Space to Work, Room to Play
It’s only fitting that Dots, the mobile game studio inspired by minimalist art, has an equally swoon-worthy office space. In 2014, the co-founders Paul Murphy and Patrick Moberg approached Sheena Murphy of Sheep + Stone Interiors with the intention of creating an office that reflected the brand’s design values, the results of which can be found in this Dwell collection. Soon after, the startup experienced a growth spurt, and its numbers swelled to 50 employees. Murphy was again enlisted, this time for a large-scale renovation that expanded the office from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet.
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Realizing that the project would require architectural work, Murphy reached out to an old colleague, Andrew Herbert of Woodfin Architecture & Design. "People were busting at the seams at the original space," says Murphy. "It was a huge demolition. The office is in a turn-of-the-century warehouse with amazing light in the Meatpacking District, so the bones were wonderful to work with."
The redesign focused on creating flexible working spaces that range from individual phone booths to spacious meeting rooms that seat 14 people. Multiple banquet areas are the perfect setting for lunch or casual meetings, while a game room and a lounge area (complete with a projector) encourage employees to blow off steam. "People can stretch out and use the space as they need to," says Murphy. "I’m older than most of the people in the office, so I had to put myself in their shoes. [The office supports] everything you can do in a 10-hour workday."
"It’s a nod to the traditional American office mixed with Scandinavian vibes." -Sheena Murphy
The end result is a soothing space that reflects the company’s startup identity. Says Murphy, "We played more with form and pared down in color. It’s a nod to the traditional American office mixed with Scandinavian vibes."
Though Murphy enjoyed the chance to work with the building’s historic architecture, it presented its own challenges as well. "The noise was just bouncing," she says. "We used some conventional acoustical materials to help deaden the sound, put carpets on the floor, and inside the meeting rooms we wrapped panels with felt to muffle the sound even more. It was fun to play around with different materials to meet the challenges of the space."
For Sheep + Stone Interiors, the Dots office is an outlier of sorts. The company’s portfolio is dominated by residential and hotel work, and it took a company born out of a creative impetus to draw Murphy into the commercial realm. The renovation affords Murphy the unique privilege of being able to visit. As she explains, "I can go back into the office and see how people interact with the spaces and how it’s helping them be more productive. You don’t go into a home and have a cup of tea with the residents."