How’s this for a Kumbaya moment: all 100 employees at the Barbarian Group, a New York-based creative agency, sit around the same gigantic desk -- a 4,400-square-foot architectural one-off that resembles a skateboard half-pipe and was designed to foster a team mentality.
The structural underpinnings of the desk were laser-cut by vintage automotive robots in Los Angeles using low-cost materials like plywood, MDF and plate steel, explains Barbarian chairman Benjamin Palmer. These components were then flat-packed and sent to New York -- whereupon a surfboard-like resin was poured atop the hilly structure over the course of a day and a half to make “one continuous, seamless surface.”
Sound expensive? “It’s actually lower cost than if we had done standard cubicles and desks,” Palmer says.
The vast structure also means that the Barbarian Group’s various departments aren’t situated separately, but rather flow into one another, explains Palmer, encouraging cross-pollination and casual interaction.
And being that everyone in the office is somewhat intimately gathered around the same workspace, the “superdesk,” as it’s called, also features sloping archways and slight nooks under which employees can escape to seize a private moment.
Conceived by Clive Wilkinson Architects in Los Angeles, Barbarian likens the creation to “4,400 square feet of undulating, unbroken awesomeness to keep people and ideas flowing.” See for yourself in the video below.
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