National Restaurant Association
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is the largest foodservice trade association in the world. After years spent in a siloed office environment, the NRA engaged OTJ to develop strategic design solutions for a transformative new workplace that would communicate the organization’s core values conceptually and aesthetically.
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With a mandate to enhance collaboration and model the spirit of the hospitality industry, OTJ Architects set about to develop a high visibility, contemporary platform from which the NRA could effectively promote the interests of its members. Our workplace strategy process leveraged the findings of executive visioning sessions, staff surveys, and focus groups to define the most effective alignment of the built environment with the NRA’s performance objectives.
To nurture the exchange of ideas, we proposed to transition staff from offices to an environment comprised of 60% open workstations. Bearing staff concerns in mind, our designers identified furniture solutions that ensure secure storage, as well as acoustic and visual privacy. To manifest the guest experience central to the NRA’s brand identity, designers elected to position programmatic elements in a manner that mirrors the space sequence of some of today’s most successful restaurants. A processional path in the common area weaves through intimate seating arrangements by a fireplace to open more akin in their design and concept to an urbane hotel than a corporate office. Lastly, a sculptural stair leads to a conference facility and kitchen studio where celebrity chefs perform cooking demonstrations. This event space adjoins an indoor/outdoor roof terrace that can host up to 500 visitors.
With a mandate to enhance collaboration and model the spirit of the hospitality industry, OTJ developed a high visibility, contemporary platform from which the National Restaurant Association can promote the interests of its members.