Capital Properties and Montroy DeMarco Architecture Complete 23,300 SF Headquarters Office for PhotoShelter at Trinity Centre in Manhattan
The 22-story 111 Broadway and the connected neighboring tower at 115 Broadway are collectively known as Trinity Centre. Owned and managed by Capital Properties, and constructed in 1905, the two landmarked neo-Gothic towers have long served financial industry tenants. Capital Properties, with a current portfolio of over 3.5 million square feet of Class-A office buildings in major urban areas, has focused on upgrading Trinity Centre to a Class-A property to appeal to a variety of new tenants.
MDA has extensive experience in repositioning and upgrading office properties in the Wall Street area and serves as Trinity Centre’s Building Architect. The firm worked with Capital to develop two design standards for the property: a Pre-built standard providing layouts appropriate for TAMI (technology, advertising, media, and IT) tenants; and an Office Standard for other commercial tenants. These standards define design and construction costs and outline finishes, layout types, and systems within each landlord-built space type and budget. PhotoShelter’s office was designed within the Pre-built building standard.
To date, MDA has designed nearly 100 projects at the joined buildings, including numerous high-end pre-builts and build-to-suit tenant spaces as well as the property’s, corridors, bike storage room, building infrastructure, and accessible entrances. Most recently, MDA has designed offices for the following Trinity Centre’s technology, finance, law, education, non-profit, and healthcare tenants: Grapeshot, Perficient, Heisman Trophy Trust, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Triad Securities, Wolverine Trading, The University of Chicago Crime Lab New York, NYU Langone at Trinity, NYeHealth, Cynergy Physical Therapy, Costa Berkshire Group, and Vanguard.
PhotoShelter’s mission is to empower effortless visual storytelling. The firm builds websites and provides cloud-based image storage, marketing tools, and sales platforms for independent photographers and videographers. The company offers a unified platform of technology, tools, and insights that help more than 80,000 professional photographers and over 1,200 brands manage their visual media every day. PhotoShelter accomplishes this through two solutions: PhotoShelter for photographers and Libris by PhotoShelter for brands.
“We are absolutely thrilled with our office space and the exceptional work done by MDA and Capital Properties to make this a standout FiDi office location,” said Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter . “The layout and design across the entire floor is well-conceived and supports maximum collaboration for our team.”
According to Daniel Montroy, AIA, MDA Principal, “It is unusual to apply a design standard to an office space of this size, but PhotoShelter wanted to manage the cost, while creating an attractive, comfortable workspace of the ‘tech loft’ type preferred by technology and media firms. We worked closely with both the tenant and the landlord to provide what felt like a custom office within the budget of the standard.”
“The Montroy DeMarco Architecture’s team worked very closely with Capital Properties’ leadership and CBRE’s leasing team to develop the property’s pre-built design standards. The ownership has gone to great lengths to work hand in hand with MDA to design pre-built spaces that not only meet the demands of today’s creative tenants, but also showcase the building’s magnificent historic bones. These efforts have helped attract a diverse group of new commercial, institutional, and healthcare tenants. It’s the meticulous repositioning of 111-115 Broadway that sets it apart from other downtown properties. We have one of the best pre-built and build-to-suit standards in the New York City marketplace,” said CBRE Executive Vice President of Advisory & Transaction Services Adam Foster.
MDA worked with the tenant’s consultant LB Architects to solidify the tenant program. “After analyzing PhotoShelter’s spacial and organizational requirements, we determined that the Pre-built standard, enhanced with some higher-end design solutions, would best meet the program needs,” said Sarah Bigos, MDA Project Manager. The standard includes an open plan with exposed ductwork, minimalist finishes, and glazed partition walls to enable natural light to infiltrate the space and add sustainable principles of daylighting and energy efficiency to the design.
In addition to MDA and LB Architects, the project team included MEP engineer AKF and general contractor Exact Contracting.
Layout and Design
The PhotoShelter space occupies the entire floorplate. The private elevator lobby in the central core is separated from the office space by a full glass partition and affords an immediate view into the office space and outside views of the historic Trinity Church and the Downtown waterfront area. The 500-square foot reception and adjacent lounge area are bathed in light from the south facing windows
Modular, adjustable workstations accommodate both employees assigned full-time to the office as well as transient staffers who use workstations in a flexible hoteling space on a rotating basis. Five conference and meeting rooms and six private offices located along the south and east perimeter have fully glazed partitions facing the open office area, again permitting maximum daylight to permeate the space. OFS manufactured the conference tables. EvensonBest served as the contract furniture vendor for the project.
It was critical for PhotoShelter, a fast-paced tech company, to have a space that would foster open communication and collaboration among its staff, while also maximizing the efficiency of the layout. “MDA made sure every inch of space was utilized to it’s fullest potential,” explained Allie G. Papp, AIA, MDA Designer and Project Manager. “The kitchen area doubles as an open pantry and gathering space for large company events, while smaller, more informal gathering and breakout spaces are located at key areas on the floor to allow for spontaneous interactions between teams,” added Papp.
In addition to several huddle and breakout spaces with flexible furnishing that can be easily rearranged, dedicated phone rooms provide the opportunity to hold conference conversations behind closed partitions.
“The design aesthetic is minimalist and incorporates a subdued palette of white, gray, and natural materials to reinforce the clean look,” said Bigos. Column enclosures and ceiling elements have been stripped away to reveal the underlying structural components. Exposed elliptical ductwork, sprinkler piping, and electrical conduit are attached directly to the white painted slab and beam ceiling, although the ceiling in the pantry is painted black to clearly define that space. The elliptical ductwork is a building standard. The primary lighting throughout the space are building standard linear LED fixtures by National Lighting. Specialty lighting in the reception area, pantry, and other areas includes pendant fixtures by Muuto and WAC Lighting.
The design highlights the historic nature of the building, exposing the riveted steel columns and original brick walls. The designers specified contemporary and warming finishes throughout the space, including wide-plank Monarch wood floors, black MetroWall office fronts, and pantry finishes consisting of wood veneered millwork, Ann Sacks small mosaic backsplash, and solid surface countertops. Photoshelter exhibits its clients’ artwork throughout the space, bringing to life the work of photographers and visual storytellers.
Custom Features and Construction Schedule
“Although the fundamental layout concept fit into the Pre-built standard, PhotoShelter’s leadership felt that the additional cost of several amenities above the standard was justified in creating an outstanding space,” shared MDA Job Captain Jessica Gross. “For example, custom audiovisual systems, designed by LB Architects, were installed in the pantry and social spaces,” she added. Shared Path style carpet tile flooring by Mohawk Group controls sound transmission in the conference and telephone rooms. The bulk of the MEP systems fit into the building standard, an additional air handler was required to service the IT room due to the amount of computer equipment utilized by PhotoShelter.
Through careful coordination with the client, incorporation of functional needs and consideration of project costs, MDA and Capital have provided a flexible space that will serve PhotoShelter’s future operational and staffing needs.
About Montroy DeMarco Architecture
Based in New York City, Montroy DeMarco Architecture LLP (MDA) is a prominent architectural firm predominantly serving commercial, retail, and multi-family markets in the greater New York area. MDA’s affiliate Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI) provides interior design services. Three principals lead the studios: Steven Andersen; Richard J. DeMarco, AIA; and Daniel Montroy, AIA. The affiliated studios employ 30 architects, interior designers, LEED professionals, project managers, and support staff. Building Design & Construction magazine ranks the firm as the 132nd largest designer in the United States. Engineering News-Record lists the firm as the 72nd largest design firm in the New York/New Jersey region.
MDA’s markets include office and corporate interiors; retail, entertainment, residential and mixed-use new buildings (both market-rate and affordable housing); hospitality; commercial building conversions and market re-positioning; landlord services; and sustainable/LEED design. Headed by principals, the specialized studios have served as either lead designer or architect of record for some of the most innovative – and challenging – projects in the city. The firm is known for its design quality and expertise in cost control, technology, and addressing complex zoning regulations.
MADGI was the design force behind the headquarters offices of a multitude of global corporate bluebloods and technology firms such as the Japanese advertising and digital marketing giant Dentsu, National Futures Association, TravelClick, Mediabistro, and Mimeo, among others. MADGI’s recent corporate interior work also includes the 150,000-sq.-ft. East Hanover, N.J., U.S. headquarters and laboratories and the 75,000-sq.-ft. Manhattan offices and testing labs of Givaudan Fragrance. The studio has designed over six million square feet of office and common use space for both tenants and for leading commercial landlords in New York City, including CBRE, Colliers International, George Comfort & Sons, Atlas Capital, and Equity Office.
The firm recently served as the architect for two of the most prominent restaurants and tourist attractions in Manhattan: One World Observatory – the 90,000-sq.-ft. observation deck and retail space atop the new World Trade Center, and the renovated landmark Rainbow Room on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The firm’s retail projects include multiple store locations of U.S. Polo Assn., Camper, and Zara; two New York City locations of Bill’s Bar & Burger; the Rogue and Le Coq Rico restaurants in Manhattan; the Discovery TSX retail/entertainment space in Times Square; and showrooms of Jordache and Pem America.
MDA’s architectural, executive design, and design collaborations’ portfolio includes the 230-room citizenM New York hotel in Times Square; the 183,000-sq.-ft., 17-story 20 East End Avenue luxury condominium; The Dillon Townhouses and Condominiums, a 205,000-sq.-ft residential complex at 425 West 53rd Street that received an AIA New York State Award of Merit; the 11-story 560 West 24th Street luxury condominium; the 82,000-sq.-ft. Soori Highline luxury condominium on West 29th Street; and the market repositioning of the 100,000-sq.-ft. 160 Fifth Avenue office tower in Manhattan.
Source: Informed Infrastructure / Photos: Peter Dressel/Wilk Marketing Communications
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It's been great working with Tishman Speyer, Shimoda Design Group, HM White, and the entire Morgan North team on this exciting project. Check out these photos from our walkthrough. Enjoy the mini tour!