The open newsroom is the hub of activity at NPR's national headquarters in Washington, D.C., designed by Hickok Cole Architecture and Design.
Hickok Cole included smaller spaces for quieter conversation as well, all in a bright color palette of blues and greens that enlivens predominantly white and gray workspaces. “We’ve given people lots of different types of venues for collaboration,” says Maury Schlesinger, NPR’s director of real estate.
Communication is the name of the game for a news outlet like NPR. Words like “listen” and “question” are written in a reverberating font in the bright main stairwell alongside others like “laugh” and “delight,” that tell a bigger story about the NPR culture.
Fourteen-foot-tall mushroom-capped columns incorporated from the existing warehouse can still be seen in NPR’s cleverly named Sound Bites café, which is modernized by modular seating from Herman Miller and Emeco and cylindrical pendant lights. The café is operated by Guckenheimer, a corporate dining company based in Redwood City, Calif., that focuses on health and sustainable menu options. The headquarters also includes an employee Wellness Center that provides an on-site workout facility, a bike room, and health management classes.
The old-school concept gets a modern upgrade as an LED news ticker scrolls headlines on the office façade, which blends an addition and a renovated 1927 Art Deco warehouse. The addition is cantilevered over the older building. The large spans of glass on the façade feature high-performance glazing, and are paired with a series of exterior vertical fins from Viracon with coloring by Vanceva, which are an abstraction of FM sound waves.