Office Design Strategies, with a Human-Experience Focus, Come Alive for BlueStar Alliance

Office Design Strategies, with a Human-Experience Focus, Come Alive for BlueStar Alliance

As we grow into the future, superior companies are shifting their focus to the human experience generated by beautiful workspace design and appointments. For the past decade, cutting-edge companies have been finding and exploiting the strong connection between office design, productivity, customer trust, and employee commitment. At the end of the day, this results in high-level company performance.

One company currently growing in this space is BlueStar Alliance, a Madison Avenue company in the process of experimenting with advanced design techniques. As with many growing high-level companies, they see the vision. They want their workspace to be special and to reflect the high-level brands they own: Brookstone, Bebe, Tahari, and Limited Too, just to name a few. When they added the entire 15th floor to their existing operation, they decided it was time to become even more design-conscious. They called in 90 Degree office Concepts to design a conference table and credenza to fit their vision for company growth and provide them with pieces to represent them into the future.

As with many clients, says Bernie Fairchild, “They didn’t have a clue what they wanted or where to begin—only that their table needed to accommodate a specific number of attendees.” When deciding on a modern conference table, one thing many companies seldom think about is scale-to-room ratio. For BlueStar, a standard-width table would have been lost in their space. For this reason, we coached them into a 6' wide, 20' long boat-shaped table. The size and shape addressed room scale while meeting their functional needs. 

Another important requirement was that the furniture is unique and impressive to properly represent company vision. 90 Degree Office Concepts took on the challenge, introducing BlueStar to new anodized metal accoutrements. We designed their table with a woodgrain metal top and edged the sides with bronze. The woodgrain metal provided an interesting dynamic, offering the look of walnut together with the shimmering effect of the metal. The table bases were done in bronze to match the edging. 

BlueStar didn’t want to cut holes in such a beautiful top, so power and data were routed through all five table bases to be accessible to everyone attending conferences. This meant that each of the five bases was powered by (and daisy-linked to) one common power source.

BlueStar CEO Joey Gabay was enamored with the way the pieces came out and didn’t want to risk having such a beautiful table damaged in transit. He authorized the shipment to be made in a dedicated truck from Florida to Manhattan. And if that wasn’t enough, 90 DOC flew installers in from Florida to set up the table. “Amazing craftsmanship,” said Mr. Gabay.

BlueStar’s conference-room experience was so successful, they also commissioned 90 DOC to design and build a truly unique reception desk—something that would engage any visitor walking into their new space.

Again, 90 DOC stepped up to meet the challenge. We designed a desk with maple wood slats finished in black. Bronze posts separated the slats. Visible through the slats was brushed aluminum on the back panel, closing off visibility both above and below the work surface.

The biggest challenge for 90 DOC was how to get a 9' modern reception desk with a 4' return into a 7' elevator. How would we make it look like one piece when it was installed? In the end, the desk had to be built in three parts, with the center posts split between the two sections so the split would be visible from the back only (before the back panel was installed). When looking at the reception desk as a whole, it would appear to be one piece. The desktop was built as one piece as a carry-up to complete the unified look.

This time, 90 DOC didn’t want to risk a local installer attempting to put it together, so again, we flew a technician up to do the installation. The outcome was tremendous! Jess, the receptionist at Bluestar, says she “loves her new home.”

Because he was so overwhelmed with each project delivered to date, the company’s COO, Mr. Ralph Gindi, engaged 90 DOC to design his personal private office. Ralph’s office is adjacent to the reception area, and he wanted to carry the black design into his office, as well, adding his functional needs into the picture. 90 DOC designed a row of custom two-drawer lateral storage files with black woodgrain metal and walnut burl tops, finished in black/silver to pick up the essence of the metal faces.

The crowning diadem was an oval leather-textured marble desk with an oval return fabricated as an extension to the main top. The executive desk bases were completed with a curved center and straight sides, in walnut burl wood to match the files. The bases were done in a three-inch black woodgrain metal to match the files. This desk incorporated a range of storage and functional facilities to support the way Mr. Gindi works.   

As each project is completed, Bluestar Alliance is aligning itself further with the ways beautifully-executed design can enhance their business: strategically, from inside the organization, and visually, with a positive impact on visitors.