A booming industry and rapid growth prompted Forward Health Group to move from its undersized and outdated space to a larger, existing office space in the heart of downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The startup software company, which specializes in the analysis of health care data, teamed up with OPN Architects to renovate the existing office space located just off of the capital square.
Intercompany communication and a flexible workspace were top priorities for the client. The existing space was sectioned and closed off; OPN kept many of the existing closed offices spaces around the exterior and opened up the central area, creating a collaborative and open workspace. The solid doors of the exterior offices were replaced with transparent glass, further promoting an open and collaborative environment. To cater to all work styles—in addition to personal work stations—OPN created open collaborative spaces with soft seating, small teaming rooms (one with a conference table that doubles as ping-pong table), touchdown areas for quick meetings, a full board room, and two private rooms.
Circulation is directed through the open workspace, encouraging employees to avoid hiding in closed-off offices and interact with each other. A break lounge, complete with a kitchenette and television, promotes informal interactions. Technology is scattered about the space, with multiple touch screen televisions in meeting rooms. Forward Health Group has a fun, laid-back culture, and it was important that fun personality was carried through the aesthetics of the design. Bright pops of orange and green are incorporated into the carpet and as accent colors on furniture and walls, with a graphic mural of the Death Star from the “Star Wars” series covering one wall.