Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
The Public Broadcasting Company (PBS) is the beloved and most prominent provider of educational television programming in the United States. OTJ Architects seized on the opportunity to support the relocation of the nonprofit’s headquarters and boldly look to the future of an institution that has shaped our nation’s cultural landscape for generations. Designers drew on the history of their own formative relationships with PBS’ programs to propose a warm and sophisticated “living room” concept that would welcome staff and visitors into the workplace much as viewers have welcomed the broadcaster’s series, characters, and personalities into their homes since 1969.
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The project’s design is grounded in an incisive workplace strategy exercise that engaged leadership, stakeholders, and staff to define the most effective alignment of the built environment with the organization’s human, operational, and spatial parameters. In response to these findings, our designers deployed multi-function and reconfigurable common areas that surround a signature interconnecting staircase to break down departmental silos and invite the informal exchange of ideas through casual collision.
The resulting program also draws on agile working concepts to allow individuals to select the space type best suited to their workstyle and the daily tasks at hand. Designers faced the unique challenge of expressing the assets of a digitally native brand in the context of a 21st-century workplace while eschewing the pitfalls of a facile literal application. In response, the team opted to incorporate the organization’s
supporting brand colors and assets. The culmination of this approach is the installation of a semi-abstract interpretation of the PBS logo expressed as a two-story custom felt mural that serves as the focal backdrop of the interconnecting stair. Designers also developed a layered palette of neutral mid-century inspired finishes to highlight bold yet rapidly interchangeable environmental graphics.
The design of the new PBS headquarters is grounded in an incisive workplace strategy exercise that engaged leadership, stakeholders, and staff to define the most effective alignment of the built environment with the organization’s human, operational, and spatial parameters.