- Work and well-being, Cushing Terrell for AppFolio
The project created by the Cushing Terrell multidisciplinary architecture studio for the new offices of AppFolio, a software services provider for property management and legal services companies, starts precisely from the studio's claim: "Designing with the User in Mind". The user, AppFolio, had decided to rent the second floor of the building in Richardson, where one of their two offices was already located. The opportunity thus presented itself for the company to consolidate its Dallas area workforce into a single 4,459-square-metre location on two floors. AppFolio, in fact, wanted to create "a place where employees wanted to be – a place that would facilitate collaboration and teamwork while making life a little easier through amenities that help maintain work-life balance", as the designers explain.
With the start of the project in April 2020, during the first phase of the pandemic, it is no coincidence that Cushing Terrell's senior interior designer Jill Lee refers to this work as her "COVID baby". First, because Cushing Terrell's interior design team was forced to work entirely remotely, with team members and partners in California, Colorado, Idaho and Texas. While the designers were already accustomed to this type of work, not being able to physically see the site in Richardson was nevertheless a great challenge, yet one that led to the development of new skills, leveraging technology with video collaboration and remote viewing tools.
Second, the designers' aim was to create a working environment that would make it attractive for employees to physically go to work. The office thus becomes not only a place where the assigned tasks are carried out, but also a pleasant space where employees feel good, bringing added value to the activities carried out.
The Cushing Terrell designers started from the idea of creating work spaces where colleagues could meet in a serene and informal atmosphere, functional both to the psychophysical well-being of people, but also excellent for teambuilding. So-called "watercooler" breakrooms were thus created on both floors, designed precisely to facilitate this type of sharing.
The first floor develops as a large open space with the centrally-located reception and work-lounge area that can be used for meetings or to receive customers, finishing with the "watercooler". On the second floor the work and collaboration areas have also been focused on the watercooler, which becomes a genuine hub for interaction between colleagues.
Cushing Terrell's designers have paid close attention to important details at an unprecedented time marked by various forms of work, with colleagues working both on site and remotely, where ensuring the quality of audio and video links is key to a fruitful collaboration. All the collaboration spaces have thus been equipped with monitors and audiovisual equipment to facilitate comfortable meetings, both scheduled and ad hoc. Overall, the interior design blends the romance of rustic Texas with the modern vibe of a 21st century technology hub.
Of course, there is also no shortage of amenities such as games, a fitness room and showers, as well as additional relaxation areas. All aimed at creating an office that not only reflects AppFolio's values but becomes a strength, increasing employee satisfaction and supporting long-term growth.
Project: Cushing Terrell
Location: Richardson, Texas, USA
Images: Lisa Petrole