Gawker Media Headquarters

Location New York, New York
Design Principal Kirsten R. Murray

The design of this media headquarters reflects the company’s core values of egalitarianism, transparency and provocative journalism while supporting their dynamic daily operation with both individual work studios as well as collaborative social spaces.

Housed within an historic 120-year-old Union Square Building, the two-story 43,000 square foot space is located in what was once New York’s epicenter of fashion retail, the so-called “Ladies’ Mile.”

A physical extension of client’s desire for transparency, the design of the space reveals the building’s original steel structure and brick walls, preserving its historic materiality. New architectural insertions, including interior walls and building systems as well as finishes and fixtures, integrate with original building elements, a juxtapose of past and present. A high contrast palette of soft white, day-lit “working salons” surrounded by a dark spine of blackened steel stairs, warm inktones and dark woods create a framework for flexible use and transformation of the space from day to night.

Creative ideas don’t always happen while sitting at a desk facing your computer. By offering a range of spaces, the creative process is supported. We were drawn to the notion that a space can play many different roles, and the architecture allows you to perch, retreat, gaze, or even be a gawker.

Kirsten R. Murray Design Principal

The central stair, which also acts as a gathering space and theater, provides a strong connection between the two floors. This space, along with the adjacent reading room, conservatory and lounge, offers flexible areas for writers, designers, and sales and technology workers to meet in groups or work independently. In the evening, projection screens, large pivoting and sliding doors, and theatrical curtains transform the workplace into a hub for parties, films, lectures and cultural convening.

In contrast with the client’s previous open-office environment, the shared working salons are organized around large perimeter windows that draw natural daylight deep into the space. Salons are scaled to allow for small-team collaborations as well as the individualization of workspaces and environmental control by zone to encourage a quiet yet collaborative, headset-free environment.

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