed to be environmentally sensitive, highly functional and a terrific place to work.
After competing with a number of other architecture and interior design firms, GS&P was awarded the job. The design team proceeded to gut the 32,000-square-foot building, down to the bare tilt-up exterior walls and concrete floors. Dry wall disappeared. Electrical systems, fire protection and plumbing were torn out. When the demolition was complete, it was, according to principal-in-charge Jacqueline Russo, IIDA, like starting over with a brand-new building.
A training center in the old building was antiquated and small, holding only about 20 people. Now it is more like a theater, more functional and equipped with the latest in audio/visual technology. The space can hold several dozen people assembled for employee training, equipment demonstrations or corporate conferences.
Nearby, there is a more private waiting area for customers who will meet with sales representatives and executives. In an adjacent corridor, the interior design team created a history wall that follows the timeline of the company and its founders, the Ringhaver family. Small meeting rooms and a large conference room are in this area as well.
Interior finishes in the facility are of high quality materials, rich and sophisticated to the eye, but easy to maintain and inexpensive. Workstations were designed with efficiency and future flexibility in mind. Organized around central supply areas, the stations don't need to hold large quantities of supplies or printers and fax machines and thus are slightly smaller than traditional office workstations. Through an indirect lighting system, employees can choose the level of light they want. The addition of natural light and pleasant views from the new windows provides various lighting levels, reduces the need for intense lighting and helps save energy.
It was a complex job, according to Russo, involving very detailed programming and design development. In the end, she is proud to have delivered exactly what the client requested: a highly designed, highly functional renovated corporate office that has boosted employee confidence in Ring Power and, in turn, the confidence of all their customers.