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Post-Pandemic Workplace in Paradise?



DSA designed this spacious new office overlooking Honolulu's Capital District for the Elemental Excelerator, a Hawai'i and California-based environmental start-up accelerator company. While we had no clue about the soon to arrive COVID-19 Pandemic, this loosely fitted and open office plan with scattered furniture and open workstations might just be the workplace of the future. In this instance, social distancing is a natural outcome of our client's program, business model, and progressive values. Designed for collaboration, the total project area is over 7,000 square feet with private spaces only for conference and meditation rooms for around 20 staff. The main programmed space is the large flexible and centrally located event space (pictured above) which has direct access to the furniture storage room for easy set-up/take-down. Finishes are simple and functional with one exception: the albizia wood ceiling grille that defines the event space and serves as a return air plenum. Albizia is an invasive and rapidly growing tree in the islands. For this first known architectural application of albizia wood, DSA teamed with Joey Valenti of the Albizia Project. Joey was contracted to fabricate DSA's no-waste wave pattern design. J. Kadowaki Construction was the general contractor. Vanguard Theory provided interior design services for furniture (anti-bacterial fabrics...we hope) and paint color selections. Our photo session with the renown New York and Honolulu lensman, Andrea Brizzi took place just days before the Governor of Hawai'i announced the pandemic lockdown.

Photo By: Andrea Brizzi

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