MOI is excited to announce our Richmond team has relocated to better support our rapid growth and continue to serve our partners and clients with industry leading products and services.
The opportunity to relocate arose when long-time partner, Baskervill, sought to reduce their footprint and sublease their existing first-floor space. The timing and location aligned with planned lease expirations and changing client expectations on what an office could look like post-COVID. A 25-year history with SMBW brought us a unique design visioning partner to blend our past and set the design direction for our future in this new space. The success of MOI is built on long-term local partnerships, and we believe early collaborations with design, construction management, and project management firms lead to better outcomes than undergoing a time-consuming bidding process.
For those that had visited MOI’s previous showroom, you know it was divided by a hallway that separated our team into two distinct areas. This caused a sense of disconnection, and at times, challenged the strength of our culture. Though we were named a Best Place to Work the past two years, we were excited for the opportunity to continue building a strong culture in a single space that would not only alter our office dynamic, but also the experience we provide to our partners and clients. In contrast to our previous office, our new space has floor to ceiling windows with views to Cary Street as well as the building lobby providing an abundance of natural light. It also provides the open floor plan we desired to remain flexible in our layout and better illustrate what we can do for our clients as they discover their own needs for the future.
Our goal for the new space encompassed three main goals – a place to encourage collaboration and creativity among our team, a space to host our partners and clients, and a showroom to shine a light on our many manufacturing partners. Richmond Director of Sales, Dave Mangum, began by seeking feedback from the entire team on their preferred workstyles and desires for the new showroom. He recognized that “teams were hesitant to be in the same space with different needs” after being separated for so long. Dave continued to say that he and other MOI leaders “wanted to create a space our teams want to spend time in, and where they can do their best work as they develop solutions for our clients.”
To kick off the design process, we recognized the need to address the largely open floor plan that concerned staff members. Our team partnered with SMBW and Baskervill to reimagine the space into smaller, more intimate vignettes, creating separate areas that align with our motto – work, live, stay. These categories represent the balance between being present in the workplace, a sense of comfort and hospitality, and maintaining an open mind for growth and flexibility.
As the return to the office continues to evolve, it has become increasingly important to provide staff with a choice in where and how they work. With this in mind, we sought to integrate a wider variety of furniture solutions that would support our team in doing their best work. This includes an increase in lounge furniture to provide a “third space” or touch down for guests; smaller, but more prevalent collaboration areas; rooms for privacy or virtual meetings; and dedicated workstations for each team member to support individual work.
Upon entering the showroom, staff and guests are greeted by a small café that we have lovingly nicknamed The Front Porch – a welcoming space for people to connect, collaborate, or simply grab a cup of coffee together. This feeling of hospitality, coupled with modern workplace solutions, is carried throughout the space with a strategic balance. Continuing into the showroom, guests will see huddle rooms and open collaboration areas near the library for quick access during design meetings. A wide variety of workstation styles are incorporated to not only support the work being done, but to show our partners and clients the endless solutions that can serve their own teams. A large pantry is found in the back of the showroom with floor to ceiling windows, inviting people to relax and spend time connecting with one another.
In the lead up to our move, we knew this would be the first opportunity to integrate both the Herman Miller and Knoll brands into our showroom. During the design process we placed an emphasis on integrating both iconic brands into a single space, taking their unique aesthetics into account and selecting a neutral color palette to accommodate both.
We are very excited to begin this new chapter in a showroom that better represents our culture, builds upon our partnerships, and shows how we can serve our clients. As we begin this new chapter, we will continue learning and exploring how furniture can support culture, influence behaviors, and encourage genuine connection. We can’t wait to show you around.