An award-winning independent developer of interactive entertainment such as video games tasked Page to create a home for them that reflected the company's mission of "To Entertain The World" and its creative, risk-taking culture. The space is housed within a multistory facility that was purpose-built for Gearbox, reserving the top three of six floors for the gaming company and allowing them the option for future expansion. The building is located in a suburban community that is spending a lot of effort and dollars to draw start-ups and tech companies to the area, so Page was challenged to design and build out a finished space that would meet the company's unique needs and allow it to compete in the high-tech industry.
The process was a true collaboration between two creative firms. Page and Gearbox employees share common creative traits such as three dimensional thinking capabilities and artistic design talents. Additionally, Gearbox staff physically built a number of features in the final design. During the initial base-building design and construction process, Page worked with an integrated project team to ensure that specific Gearbox requests were met and properly executed, such as increased power and air capacity, higher floor-to-floor heights, balconies, slab leave-out for a monumental “Epic” stair, increased restroom sizes and a freight elevator.
The look and feel of the finished 90,000 sf space was inspired by the games for which Gearbox is known – dark, brooding and at times a bit unsettling. The color palette consists of greys and blacks with pops of acid red, blue and green, combined with a crisp white field for energetic contrast. Sharply angled ceiling and wall elements, made of stained plywood for a bit of warmth, penetrate the space at irregular intervals. Public spaces and amenities for employees encourage spontaneous meetings and support collaboration. These range from booths for small spontaneous meetings to structured rooms for large, on-going brainstorming and planning. Since workstations are located in communal areas, private acoustical phone booths also were provided for employee use.
The super-wide "Epic" stair, which was a must-have for Gearbox, is the site of regular “all hands on deck” meetings. It encourages physical activity since employees use it to get from floor to floor. On every floor, a large kitchen and satellite break area gives employees the opportunity to recharge, as do specific areas for "Kick-back" high-tech (online) recreation, low-tech (old school arcade) and no-tech gaming (foosball, D&D, pool, monopoly). A dedicated fitness center also provides employees with an incentive to stay active.
Specialized areas allow the company to achieve its mission of creating cutting-edge entertainment, which include a screening room, a motion-capture studio, a focus group testing lab where games are previewed by members of the public in a neutral, non-Gearbox branded environment, a Foley Room for inventing new and recording sound effects and six audio studios with separate voice-over studios.
In addition to planning, programming and comprehensive interior design, Page services included construction documents and construction administration.