C.C. Sullivan | September 25, 2013
A nice river, the Hudson. Ditto for Detroit’s Rouge. Put them together, and you get Hudson Rouge, a subsidiary of WPP. This luxury-focused advertising and branding agency is best known for burnishing grandma’s Lincoln Town Car for a younger set.
When Hudson Rouge engaged workplace specialist M Moser Associates to go location-hunting for a new New York office, M Moser design director Bill Bouchey says, “They looked at areas with retail presence and top-tier brand associations. An ideal offer in the meatpacking district was retracted, which hurt—we’d already started a schematic plan. Then we heard that the top floor of our own building was available, with 17 feet slab-to-slab, gorgeous views in three directions, and a roof terrace option.”
Hudson Rouge executive vice-president Jon Pearce knows a hot product, so he and his fellow executives jumped at the chance to sign a lease for the Flatiron District penthouse, all 14,300 square feet of it. Bouchey then set to work crafting a vision best summarized by a Shaker dictum: Each move must be both necessary and useful—and, if it is both, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.
Another adage came into play, too: Variety is the spice of life. Finishes rough and smooth and six species of wood comingle with no fewer than 35 styles of seating and 10 styles of occasional table, from bargain retail to high-end design. Craft touches are everywhere, beginning with the privacy screen of reclaimed timbers that separates reception from the office area’s expanse of efficient benching workstations.
Studied metrics underlie everything. The width shaved from desks to boost shared space: 9 inches. Or the maximum walk from desk to meeting area: 25 feet. Yet the layering can be fanciful. Bouchey scattered filament bulbs decoratively across the ceiling in the pantry and, on a wall outside the boardroom, mounted the agency’s collection of automotive radiator grilles.
Lighting Workshop: Lighting Consultant. Severud Associates: Structural Engineer. Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers: MEP. Rimi Woodcraft Corp.: Woodwork. JRM Construction Management: General Contractor. Gardiner & Theobald: Project Manager.