Creating Design Insight from the Inside Out

Designed for community engagement and collaboration, HGA’s Los Angeles office creates a dynamic work environment that generates fresh ideas for clients.

When HGA decided to move its Los Angeles office, it was the perfect catalyst to implement the design concepts that are continually evolving in the workplace, highlight the L.A. office’s personality, and set the stage for future growth.

“The Los Angeles office was the last of our California locations to undergo this workplace evolution,” said Louis Kaufman, Design Principal with HGA. “Our world is changing and clearly we wanted to demonstrate that our design reflects not only our own culture but the challenges that all our clients are facing: urban transportation issues, attracting and retaining great talent, and much more. We wanted to embrace all this and support the communities that are connected to us.”

While each of our 11 offices coast to coast reflects local personality, the HGA values—curiosity, empathy, originality, hard work, and legacy—are consistently present throughout. As such, the firm’s offices all meet several requirements, including demonstrating HGA’s commitment to sustainability, reflecting common values, and offering a variety of workspaces to inspire all workstyles and needs.

Keeping these guiding principles in mind, HGA took full advantage of this opportunity for the Los Angeles office.

Good Stewards

Drawing from the firm’s commitment to act as good stewards of the planet, the new location needed to have access to a variety of transportation modes. HGA envisioned a location that would help reduce carbon emissions because of fewer cars and promote a walkable and bikeable community. This Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) complements the recent revitalization of the Santa Monica area, which has become a hub for creative companies.

To embrace a California-centric indoor/outdoor confluence and welcome the engagement of various L.A. creative communities, a variety of gathering spaces were needed throughout the building. Additionally, the design needed to offer different places and spaces for introverts, extroverts, small groups or large gatherings, as well as space for dedicated focus.

The answer was found in a 16,600 square-foot, two-story industrial-style office building at the corner of Euclid Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, a structurally solid building that offered a neutral starting point.

Impactful Design

Just off the street-front entrance, the generous lobby is a 2,700 square-foot loft-like gallery, a cultural hub of the new workplace. Named for the street on which the firm is located, Euclid was designed to inspire and engage employees, as well as invite the public in. The space can flex to accommodate everything from large, seated dinners to art gallery installations to yoga classes. Purposely left as a blank canvas, this area provides a clean backdrop that can take on the personality of each activity or exhibition. An abundance of natural light and views that connect the gallery to the surrounding cityscape create a multiuse space that invites creative collaborations to explore, provoke, and enlighten. HGA’s mission with Euclid is to connect life with art in meaningful ways that resonate, engage, and generate conversation.

Flexible Workspaces

The main work area, which has 17-foot ceilings, features bench-style workstations in a primarily open office concept that occupies the center of the office. The overall flexibility of the space—which includes a wide variety of places to gather, converse, work, or have a quiet work area—offers many choices depending on the task at hand.

Designed to accommodate approximately 80 or more employees, the space encourages people to engage through inviting dialogue, collaboration, and critique with peers. The open concept also allows for an egalitarian office approach with the elimination of corner offices and a “top-down” design. Large tables span the main pedestrian core to encourage spontaneous discussions over drawings or models.

Casual Gathering Spaces

Additionally, a mezzanine that runs the length of one side of the building is designed with casual couches and chairs, creating a welcoming place to congregate. The clean angles and comfortable seating arrangements coupled with neutral colors throughout contribute to the calm and overall peaceful environment.

Off the lobby at each corner are multi-level spaces that house a variety of conference and seating configurations—everything from casual arrangements to more formal conference rooms—complete with the latest in technology. Scattered around the building are additional outdoor spaces and balconies, including a ground-floor communal patio, providing a welcome alternative for meeting, enjoying coffee, or having lunch.

Further adding to a sense of community, an oversize kitchen area with a center island offers a versatile gathering place that serves as the morning hub, as well as the mainstay for all food prep and event support.

Urban Connections

Located next to Santa Monica’s Expo Line, which travels from the ocean to downtown L.A., the office is a five-minute walk to the 17th Street Expo station. Also located mere blocks from parks, the Third Street Promenade and a six-minute ride to the beach, HGA’s local neighborhood has a high-transit, walkability, and bikeability score. The firm is truly embracing the Southern California culture and now that HGA is at home in its new Santa Monica digs, there is no doubt it will continue to thrive for years to come.