After months spent working from home, employees at the noted marketing communications agency Wray Ward welcomed the opportunity to explore their new (socially-distanced) office in the FreeMoreWest area of Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2317 Thrift Road location, which is the agency's most spacious and versatile yet at 39,000 square feet, features plenty of space to work and collaborate—inside and out—as well as an in-house production studio and rooftop deck.
“In a really rough year, this office has really become a bit of hope and inspiration,” says Jennifer Appleby, president and chief creative officer of Wray Ward. “We were fortunate to have the opportunity to think through how we might pivot a little [given the COVID-19 pandemic] to align the new office with what was happening in the world." she adds. For protective measures, the agency integrated an air purification technology by Global Plasma Solutions and worked with architecture firm Redline Design and property owner LPA Urban to integrate VELUX modular skylights, which open to bring in fresh air and natural light.
Throughout the space, Wray Ward chose to incorporate products from its vast portfolio of brands, including Hunter Douglas (LEVOLOR) window shades, Sherwin-Williams paint, Floor & Decor tile, CR Laurence hardware and handles, Moen faucets, and Glen Raven’s Sunbrella fabric. The office also reflects the brand's signature orange color scheme while introducing soft neutrals and new hues, such as a vibrant teal blue.
“This project was truly unique in that the partnership between a design and architecture firm and a creative marketing firm bolstered a collaborative approach in creating a cohesive vision of the space that embodies the brand down to the last detail,” says Brooks Runkle, architect at Redline Design. To bring Wray Ward's vision to life, the design team renovated an existing 20,000-square-foot industrial structure from the 1950s and melded it with a newly constructed two-story building. “We saw how the building has two lives and were excited to see an old building becoming new again before our eyes as we got deeper and deeper into the process," he adds. The resulting office is warm and inviting, while hinting at its industrial roots.