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GOLDRICH KEST EMBRACES “OPEN CONCEPT” AS COMPANY DEBUTS REMODELED HEADQUARTERS
When Goldrich Kest (GK), one of California’s largest and most successful privately owned real estate builders and property managers, decided to remodel its corporate offices in Culver City, CEO Michael Drandell had specific ideas about the design and layout. While the offices used to feature high-walled cubicles and numerous closed door offices, Drandell decided to forego tradition and embrace a new approach to office design — the open concept. Here, GK staff benefit by having a larger workspace and sit/stand desks that promote a healthier workforce.
Spurred by the recent trend that emphasizes natural light and collaborative work environments, Drandell recognized the many benefits of converting to an open office concept.
“I’ve seen a drastic shift from closed-in work spaces to shared space as more and more companies are finding that an open floor plan offers a number of advantages not found in traditional old-school office settings,” he said.
Among the benefits of the shared space concept:
· Encourages Collaboration -- When people are working in the same open space, they are more likely to share ideas and ask for input. Drandell says the psychological and productivity benefits from in-person communication were a key factor in his decision.
· Promotes Relationship Building -- While cubicles and closed-door offices keep workers insulated, the open concept allows them to be more approachable and accessible. Also, sharing common ground minimizes the imbalance inherent in a company’s hierarchy.
· Breeds Creativity -- Being in a common space also fosters the sharing of ideas, which helps inspire creativity. Eliminating walls allows the team to build upon each other’s ideas.
· Improves Employee Health -- Numerous studies have shown the adverse health effects of sitting all day hunched over a computer. The open concept helps counteract that as it encourages employees to move around more often. Also, the elimination of walls allows more natural sunlight to radiate the space and increases air flow.
Drandell says that there are other benefits too.
“Our offices used to be reminiscent of those common in the late-’70s in terms of design and feel. The remodel was an opportunity for us to move into the new and now,” he said. “In addition to the improved design, we installed new energy efficient windows, building insulation and computer-controlled HVAC systems that not only help reduce operating costs, but are good for the environment.”
The Los Angeles office of global firm IA Interior Architects designed the space.
“The open concept was a way to truly embrace the original structure of the building and reveal its unique shape," says Kristi Buchler, IA’s Senior Designer. "For instance, the previously enclosed staircase was completely redesigned to encourage vertical movement through the building. Also, we opened up the areas at the window-line to make it easier to navigate and promote communication between departments. “
On Wednesday, November 13, Culver City officials and nearby business leaders will join
the Goldrich Kest team as it debuts its newly designed corporate headquarters.
Goldrich Kest is a privately owned family-run company that can trace its origins back more than 60 years to two entrepreneurs and holocaust survivors, Jona Goldrich and Sol Kest, who parlayed their meager savings into an empire. The company first gained prominence in the 1960s by developing condominium projects throughout Southern California. By 1968, they were among the pioneer developers of Marina Del Rey where they built one of the first luxury apartment complexes in the marina, which was previously considered swampland. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the company continued adding government-assisted housing to its portfolio and rapidly became one of California’s largest developers of government-assisted apartments. In the 1990s, it expanded outside of California, entering into commercial, retail and industrial markets throughout the United States. Today, the second generation of the Goldrich and Kest families, referred to in-house as “G2,” continue to build upon the eponymous company’s ever-expanding portfolio consisting of 122 apartment buildings with 13,544 units, 5 marinas, 24 senior living facilities and more than 6 million square feet of commercial and retail space. For more information about the company, visit goldrichkest.com
(Old-School Cubicles/Closed-Door Offices of Past Give Way to “No Walls” To Encourage Collaboration, Creativity, Relationship Building & Healthy Environment)