The new Vault HQ marries midcentury modern with industrial design to create a sophisticated space for members of the research and outsourced accounting firm. The new office is situated on the fifth floor of a ten-story office building conveniently located off Greensboro Drive, in McLean’s up-and-coming microcity: The Boro.
The building itself is chock-full of the typical workplace amenities one would anticipate in a contemporary business square, such as a gym and an outdoor courtyard, where live musicians are said to be performing throughout the summer on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Vaulters can enjoy a food truck rotation and according to a recent article in Northern Virginia Magazine, The Boro will be hosting a seasonal farmers market. High on the list of options for fresh eats is Whole Foods, which has announced the opening of a 70,000 square-foot flagship store a mere two blocks away from the office.
Spring Hill Metro Station is a few short steps away from the workplace. “It represents a huge change for those who need to attend meetings in D.C. It makes us much more convenient and nimbler,” remarks Chief Operating Officer (COO), Amy Horner.
When users are put at the center of design, the end-product is well-received.
“People are coming to a brand-new space that was built by Vault for Vault,” says Horner. According to the COO, every part of the project from location selection to furniture collection is by design. In 2018, prior to contracting an esteemed ‘occupier centric’ commercial real estate agency, the collaborative-minded firm had put together a task force dubbed ‘The Spacers’ to commence the planning. Heading the task force, Horner came up with a priority list to submit to CRESA, a global commercial real estate agency headquartered in Washington D.C., based on survey data gauging preferences for variables such as layout, amenities, parking, dining proximity, etc. “I do think that’s why there is positive energy around our move,” contributes Horner.
An open layout with a fresh approach to markers of a traditional professional services firm.
In partnership with architectural agency, Sshape, Vault designed an open layout that promotes maximum work efficiency, collaboration, and high energy. The glass windowpanes throughout the perimeter of the office let in natural light; similarly, the glass panes setting offices apart from the bullpen evoke a ‘doors open’ vibe for all team members.
Vault takes opportunistic approaches to bring forth the brand’s visual aesthetics in unique ways.
Horner admits, “we couldn’t let Jamie be in charge, otherwise everything would be orange.” Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Saylor, truly loves the firm’s primary color, so the taskforce surprised the CEO by painting an exposed plumbing pole in his office Vault orange. “He was thrilled,” shares Horner. Another subtle nod to the firm’s color pallet is neatly managed orange cabling for the racked servers and matching the CEO’s orange pole are exposed concrete columns stenciled in orange with words like ‘partner,’ ‘dedication,’ and ‘driven.’ Horner explains, “we asked everyone to submit one word that came to mind when they thought of Vault, and we voted on the top ten to feature on the columns.”
With access to less square footage, Vault doubles the number of workspaces.
In Reston, most Vaulters shared an office with a fellow co-worker. Now, the outsourced accounting and research staff will enjoy an open and communal atmosphere, while still having the benefit of latitude with sleek desk partitions. As a healthy percentage of the outsourced accounting team works onsite at client locations, the workspace, which is playfully dubbed by the competitive firm as ‘The Bullpen,’ utilizes the the square footage proportionately.
A sustainable furniture collection by Teknion that is workplace appropriate with residential appeal.
The firm invested in electronically height adjustable desks to improve everyone’s energy levels and boost productivity. Although each workstation is equipped with an ergonomic swivel chair, as a health and wellness proponent, COO Horner promotes the usage of exercise balls in lieu of standard office chairs. In addition, the desks in the offices are L shaped with adequate surface space for multiple monitors, ergonomic wrist support keyboards, LED desk lights, and family pictures.
Dining booths double as smart tables.
The new cafe has bar height tables up against a window panel and booth dining. The booths’ vault-shaped ceilings give privacy between the two group seating areas. Horner points out, “people can plug-in or have meetings in there.” Being one of the first architectural elements that people see as they walk in, the acute angle between the two arches commemorates the firm’s upcoming fifth year in business and denotes the ‘V’ in Vault.
In addition, the massive island cutting the cafe area in the middle functions as not only great storage space but also as the heart of the cafe, where likely many birthdays and firm milestones will be celebrated in the years to come.
An office designed to reflect a traditional professional services firm fit for modern day business.
The space would not be complete without the the firm’s 21st century approach to business. Equipped with speakers mounted in the exposed ceilings, Vault HQ will be suitable for present day business happenings. “I am excited to use our new toys and for the AV lessons that are coming my way,” contributes Horner.
The COO is thrilled that Vaulters are rekindling and exploring the new environment with their colleagues after having spent some time away from the workplace and their peers. “People are really excited and can’t believe where we work now,” she adds.
“Overall, what we wanted to accomplish is creating a place that reflected our firm and our style, a place we are proud of when our visitors come, and a place where people are excited to come to everyday,” concludes Horner.
Images by A.E. Landes Photography