Perkins+Will has designed a new customer center and sales office for Microsoft located in Hartford, Connecticut. The new Microsoft Customer Center and Sales office in Hartford, Connecticut was designed to incorporate both employee workspace for the sales team as well as a customer center to showcase the Microsoft brand. The challenge was to move the team from the suburbs into a downtown high-rise in order to be located closer to their customers. The employee space was based around an unassigned/mobility environment for the sales staff and includes “benching” style work stations, focus and flex rooms, a conference room, a telephone room, open collaboration and an employee hub. Super Graphics were used in the space to energize the workspace.
The Customer Center includes Microsoft branding (both 2D and 3D) throughout, custom designed device displays, various conference rooms, and a large multipurpose room. The Center allows for large groups to gather for various meetings and social activities. By incorporating Microsoft’s technical expertise as well as cutting-edge tools and technology, the space was designed to be a functional showcase of Microsoft’s capabilities through innovative and collaborative meeting spaces. The project scope included interior architecture, environmental brand, interior furnishings, and change management. Located on the 21st floor, the design allows for a significant amount of natural light along with spectacular views across the Hartford Connecticut area that contributed to the concept of the space.
Some of the physical challenges that the design team faced were the irregular shape of the leased space, extremely large concrete columns, and a less than perfect concrete floor slab. The program challenges were to create a cohesive environment with two completely different programs environments while adhering to the Microsoft standard security requirements between the public and private spaces. The space was planned to create a journey for the customer, starting at the front door where they are greeted with the initial impression of the Microsoft Brand. Visitors can read the graphic text that lines the angled walls, drawing them into the space and around to the Hospitality area. Here they can sit at the custom designed bar and enjoy the view.
The vibrancy of color and materiality were specifically selected to brighten up the space to create an open and airy atmosphere. This, in coordination with the branding, super graphics, and mission verbiage, help create a welcoming environment for both guests and employees. A custom film, based off of the State Tree of Connecticut, was designed for the operable glass partition that opens the Multipurpose Room up to the Hospitality area, creating a space to host large functions.
Interior furnishings were selected to complement each of the spaces. The conference rooms have wood tables with integrated A/V connections that coordinate with the wood floor of the reception area. The bright colors in the ancillary furniture add to the whimsical feel of the space and were strategically placed to signify places to meet and collaborate.
Lighting Designer: D. Schweppe
Photography: John Horner
Design by Perkins+Will