United Way of Greater Atlanta
Steve Clem, Principal in Charge Elizabeth Levine, Lindsey Kious, Lead Project Designer Kate Bachelder, Project Designer Raleigh Arrowood, Project Designer
United Way of Greater Atlanta’s mission is to foster a community where every child can thrive and has the opportunity to reach their potential: they needed a workplace that facilitates that mission. As the only office tenant occupying three floors of a building they own in downtown Atlanta, United Way’s new space provided both flexibility and opportunity. To prioritize features under tight budget restraints, the designers conducted a vision session, department interviews and surveys. The resulting information found that the top desires were connecting employees, improving workflow, and enhancing employee well-being. From this, the designers planned an open, interconnected stair between the three floors, stacked common areas promoting collaboration on each floor near the stairs, and skylights at the top floor that lend more natural light.
Design in the non-profit world must be purposeful and useful in a multitude of ways. On the top floor, there is a café space with flexible open seating that can be used for solitary work, team collaboration, or rearranged for hosting events. Reception is on the middle floor, which features a living-room style waiting area, boardroom, and a multifunctional wood-slatted wall that hosts their logo on one side and a graphic storytelling of the nonprofit’s history in Atlanta on the other. The slatted wall provides a cost-effective design that is sculptural, cool, and also an asset to the brand. The bottom floor has a multipurpose room and more open seating. With natural light and plenty of opportunities to interact with coworkers, the workplace design nurtures employees so they can help communities they support reach their potential.