Bridging Function and Familiarity

At Landmark Health, the home has always been the office. The firm’s renovated HQ captures the best qualities of both.

For employees of Landmark Health, in a sense, working at home isn’t new. The firm focuses on at-home healthcare, including chronic care management. For most of the staff, the home is the actual workplace.

When Landmark embarked on a renovation of its Huntington Beach, California, office, the company needed a design that reflected the human-centric nature of Landmark’s important work, while still presenting its professional service to potential clients. As LPA designers learned more about Landmark’s culture and work habits, it became clear that traditional business interiors were not conveying the right message to the company’s clients, who are often experiencing emotional times. Entering a clinical, staid, corporate environment communicated a colder, remote and inaccurate sense of how Landmark’s healthcare workers viewed family members under their care.

“Conveying a feeling of comfort in their space was important not only for their staff but for visitors coming in who are potentially dealing with emotional situations,” said Lindsay Votel, lead project designer. “We wanted the space to offer an inherent sense of welcoming and hospitality.”

Bridging Function 1
Collaboration zones and breakout spaces are balanced with areas for more concentrated work and private conversations.

The challenge was to create an office that broke down formalities while also broadcasting competence, compassion and character. In addition, the redesign had to balance the need for clients to feel reassured that the health of their loved ones is a top priority.

“Landmark Health required a very specific approach to workplace design,” says LPA Workplace Design Director Rick D’Amato. “The space needed to convey a sense of familiarity without appearing overly thematic.”

The new design seeks to create an inviting sense of home and warmth within the commercial environment, while fusing the needs of Landmark’s in-office staff with the desire to make the proper impression upon customers. The redesign taps the hospitality industry for inspiration, using ceiling designs, extensive use of wood and backlit surfaces to create an environment not traditionally found in standard offices. The design conveys warmth but also keeps the space feeling modern and vibrant.

Bridging Function 2
Hardwood flooring, patterned wallpaper and a shuffleboard table create a sense of authenticity and warmth.

The finished space, spread across three floors, contains a series of welcoming and more-private spaces. A reception area, decorated with a wood lattice ceiling and succulent wall, offers a sophisticated, transparent introduction.

“We wanted clients entering through the lobby and elevator of the traditional office tower to walk into Landmark’s space and feel enveloped and truly embraced,” D’Amato says.

The primary floorplan, an irregular, octagon-like shape, presented a challenge, and some awkward outside corners. But designers took advantage of the odd niches and corners to create focus spaces, collaboration zones and breakout spaces for concentrated work and more private conversations with clients. All the offices are on the interior of the floor, with the workstations wrapping around along the window lines.

Bridging Function 3
Functional parts of a workplace were given an elevated presentation with wood paneled dividers.

The finishes were based on familiar surfaces and materials, such as the hardwood flooring and patterned wallpaper. A shuffleboard table and plant wall reinforce the warmer and more authentic workplace aesthetic. From the detailing and hardware to the mid-century-inspired furniture selections, typically in somber wood tones, the choices sought to convey an elevated, inspiring yet recognizable setting. Artwork was curated to evoke welcoming qualities.

“The space is designed to create a sense of emotional peace through the warmth of the materials, the lighting and the types of collaboration and social spaces,” D’Amato says.

At the same time, the functional parts of a workplace were given a more elevated presentation, working within Landmark’s budget. Wood storage cabinets with smoked-glass accents and wood paneled dividers offered a refined look that isn’t unnecessarily flashy.

Conveying a feeling of comfort in their space was important not only for their staff, but for visitors coming in who are potentially dealing with emotional situations.

Bridging Function 4
The design leaves space to reflect Landmark’s people and personalities.

The Landmark redesign looks past the current remote work focus to create a contemporary, functional office that also manages to convey the right messaging and narrative to visiting clients. “Home, but better” was a simple and succinct message for a home healthcare firm to convey.

“As companies are continuing to figure out their return-to-office strategies,” Votel says, “and employees are striving to balance their work-from-home environment with their office environment, thoughtful workplace design can help to create a more seamless transition between the two.”