Nestled along Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and lively Riverwalk stands Rivergate Tower, a 454-foot tall skyscraper that overlooks the city like a lighthouse, as intended by its original architect, Harry Wolf. The building is uniquely Floridian with its nautical inspiration and status as one of the world’s largest limestone structures. At its base are “The Cubes”, two distinct cube pavilions with narrow floor plates lining voluminous five-story atria. This is where you can find Gensler Tampa’s new office space, in a setting as modern and eclectic as the team itself.
In its previous workplace, Gensler built amazing relationships, but felt removed from its community, peeking down at the city from the 23rd floor. Now at Rivergate, connectivity is key. The tower’s ground level is a public space, redeveloped by Gensler in 2017, bustling with activity from the adjacent parks and offices, restaurants, and museums within the building. With the top two floors of The Cubes historically unleased for two decades, Gensler saw the opportunity to reinvigorate the space while uniquely connecting to downtown Tampa. The open concept of each level allows Gensler to see and interact with the public utilizing the lobby space and opens up constant visual connectivity with the other floors, while sound treatments in the workspace preserve privacy with acoustic control. Both the building’s interior and exterior give Gensler a new perspective from which to see the city – and for the city to see it.
Set on the building’s rigorous geometric grid, the studio had to abandon the notion of old work modes and embrace a different workspace layout embodying not just the collaborative Gensler philosophy, but the trend toward robust work options reinforced by the firm’s intensive research. Dynamic seating gives employees the flexibility to work at different stations or offices, collaborate with colleagues in touchdown areas, and experience spontaneous moments of interaction at the café. Sliding glass partitions line the 4th floor to allow for large meetings or social events behind the central reception area. A small maker lab gives team members the opportunity to experiment and test new ideas. Most importantly, the diverse and flexible spaces reinforce the three tenets of Gensler Tampa’s point-of-view on transformative design – to be proactive, adaptive, and evocative.
Tampa is a convergence of rich history and cultures, with the progressive modernity of a city reinventing itself for its second act. This spirit is recognized in the palette for Gensler Tampa, where the existing walls of seashell-impressed limestone are backdrop to a complex layering of raw steel, patterned textiles, neighborhood-inspired murals, and muted pops of color. The result is a studio representative of both its creatives and its city, proud of its history and the future Tampa is building.
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