A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces

M Moser Associates,
New York

How can the design of a workplace enable people to feel and perform at their best while accommodating future business growth?

By relocating M Moser’s New York office, the team had the opportunity to enhance brand identity and employee empowerment, to transform ways of working. The new environment sought to adopt the best attributes from the existing culture and operating systems while retaining the heritage of the global business. To understand the key successes, challenges and opportunities, the workplace strategy team undertook occupancy studies, interviews visioning sessions and online surveys. This enabled us to define the optimal workplace environment.

As featured in the New York Times

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A landmark destination

One of the oldest skyscrapers in the city and an innovation of its time, the M Moser experience has been designed in the landmarked Woolworth Building - reflecting new ways of thinking, while honouring the history of the original design. The vision for the new space was an agile, future-proofed “living lab” for ongoing adaption and change.

Using “total motivation” as a primer for performance, the strategy and design team integrated to create a workplace that reflects the cultural and business transformation capabilities of M Moser - addressing individual needs and translating this methodology into new digital strategies, space planning, flexible furniture, and technology to achieve a high-performing workplace.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
Embracing the change

The move would be a catalyst for dramatic change, not only of location but of the way people work. The change management process was therefore adopted two years before the project began. One of the key changes would be a completely agile workplace – moving from assigned seating to free address.

Our approach to a “different way of working” includes agile-inducing changes such as switching desk phones for mobile devices and swapping desktop computers for laptops for the entire team. These changes, coupled with employee workshops, an orientation of the new space types and a mobile app, facilitating a shift in habits. This steady transition helped the team to resolve small issues one by one, enabling people to gradually adapt to what day-to-day life would be like in the space and start working differently before design and construction began.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
An iconic entrance

Situated in the iconic, neo-gothic Woolworth Building, the lobby provides an elegant and distinguished first impression in a journey featuring vaulted ceilings, marble and mosaics.

For M Moser New York, it was important to show respect to the building’s history and integrate this into the design of the office – its rawness emphasises the legacy of the space and original design. The team’s modern way of working sits at the heart of a city with rich culture and heritage, which is a precursor for the work that they do every day.

The entrance space is a comfortable, social, café setting that also functions as a lively events venue. With a strong focus on hospitality, the traditional receptionist has become a “Community Manager” to help create a warm, engaging and unique experience for all. 

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
Freedom & experimentation

Embracing the ethos of a raw, dynamic workshop, the whole workspace embodies the spirit of freedom and experimentation, empowering people to adapt and innovate. The design team engineered flexible desk furniture and incorporated additional moveable furniture to enable the space to change for various needs and events. Users are encouraged to adapt areas based on their unique requirements, without restrictions. Facilitating a growing headcount, the space can accommodate up to 75 people with 100% agile working.

Digital connectivity

The new office embraces a wireless approach, where staff have access to rechargeable mobile battery packs to enhance mobility. Equipped with a VR Lab to work through design solutions, a 3D printer to prototype architectural elements, and an Innovation Lab to strategise with design teams and clients, the space facilitates a future-focused approach to creativity. Additional technology upgrades include; high speed, trading-level Wi-Fi, a fully cloud-based network, a U Rack server for space optimisation and a biometric fingerprint reader to mitigate key card entrance.

By focusing efforts on the digital strategy, the team developed the New Assembly ™ app, which enables visitors and staff to book conference rooms, provide feedback to other team members, engage with the community board, and locate places of note in the neighbourhood.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
Enhancing cultural identity

The space fosters the innovative and integrated nature of the M Moser business culture. Enabling people and teams to work in whatever way suits them best, the environment enhances accessibility, collaboration and cultural identity.

Supporting a community art program, the office showcases a rotating art collection to encourage creativity and bring life to the space.

The team also took this opportunity to move away from an overly branded space, capturing the M Moser culture and brand while balancing hospitality and comfort.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
Wellness & sustainability

Putting people and the environment at the heart of the design, the space has been created to meet LEEDWELL Platinum, and RESET Certification.

A circadian lighting system in the workplace provides users with appropriate light exposure to enhance natural circadian rhythms, enhancing visual and biological needs. Five Naava green walls, both fixed and movable, help to purify the air alongside a petrified moss wall feature and a variety of potted plants. Healthy materials have been selected to eliminate VOCs and off-gassing, air conditioning is filtered and sensors throughout the space monitor indoor air quality. Dedicated areas for wellness, meditation and mindfulness encourage a conscious culture of well-being, and a dog-friendly policy helps to reduce stress and boost productivity.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section

Embracing organisational change and growth, the new space reimagines ways of working as an “office of the future” that encourages movement and flexibility to meet the needs of each person, team or task. This “living lab” serves as a co-working space and enables M Moser to test and develop a broad range of workplace strategies to ensure the best results for clients.

A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
A “living lab” to innovate future workplaces section
  • Status Completed
  • Area 10,000 sq ft
  • Completion date 2018
  • Location New York
  • Wellness WELL Certified Platinum, IWBI Health-Safety Rated
  • Photographer Eric Laignel
  • Awards

    Architizer A+ 2019 Special Mention, Concepts – Plus - Architecture

    American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) 2020 Outcome of Design Award

    CoreNet New York 2019 Project of the Year

    NYCxDesign 2019 Honoree

    Crain's NY 2019 Coolest Offices, "Coolest Collaboration"

    IFMA Awards of Excellence Nominee


If you are interested in working with us, have a look at our careers page.


If you are interested in working with us, have a look at our careers page.


Thanks, you're subscribed.