Case Study

HKS Atlanta Connecting Real Estate to Business Strategy

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Challenge

As a design firm with a thriving commercial interiors practice, HKS wanted our Atlanta office to reflect our point of view on the future of work. To that end, we designed to put people first, focusing on how and where our teams want to work, and supporting their health and well-being through design. To attract more diverse employees, we prioritized inclusive design. Finally, we sought to reduce expenses by right-sizing the office for a modern, hybrid workforce.

The Design Solution

Our design team began by asking our Atlanta team questions such as: what future do we want to realize? What legacy do we want to leave through design?  Our employees indicated that what they most needed from in-person time was space to focus, to co-create, to learn from our own design and to cultivate a culture of learning.  

To design spaces we would use more, we analyzed workplace data and devoted a greater amount of space to seating for teams and collaboration, less to private workstations. Our new workplace features an “idea theater” near the entrance, for events and learning; a “rapid ops rooms war room” for teams on deadline; and a variety of lounge and table seating where colleagues can work or even take breaks, which our research on brain health shows are critical to health and performance.

To align with our point-of-view on the future of work, we designed our workplace policy and our physical space centered on trust in our teams. Together, teammates determine where and how they will work to achieve our business goals. Digital equity is key to our objective to attract a more diverse workforce, so we designed that into our new work ecosystem, too.  We host client meetings in the open studio so our clients can experience the creative atmosphere, and see how designing policy and place together realize a vibrant, healthy work culture.

The Design Impact

As we navigate through our first year of occupancy, we are constantly researching our space to learn how it performs and how it benefits our firm, our clients and even our landlord, to help future tenants. We are currently targeting LEED and WELL Gold certifications, as well as pursuing the firm’s first office Brain Health Certification.

We will continue to analyze performance data and make necessary adjustments as we move forward.

Project Features

  • Business Center
  • Social Hubs
  • Idea Theater
  • Learning Library
  • Wellness Haven
  • Team and Individual Work Havens