Furnishing the Workplace
The furniture maker Steelcase has long been known for its "turn-key" office systems. One complete package supplies desks, chairs, cubicle partitions, power and communications receptacles, lighting, and more.
Now Steelcase has taken this "plug-and-play" idea one step further. In conjunction with commercial real estate developer Gale and Wentworth, LLC, they have formed Workstage, a new company that produces entire office buildings as turn-key products.
Workstage claims that their buildings can be constructed in half the time and at a 10 percent lower cost than that of conventional developers. But these are not conventional spec office buildings. Workstage is working with architects, including Thomas Phifer and Gensler, to develop buildings with a variety of architectural styles, "from modernist to post-modernist."
Like the furniture for which Steelcase is known, these buildings are designed first for user comfort and efficiency. They feature individual workspace controls for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as operable windows and plentiful daylight sources.
A Complete Building
When a company orders a Workstage building, they receive the entire package, soup to nuts. This includes the building shell in one of several styles, with high ceilings, elevated floors for air plenum and cable access, and a fixed core with restrooms, elevators, and stairs.
One of Workstage's first constructions, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sports a distinctive barrel vaulted roof.
Structural systems and entire rooms are modular components of a Workstage office building.
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