IEL is a unique non-profit organization that prepares and educates students, parents and community members to be leaders to eliminate systematic barriers, enabling everyone to succeed. The organization outgrew their office space and hired the design team to provide test-fit space plans for various buildings in the DC Metro area. After reviewing 10 (ten) different sites, IEL decided to expand in their current location on Connecticut Avenue, as the adjacent suite became available.
IEL desired a dynamic office environment that was comfortable but professional, fun, and had a lot of natural light. One of the key goals for the project was to create ‘beautiful space for beautiful people’ which was accessible and inclusive of the needs of IEL staff. Opening up the office to let more natural light into common areas, reusing existing materials, providing playful ceilings and flooring while identifying spaces for various types of display, provided the client the ‘beautiful’ space they desired. The firm and IEL collaborated to develop an affordable space that would better allow their staff to collaborate, provide training and event space for the various events that IEL hosts. Collaboration areas were provided including a library space, open work area, and a large kitchen space to provide staff a variety of options for working together. A large conference room near IEL’s entrance allows them to host events instead of renting space during off-hours without disturbing the rest of the office.
The cooperation and problem solving between the design team, project manager and contractor made it possible for IEL to be in the space during the two-phased construction project. The final result is a reflection of IEL’s culture and branding.