The Urban Land Institute engaged STUDIOS to examine their operations and align their workplace to support long-term objectives of their organization. To aid in this transformation, STUDIOS identified specific outcomes that drove the design. These outcomes included:
— Elimination of functional silos
— Increased visible leadership
— Enhanced member experience
— Increased opportunities for interaction
— Support the “ULI Dialogue”
At the core of their mission was charge to support an ongoing dialogue around diverse professionals who influence the development of the urban fabric. This included architects, planners, developers, and municipal entities. In order to accomplish their mission, which included increasing membership, ULI needed a destination to showcase this dialogue and make it visible.
In order to create a space for members, ULI needed to rethink how it used amount of space that could be supported within its budget. It could not support both separate member space and a traditional office environment. In order to maximize the available real estate, staff needed to share space with members.
STUDIOS strategy was to designate 40 percent of ULI’s space as event space that ULI staff would share with its members and the community. This would be designed as a destination for members providing a space to plan events or merely drop in to work or have a meeting.
The remaining 60 percent of space was designated for ULI staff. Because the space was not adequate to support a traditional workplace, an emphasis was placed on a variety of individual and group meeting spaces that were unassigned. One-to-one assignment would not have been possible in the remaining 60 percent of space so sharing space was the only option. This was feasible, in part, because historically only 40 percent of the staff population was in the office on any given day.
To test these outcomes, STUDIOS evaluated a number of potential sites based on budget. Expensive sites in prime areas and new construction provided too little square footage to accomplish their goals. However, by focusing on less desirable spaces, the increased square footage allowed ULI to meet its objective of providing both adequate member space and staff space.