“The 301 Playground” – Space Overview

Thu, Apr 16, 2009


So we’ve kept most of you in suspense of how the new office is going to be laid out. Here’s an overview of the architectural plans developed by Kevan Hoertdoerfer Architects. These plans are a mish-mash of the real plans, and without providing the public with the FINAL plans or any major details. But this will serve as a good overview of how we’ll be using the space. I’ll talk about each of the components in more detail to “get granular” on each component, in later posts.


The area we plan to configure our workspace, where we’ll be spending most of our day cranking away on our work, will be near the front of the space towards King Street, where 4 windows overlooking King above the entrance to the Apple Store, letting in some nice natural light.

This front part of the space, is actually the older structure. A typical Charleston architectural structure. It has a peaked roof and some attic space above with NICE, OLD wood beams that span across. The attic space is the upper part above the beams, with some old wood flooring currently creating the space. But as you’ll see in the Mezzanine detail, we will be modifying this to open it up more above us.

The attic space will convert to more of a Mezzanine overlooking our workspace, and into the greater part of the Bar/Stage space. This is central focus of the architectural design, and the most exciting and well-concepted by Kevan and Justin.

What we’ll be doing is taking out all of the wood planks making up the floor of the attic. We’ll then take 2 of the large beams every 4th beam. This opens up the space above our heads more. Sandwiched around the remaining beams are steel reinforcements, to make up for the structural integrity lost from removing the other beams.

As you can see in the drawings, we have an open set of stairs up to the upper level, where we’ll have a hardwood floor making up a partial mezzanine area overlooking our space.

AND THEN the beauty… we’re pivoting that side of the peaked roof, up so that side become more flat, and adding a glass facade and doors that opens up onto the gable of the roof. So essentially, if you can picture it, we’ll have a mezzanine over the space, and a wall of glass with access to the outdoor roof. Further building off this concept is that the sun generally spends most of its time on that side of the building, thus bringing in TONS of natural light through the glass, into the mezzanine area, and thru the openly spaced beams to our workspace below.

The stage is at a higher level, about 16″ off the main floor. It also glides right into the stairwell to the mezzanine. The concept of the stage is that this will serve as a presentation space for ourselves, for clients, and ultimately for WHATEVER events we may hold in our space. This main part of the space, along with the bar, is the most open part of our space with our TALL 18′ ceilings. The edge of the stage, being higher up, can also lend itself to sitting along it as well.

Also a main focus, certainly for people walking into the space, will be our bar. As our friends have known in the past at our old space on King/Wentworth, we enjoyed the use of the bar as a meeting place, work area, and certainly a “play” area. These designs are not the final version, but it will incorporate a really cool, restaurant/lounge feel. The bar will be somewhere close to 23′ long, and provides MORE than ample support for many people to saddle up to the bar. Also a good location to hang and watch any presentations taking place on the stage.

There was once talk of doing a touchscreen bar top with technology like the iBar, but SO expensive. Maybe someday! Regardless, it will be something ridiculously cool, and a spot that will compete with the mezzanine as a place everyone wants to hang out at.

This enclosure of 4 bathrooms and a communal sink area, will include a very cool curved design over top to the ceiling. We’re working at reducing straight lines and right angles, so aside from the function/necessity of bathrooms, we expect the overall outside look of it to have a very angled look. Some descriptions have included “helix”, “conical”, ¬†“alternating planes.” In addition, with the ante-room, wash sink area, we intend to make these bathrooms more than just function, with a nice design and comfortable space.

We’ve discussed being able to use this space for other people working with us, or meeting space, or theatre room. Several windows make up this back area, as well closing and separating some of our space for more coziness and privacy. In this back part/square, we’ve reinforced the walls around the perimeter with a 6″ rebar frame and concrete (called gunnite – a spray concrete similar to what’s used in pools). The walls that were there previously was an unattractive “speed tile.” The purpose of this reinforcement is to allow for a 3rd floor structure to be built on the rooftop, for which I’ll describe in the section below about the elevator use. The gunnite, although for structural purposes, also solved the ugly speed-tile look, and created a cool concrete/stucco look, for which we have a blank canvas to paint or mural throughout. (note: in the rest of the space, we have the good ‘ole exposed brick walls).

Lastly, an elevator will eventually go in, which will take you from the ground floor, to the 2nd or future 3rd floor. That 3rd floor will house a condo built on top for my (Rich’s) residence. What’s not pictured in this drawing in the ground floor entrance to the space. Essentially 500 sq ft of lobby space, with the elevator. We’ll do something cool down there, obviously, as it will be our main entrance to the space.

Note: we have a second egress, due to code, which is the long corridor along the one wall, taking you outside. Although this could be thought of as a boring and hardly used space, we fully intend to do something cool through the corridor. Perhaps with some cool floor/wall lighting, small LCDs playing along the whole way. Think Space Mountain or Star Wars. We’ll likely send our clients out in that direction to experience something different.

And lastly, with the rooftop space by the Mezzanine, and the eventual 3rd floor condo, we’ll look to have a rooftop deck where we’ll likely be hanging out for lunch, nice days to work in the sun, etc.

2 Responses to ““The 301 Playground” – Space Overview”

  1. Joah says:

    What’s the bar’s hours of operation?

  2. rich says:

    we’ll see…. we’ll see