When financial services firm FIS Group moved its headquarters to historic Rittenhouse Square, the company took a decidedly modern approach. Traditional cubes and enclosed offices went by the wayside, in favor of an open-concept plan. Demountable interior glass partitions divide private areas while emphasizing transparency in the office and in FIS Group’s business.
Philadelphia-based interior design firm, Floss Barber, Inc., developed the full interior fit-out for the 8,700-square-foot office, incorporating glass into the redesign in order to extend natural light from large perimeter windows. A mostly neutral color palette of black, white, and gray is enlivened by accent walls painted in the bright blue and teal shades of the FIS logo. The airy and open plan also showcases the company’s extensive art collection.
Project Manager Michelle Del Valle of Floss Barber explained that her team worked with FIS Group executives to understand hierarchies and adjacencies among staff members. The dialogue ensured the open plan’s efficiency and employees’ ability to communicate and collaborate in their new space.
Conference rooms of different sizes are located throughout the new headquarters, giving FIS Group opportunities for large or small gatherings and privacy as needed. The multi-function break room accommodates all of FIS Group’s 40+ employees, doubling as a spot for full company meetings.
Flexibility and growth are built into the redesign, with workstations allocated to future employees strategically placed throughout the space. The selection of demountable glass also provides a measure of agility since it can be repositioned with ease.
AGI member glazing contractor, Reilly Glazing, Inc. of Norristown, Pa., executed the project’s glazing scope of work. Reilly’s scope included primary entryway doors plus interior glass for 11 private huddle and conference rooms, all of which use the DORMA PURE® interior glass wall system from Dormakaba, sourced through J.E. Berkowitz. According to DORMA, a precision top track and a small guide at the sill allow for a smooth transition between office and corridor.
Reilly Glazing President Dan Reilly explained that the demountable interior glass system was installed within finished walls and ceilings. In the future, the glass partitions could be removed. The only necessary repair work would be minor patches of the screw holes. The glazing solution affords FIS Group with both contemporary style and flexibility for future reconfiguration as the team grows or changes.
The stainless-steel clad system features half-inch Herculite® glass and doors for an added level of safety. Herculite heat-tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular annealed glass. In the event of damage, it will break into thousands of small particles rather than shattering into dangerous shards.
President Dan Reilly served as project manager and was responsible for site measurements. However, he gives credit for a job well done to Foreman Neil Amadio. “I can’t speak highly enough of all my foremen,” Reilly explained. “They are all very good and well-trained. I give them free range. Whatever they recommend, I always fall in line.”
Reilly’s vote of confidence was needed on this project, where floor irregularities led to some challenges. “Inconsistencies in floors are fairly common,” he explained. Renovations over the life of a building – 1845 Walnut was built in 1968 – often lead to minor damage and fluctuations in the floor slabs. Such was the case in the FIS Group space.
“The DORMA PURE system is prefabricated, so there are very little tolerances to play around with,” Reilly said. But he and Amadio were able to proactively identify problem areas and adjust some jamb and sill pieces in advance to avoid the visual perception of irregularities.
CULTURE OF TRANSPARENCY
FIS Group has been very pleased with the transition from traditional offices to the open environment. The glazing solution contributes to the firm’s identity and actions.
“We are delighted that our new workspace draws from our firm’s identity and art collection to be at once aesthetically pleasing and functional,” said Tina Byles Williams, Founder and CEO of FIS Group. “The open concept and clean sight lines reflect our culture of transparency and collaboration. It is truly an expression of who we are as a company.”
AGI Glazier: Reilly Glazing, Inc. | Norristown, Pa.
Owner: FIS Group
Interior Designer: Floss Barber, Inc.
Scope: Demountable interior glass partitions and doors; entry doors
Size: 8,700 square feet
Completion: March 2018
By: Amanda Gibney Weko