Transparency Uninterrupted

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Open Interior & Abundance of Natural Light Achieved With Minimalist Glass Hardware

Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, a charitable organization supporting not-for-profit organizations that contribute to the quality of life in Central Florida, wanted a more upbeat, collaborative office environment for its staff.

Architect Wes Featherston, AIA, LEED, AP, of Process Architecture, LLC in Orlando, Florida worked with the Foundation to achieve its goals, and he selected DORMA products as an integral part of his design.

Project Goals And Challenges

The 3,200-square-foot space that Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation decided to move its eight full-time office employees into received only limited amounts of natural light within its walls.

According to Richard Strauss, Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Foundation, “We didn’t want offices that were dark and uninviting. Being on the west side of the building and very close to a parking garage that blocks the sun, we didn’t enjoy a lot of natural light. After visiting the Bush Science Center at Rollins College and seeing its glass interior design, I thought it was worth exploring glass walls and doors as a way of leaving in more sunlight and providing a more upbeat, optimistic environment throughout our office.”

Strauss also shared that the Apple store’s glass design also influenced his decision to consider glass for the Foundation’s office.

“The design for the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation project called for an open, modern workplace that would benefit from an abundance of natural light”, explained Featherston. “The primary challenge for the design team was that all natural light entered the space from the perimeter wall, which was to be lined with private offices. Thus, these offices needed to balance the requirement for transparency with the individual needs for privacy.”

Strauss shared that the facilities team found a window treatment, Mecho shades, that let in light while obscuring the view from both inside and out. Used on most of the offices within the Foundation’s space, they provide privacy without obstructing the flow of natural light.

DORMA’s Solutions

According to Featherston, “The design team selected DORMA and its glass interior solutions because of their ability to achieve over 70 feet of continuous glass wall without bulky hardware or intermediate structure. DORMA’s high quality, minimal hardware worked well to support the design concept of the space.”

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DORMA products used in the project include:

Results 

“By allowing for a large expanse of glass, an abundance of natural light is allowed to permeate the space through the private offices,” shared Featherston. “The combination of DORMA’s glass interior solutions with innovative measures for privacy allowed the design team to balance the needs for both transparency and privacy, while still being able to deliver a modern, naturally-lighted office environment.”

Strauss agrees.

“With the glass, shades, and light color scheme of our space, I feel our offices now give us a mental lift,” shared Strauss. “I worked for many years at companies with dark desks and dark colors all around. While some of the staff members were used to the solid walls and wooden doors of the older style of office, most have adapted to the new approach. Visitors and most of our staff like the openness of the glass, the lighter colors, and the option of privacy via the shades. We now enjoy more modern, fresher look that’s light and upbeat.”