Gensler won the award for the 2015 Architectural Record Good Design Is Good Business (GDGB). The GDGB award recognizes firm-client collaborations that demonstrate design’s positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. This success was evident in Gensler’s design for McCann’s Manhattan headquarters, a hub for the world’s largest advertising agency.
“All of the winning projects were selected for their unique approach to a particular program and the successful results the designs have had on the clients’ businesses,” said Linda Lentz, senior editor at Architectural Record. “In the case of McCann, the editorial jury was impressed with Gensler’s beautifully detailed and fresh take on an open plan office for a client that needs to balance the spirit of youth and the expectations of the agency’s powerful clients.”
McCann’s 100-year anniversary provided an opportunity to renovate their five-story Manhattan headquarters, challenging the design team to do away with sameness and bring personality back to their workplace.
McCann teamed up with Gensler and Tom Dixon. Their goal was to create a workspace inspired by McCann’s new visual identity. This new identity is forward thinking, efficient, dramatic and full of personality. It’s timeless, yet rooted in history. It feels more like home and less like an office.
The teams worked together to create an open workspace that encourages movement and collaboration. They created a café and lounge that doubles as an event space. They shed the corporate experience, democratized the views and sunlight, and created a modern workspace that celebrates McCann’s rich history and inspires their future.
The Business Case
Gensler and Tom Dixon studied the agency’s culture, strategies and ambitions to create a useful and beautiful design that supports their growth strategy.
McCann moved into the new space in early 2013 and later celebrated the recognition received by Advertising Age as the Number One Agency To Watch in 2014.
“Innovation today is inextricably linked with design and has become a decisive advantage in countless industries,” said Brian Berry, principal and design director at Gensler. “When working with McCann on their space, we took a non-traditional design approach to facilitate non-traditional thinking. That approach is readily seen through the look and feel of the space and also through tangible business results like their significant headcount and revenue increases.”
“Good design has special powers, and that’s why the re-imagination of 622 Third Avenue was a top priority when I took the position at McCann,” said Linus Karlsson, chief creative officer of global brands at McCann. “Architecture and the room we operate in can change everything like nothing else. It immediately alters your behavior and how you think about yourself. And even though the result was extraordinary, the basic principles were incredibly simple, and I think that’s the key.”