Sapient provides business and IT strategy, process and systems design, package implementation and custom development, as well as outsourcing services such as testing, maintenance and support leading business and technology consultancy. Prior to relocation, their world office was located in Cambridge, Mass. For their new headquarters, Sapient leased a 36,000 sf space in Boston’s Back Bay. The company places a strong value on their open office and collaborative culture. The design goal for Sapient’s new headquarters was to create an office space that embraced the company’s open office, collaborative culture but also gave each group a unique workspace without isolating them from other departments.
Design Strategy To give each Sapient group its own defined space within the open office plan, the project designer developed the concept of each group existing within a “neighborhood.” Each neighborhood is a cluster of workstations and meeting spaces grouped together for people within the same department. The neighborhoods are defined by colors; each neighborhood has a distinct color. As a unifying element, the neighborhood for the creative department contained all the colors from the other neighborhoods. Another unifying feature is the carpeted path, defined by Sapient’s corporate color, orange, that navigates through the office and leads from neighborhoods to common spaces (shown in white on the floor plan). The path is also enhanced by a “roof”: a special lowered ceiling with a distinct lighting element that visually continues the orange path from above. The defined navigation path and neighborhoods create visual unity while maintaining distinct workspaces for each department within the open office plan.
One of the greatest challenges the design team faced was the shape of the overall space. The space contains a long, narrow corridor leading to several neighborhoods. The challenge was to have the long corridor reflect the office design and also ensure that the departments working in this area are not isolated from the rest of the office. To keep the corridor visually interesting, the designer pushed and pulled sections of the wall and accented them with color. The orange carpet overlaps into the walkway to lead employees to the neighborhoods that branch off of the corridor. The walkway which connects clients from the entrance to the conference area to the café, also contains several video screens that feature the work of the firm. The screens serve as a means of sharing the creative work with all their colleagues. Common spaces such as the café and conference rooms are centrally located and facilitate further interaction between departments.