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Ali Hermsmeyer Virginia Tech Interior Design

Coworking offices have been described as “reservoirs of like-minded people to meet, implement their shared values, collaborate, and innovate” (Haworth White Paper 1). This project takes the idea of a reservoir and turns it into a space that is conducive to collaborating as well as wayfinding. The “reservoir” of the space is inspired by the Spring Hollow Reservoir located several miles outside of Roanoke and takes the shape of a living and dining area where coworkers can meet to discuss ideas. It is also a destination point within the space due to it’s distance from the main entrance, much like a reservoir is the end point of a river. The river and reservoir elements are also seen in the way that one navigates through the space. The structure of a river is made up of a main channel of water with many branches spreading out from it. This space is constructed with a main path leading directly to the community space, or reservoir, with multiple side halls to take a longer route.


Wayfinding: Flow has a clear layout that is easy for occupants to understand. The space has both a main channel that takes one from the main entrance to the back of the space and two side paths that provide a perimeter route around the office. There are also three main landmarks situated throughout the building in order to help occupants orient themselves within the space. These landmarks include a large, multi-colored mural on the back wall, phone booths on the right wall, and a coffee bar on the left wall. These three elements come together to help define each section of the building and direct the office workers to their next destination.

Collaborative project with Joe Sehrer My partner and I developed a space design and branding elements for the UNC location of Benny’s pizza restaurant. We studied space planning, materiality, and spatial composition in order to create a space that matches the atmosphere and brand of the Benny’s restaurant chain. The goal with Benny Campana’s at University of North Carolina is to develop a collection of small ‘neighborhoods’ that form one cohesive Elevation space, inspired by the urban environment of SCALE: 1/8” = 1’- 0” downtown Chapel Hill. This is achieved through the repetition of materials on different planes, the use of linearity, and the contrast of strong lines with organic accents. This produces a variety of intimate dining experiences for guests and provides a youthful, urban atmosphere.


The assigment consisted of designing a “booth” for the 2016 World Exposition in Turkey, as well as a modular system to showcase within the booth. In my design, I explored the relationship between light and shadow found on the rough texture of borate, Turkey’s most abundant mineral. I created a modular system that highlights the unique properties of plaster, allows for varying degrees of enclosure, and provides a clear sense of path through the space. By combining a sound-absorbing flooring system with subdued earth tones and varying levels of transparency, I aimed to create a haven for tourists during their busy tour of the 2016 Exposition.


For this project, we had the liberty of choosing a social media company and designing a satellite office unique to their company culture. I reflected Tumblr’s quirky company culture by using bright colors and playful furniture. I also used intersection, repetition, and various degrees of enclosure to create a space conducive to productivity in the work place, and a floor material change to aid in wayfinding.


Ali Hermsmeyer

alih7@vt.ed 703.901.6927

2017 Portfolio