EN

CLIENTVera Institute of Justice

SERVICESInteriors, Workplace Strategy

LOCATIONNew York, NY

SIZE35,000 sq ft

STATUSCompleted 2019

Vera Institute of Justice set out to define a new future for their nonprofit organization focused on building and improving justice systems. Finding a new home at Industry City, STUDIOS supported Vera in establishing transparency through open office environments and promoting their mission as a palpable element of the design.

STUDIOS worked with Vera leadership to distill the goals early on in the process to maintain a north star guiding the project decisions. The vision for the project was centered on three concepts; the office is an extension of the ambition of the organization to feel the energy and walk away optimistic, the office is collaborative and supports independence through flexible solutions for all working styles, the space is people-centered with a design that is inclusive, accessible and safe for all occupants. This holistic vision provided the foundation for a project that supports the organization—mission and goals, people and culture—well into the future.

During the site search phase, STUDIOS illustrated the quantitative metrics and value of each location as well as how they could further their mission. The decision to move to the repurposed historic warehouses of Industry City in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. This new location allows them to be closer to a community who more directly benefits from their mission and gives them the ability to share their work and partnerships with the IC small business community. This move, though only a few miles, is an innovative step for Vera in defining the future of the organization.

Mural wall at reception
Mural wall at reception
Reception lounge and flexible boardroom
Reception lounge and flexible boardroom
Reception lounge mural wall and stair leading to cafe and workspace
Reception lounge mural wall and stair leading to cafe and workspace
Working cafe and event space
Working cafe and event space

Fostering well-being is not just about satisfying individual needs, but rather corporate and communal desires as well. The Vera Institute of Justice specializes in strengthening communities and promoting fairness among all people and that mission was reinenforced through the workplace. By making every space accessible to people with disabilities, not just equal opportunity, we designed a commitment to inclusivity above-and-beyond requirement, and celebrated human diversity.

With an eye toward seizing this opportunity to evaluate many facets of their organization, STUDIOS developed a thorough survey that was distributed to all employees to aid in bringing individual concerns and desires to the surface. STUDIOS used clear graphics and data to communicate the survey results and design strategies that could address them from an increase in meeting/collaborative space to a more kit-of-parts approach to the workplace. This information gathering was critical to understanding the Veran’s appetite for change and ultimately helped STUDIOS guide the Vera leadership to create a clear change management message around their new home.

Open workstations and conference space featuring custom art
Open workstations and conference space featuring custom art
Open conference space and storage wall
Open conference space and storage wall

The Vera Institute of Justice sought to present their ongoing work and message throughout the space in nuanced and impactful ways. Artists were chosen to provide works for the space who reinforce the Vera mission— surrounding employees and visitors with thought-provoking pieces that keep the conversation around justice at the forefront of the office experience.

Art surrounds the central stair in many scales and mediums
Art surrounds the central stair in many scales and mediums
The Blind Justice, a piece influential in establishing the art program for the Vera headquarters
The Blind Justice, a piece influential in establishing the art program for the Vera headquarters

“At a time of increased momentum for justice reform, Vera’s new offices are designed to provide inspiration and to foster the collaboration and bold thinking necessary to reimagine the American justice system and drive its needed transformation.”

Nicholas Turner, President & Director

PHOTOGRAPHYTom Minieri