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Joshua Zinder, AIA, founding principal of full-service design studio Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D), has announced the completion of two additions to his firm's significant portfolio of compelling office property renovations. Located at 989 and 1009 Lenox Avenue within the Princeton Pike Corporate Center campus, the redesigned structures feature bold architectural details and desirable shared amenities, greatly improving their value and position within the area's commercial marketplace.
The renovation of the two properties is the result of JZA+D consulting and collaborating with owner-developer Prism Capital Partners LLC. (Vision Real Estate has since acquired both properties.) Zinder's team applied JZA+D's proprietary consultative design approach to implement their client's goal of making these late 1980s office buildings competitive with more recently constructed Class A commercial properties in the area.
"At JZA+D we believe that excellent design comes from collaborating with clients like Prism to transform the office marketplace," says Zinder. "Workplace paradigms are shifting. We work with property owners to compare the workplace trends that we've identified with their knowledge of a rapidly evolving commercial market. We then respond with architectural and interior design solutions for leveraging upgrades and amenities to attract the best possible tenants, and achieving a faster return on their investment in upgrades."
Designing for a Win-Win Scenario
At the heart of JZA+D's designs for renovations is an approach tailored to each client's investment strategy. By collaborating to identify cost-effective opportunities to provide attractive and functional shared amenities, a higher per-square-foot cost becomes more palatable to the tenant—a development that benefits both tenant and property owner. In order to realize these win-win scenarios, JZA+D meets the challenge by designing and programming attractive, well-located amenities that optimally benefit each property.
The central atrium renovation at 1009 Lenox became a critical component of this strategy. JZA+D transformed the 5,000-square-foot, three-story atrium space into a lively and inviting hub of activity. This was achieved by reducing the mass of an imposing pedestrian bridge and its support columns while introducing light-colored flooring and finish materials to make the space bright and airy. In the center of the space the team placed a trellis-like sculptural canopy appearing to be made of wood slats, creating an iconic focal point. While the space between the slats allows natural daylight fro the skylight ceiling to penetrate, the canopy screen provides a measure of privacy for occupants enjoying the lounge space to its rear, which boasts a modern stone water feature and colorful, stylish bench seating.
JZA+D was also able to improve traffic flow through the atrium through the installation of a staircase connecting the pedestrian bridge, previously inaccessible from below. The addition activated the space visually and socially, easing access to the lower-level cafe and lounge areas and generally improving circulation and connectivity.
A Better Value, Visibly
For real estate companies like Prism who are investing in repositioning older office structures, amenities like the atrium at 1009 Lenox are critical. "It's partly about changing demographics," says Zinder. "Millennials, for example, represent a large and growing segment of the workforce. These younger workers tend to work long hours, so they want their workplace to be a second home. They don't want to have to get back into their cars to go for a coffee."
Zinder continues, "Employers want to encourage their workers to spend more time at the office, and they also have to compete for top recruits. Workplace amenities are a big part of staying competitive."
JZA+D's work also focuses on curb appeal and on introducing architectural details that help to create a brand. At 989 Lenox Ave, a great deal of design effort was spent on the main entrance and the lobby just inside. The updated exterior is composed of a glazed curtainwall facade that sports several tiers of brise soleil shading systems, giving it a fresh, distinctive look. Inside, the three-story lobby atrium enjoys ample filtered daylight and refined finishes in light colors that amplify the airy quality.
Shared amenities for tenants at both 989 and 1009 Lenox include open lounges, full service cafes, and fitness centers.