Firm Culture, News

Expansion Exhibition

By Matthew Hagen
September 30, 2014

As you may have noticed, we've been hiring a few new people. As Jeff described earlier, we've been going through a slightly painful process of expanding our office to make room for all our new co-workers. We thought were playing it safe by leasing enough square footage for the considerable future, every B&V'er would have an equitable amount of desk space. But, we are already near capacity! Jeff has moved into his new cave office, formerly known as the small conference room, to carve out another spot for a future member of our team.


Jeff's New Office/Former Small Conference Room. Photoshop was used to remove darkness.

We may have been a little trigger happy in the beginning hiring a few extra people before construction was complete. There was a few weeks where everyone crammed into the confines of our former office. The peak of discomfort involved a couple of days where everyone and everything had to fit into this tight space. The best part was the huge copier that quickly became the elephant in the room. It was a rough period for us, but fortunately, Jeff is great at bringing a team together that can work in even the most trying of circumstances.


The Darkest Day of the Office Expansion

Luckily we've reached the point of substantial completion and settled into our newly expanded space. So without further ado, let's take a quick tour!

Below is a floor plan. We arrived at this design after many revisions and a decision to use the existing space as much as we could without much modification.


Office Expansion Floor Plan

This plan separated the desk areas into two separate sides, creating a bit of competition between the two. The most popular topic has been identity. The west side naturally finds The West Wing to suffice, but the east side has had an identity crisis since day one. Having rejected The East Side by default, they established a series of alternatives, based mostly on acronyms of their names (Alev, Ben, Robert, & Ryan). As a west winger, I've had a hard time keeping track of the names. It seems to change daily. At one point they had SLAM studio, but in confusion and a bit of ridicule, the west side came up with BLARMY studio which I've noticed has had some minor adoption.

Another element of the rivalry has been the establishment of flags. They put a skull and bones flag in their area and threatened us to find a better flag. I happily responded with the American flag. Nice try, BLARMY! I would post photos, but Jeff told us to take them down.

You may have noted that our office formerly was painted green with a gray ceiling. I know what you're thinking... and Jeff agrees. Green was a bad idea. At the time Jeff had only Ryan to filter his decisions through, and he can be blamed. Today a majority of the office thinks white is a better choice. White allows us to treat the walls as a blank canvas that we apply and can control color. I think it's worth noting that I've been pushing for white since day one and almost lost the battle after I was away on a long trip this summer. I'm happy to have saved that fumble just in time (barely - note the color samples they were considering on the crammed photo above).

Besides the build out of the new space, we elected to renovate the west wing portion of our office. This mostly took place on one weekend where everyone pitched in to repaint and, worst of all, remove the existing glued down carpet and install the new carpet tiles. The images below demonstrate the effort that took place.

Weekend Progress

Weekend Progress

And here are some of the highlights of the new office (Note: we are still wrapping up the final touches and it's not really tidy.)

Top West Wing, Bottom "Other Side". Note which side is a little more picked up...

Top West Wing, Bottom "Other Side". Note which side is a little more picked up...

Hopefully, you'll see the offices soon. We are proud of how it turned out, and delighted by our expanded space.

Special thanks to Herman Summers for building out the new space; Jon & Jeff, of Manos Construction, for building our desks in record time.

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