Portfolio: Office Interiors
An Investment Firm Embraces Transparency Project Highland Capital Management, Dallas Client Highland Capital Management Architect Michael Malone Architects Design Team Michael Malone, AIA; Audrey Maxwell, Assoc. AIA; Paul Pascarelli, AIA; Livia Franca, International AIA; Peter Fetzer Photographer Jud Haggard
Highland Capital Management is a diversified financial services company that uses its office design as a means to showcase its forwardthinking approach to investing. In the wake of the financial crisis, Highland Capital felt it was important to create an office environment that was open, collaborative, and encouraged interaction between teams. To accomplish this, the company hired Michael Malone Architects to design its 42,000-sf Dallas office in a manner encompassing both literal and implied transparency. to serve as a tool to help the employees excel at managing and investing money. An open floor plan allows all employees access to windows and natural light. Clusters of workstations are arranged in rows, and a ceiling fixture above each one provides additional lighting. Each group of workstations is arranged in a cruciform plan. Computers and technology stations are suspended from the center, allowing a team to be closely connected while still providing some privacy and only minimal disruption to the work surface. The workstations are finished
The design is meant
90 Texas Architect
in maple and white laminate with aluminum hardware and accents. Even programmatic elements demanding more privacy, such as conference rooms and executives’ offices, follow the theme of transparency. Partner offices use the same maple and aluminum finish palette as the workstations but feature a marble-topped work surface. Each is also equipped with a wall that slides open to allow full access to team members beyond, and an adjacent glass-walled conference room. In the reception area, visitors are greeted at a free-form reception desk meant to establish the tone of a progressive firm. A ceiling fixture defines the seating area below. The reception space is also a celebration of the maple wood found throughout the rest of the office in floors, wall paneling, and ceilings. Maple, a sustainable hardwood, was chosen because Highland Capital is heavily invested in sustainable hardwood forests. Due to its light color, the maple in the furniture, paneling, ceilings, and other prominent design features helps brighten the office by reflecting light.