Phases II & III

pittsburgh, pennsylvania

Located in the historic Firstside area of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle" business district, this interior accommodates the second and third expansions of BodyMedia, (formerly Sandbox Advanced Development), a company that develops wearable health monitoring devices and systems. BodyMedia's offices are located within the House Building, a hundred year old hotel building overlooking the Monongahela River that has been incrementally reclaimed for commercial office use. These two phases are adjacent to the Sandbox space on the twelfth floor.

BodyMedia looks at its work place and its design as a vital component of employee interaction, happiness and creative output. This project shows how rapid expansion can happen in ways that complement a company's vision and enhance its values.

In keeping with the design intent of the first phase, this interior is comprised of a palette of recycled, locally available, and low cost materials which are composed and detailed in unconventional ways. The need to complement the existing Phase One (Sandbox) offices was the starting point of the design process. Through the method of variation and experimentation, this interior integrates itself with Phase One and asks new questions about the workplace.

The goals of this project was to create an interior which is highly functional, flexible, and memorable as well as to maximize the floor plate by using every available square foot for the promotion and study of BodyMedia's products. The project's requirements were to create a memorable entrance from the existing elevator core; create an area for reception and marketing & public relations staff; utilize the building corridor for research and display; and provide a workshop for making prototypes and testing products.

A clear articulation of the original building construction is revealed along with the logical integration of new architectural, mechanical, and electrical systems which act as metaphors for how BodyMedia, as an integrated design and product firm, treats all the details of its own products.

This project proves that an understanding of materials does not necessarily have to lead to predictable solutions. In fact, materials - no matter how common - should inspire us to ask new questions about their use. The means in which materials are assembled and detailed allow this project to perform for our client in ways that are uncommon, thoughtful, and hopefully inspiring.