Honorable Mention: 1901 Poplar
We worked closely with our local clients, a start-up innovation hub focused on inclusivity and creating tech opportunities for underserved communities, to envision this dynamic and multi-faceted workspace in an industrial warehouse in West Oakland. The goal was to create an approachable and flexible space for all users, from youth groups to start-ups, serving as a bridge to the community with a focus on providing opportunities in technology. Budget and timeline were critical so the initial design was considered a Phase I in an effort to experiment with the space, learn from it and adapt to new ways of communal and solo working that empower the local community.
The intention for Phase I of this project was to activate the large warehouse space and create maximum flexibility through a variety of multi-functional spaces and furniture. The large space provides a broad range of use types from open office, dedicated office, small and large conference areas, a communal kitchen and lounge areas. Every design conversation was collective and returned to the driving factors in the project: inclusion, utility and design.
Our design team worked with local fabricators to create a set of curated custom furniture elements to activate the largely open and un-programmed space. Clad in warm wood, the furniture pieces consist of wedge-shaped benches and planters in varying sizes, paired with wood and whiteboard screens that can stand alone or nestle alongside the wedges to create privacy. Together, the kit of parts are approachable and engaging and move easily via wheels creating endless configurations and giving the users ultimate control over the arrangement of the space. In minutes, the interior can adapt to accommodate small to large classes or meetings, or a large event complete with a stage for a guest speaker or performance, and a reception desk that doubles as a bar.
The kitchen, visible through a custom wood slat wall upon entering the building, serves as a central hub and symbol of community. Also clad in warm wood and earthy tile with a large wood island on casters in the center, the kitchen functions for day to day use and can also house workshops, pop-ups and bigger events. Adjacent to the kitchen, high and low cafe tables spill into the central “nave” which is surrounded by meeting and lounge spaces at the perimeter, creating a neighborhood feel. These outer spaces offer varying levels of privacy and furniture types (from custom tables to soft seating) to allow for further flexibility and a variety of uses.
Phase II plans for further community involvement through art, murals, installations and events that engage and support the local fabric.
Key Team Members
About the organization
Medium Plenty is a full-service architecture and interior design practice focused on producing thoughtful and beautiful work. We see each project as an opportunity to create something unique that evolves from discoveries made through an insightful and collaborative design process with our clients and team.