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September 25, 2000

From drab to fab: CNA transforms office suite

A growing Internet company needed a fun, hip, visually stimulating workplace to cater to its young employees. Stamps.com, a mailing and shipping service, called on CNA Architecture to transform the company's office suite in the Lincoln Executive Center, 3290 146th Place S.E., Bellevue.

Photos by Lara Swimmer
and after.

The existing space was a warehouse/service area covering 15,000 square feet. The challenge for Bellevue-based CNA was to keep the project inexpensive, yet create a new space that suited the company's creative team atmosphere.

Working under strict requirements, architects managed to keep the project inexpensive -- $28 per square foot for the build out -- and have the office finished and ready to occupy within three months. Design of the space began in early April, and Stamps.com staff moved into the redesigned space in mid-June.

To keep costs within budget, inexpensive materials were used wherever possible, with the goal of keeping aesthetic standards high.

In the process of removing suspended ceilings from the open office area, two existing skylights were discovered.

and after.
Both CNA and Stamps.com thought the skylights and the surrounding heavy timber framing were worth refurbishing and included them in the redesign.

Bright colors such as deep blues, yellows, greens and reds were used in the office suite to create a more visually inviting environment. Also essential to the particular needs of this office, indirect lighting was installed to reduce glare from computer screens, a major concern to the company's employees. The solution was found in panel-mounted lights that point toward the ceiling and reflect off of fabric "wings" above.

The project team included general contractor J.E. Cummings, lighting consultant Genette Beaudette Architectural Lighting and furniture consultant HBI Office Interiors.

Do you have photos of recent projects? Share them with DJC readers. Send high-resolution images and information to lisa.lannigan@djc.com.

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