Gensler Newport Beach

Gensler Newport Beach
Newport Beach, California
20,000 SQ FT
Office building

Year completed: 2013

Project architect: Gensler
Project partners: Innerspace, Glumac

Project summary:
Gensler realized the firm’s “Healthy Workplace Initiative” through the extensive renovation of their own office space. The Initiative is the result of Gensler’s workplace research, captured in its Workplace Performance Index, which records office behaviors to better understand movement throughout the day. One component of this initiative is to promote greater employee activity. The office was programmatically organized to encourage employees to actively move about the office throughout the day.

Company-owned scooters, bikes, and sometimes skateboards, are routinely used for inter-office travel. The production room is on the first floor and the break room on the second. Recycling and trash bins have been removed from individual desks and centrally located instead.Additionally, recognizing that certain types of work are produced better in different environments, the open office plan provides places for focus and collaboration. This further encourages staff to move away from their desks and into alternative work environments throughout the day.

The firm has established follow up evaluation systems to track the impacts of these strategies on employee health. The “Healthy Workplace Initiative” was launched as a design approach to assist corporate clients who seek to improve the wellbeing of their employees. The project received LEED Innovation Design Credit 1.5: Healthy Workplace Initiative.

Active Design Highlights:

  • A dramatic interconnecting stair enhances the connection between ground and upper floors, creating a light-filled, transparent work environment for employees.
  • Building program, such as the production room, break room, restrooms, and centralized trash/recycle bins are on different floors, requiring employees to move throughout the building during the day.
  • Bike storage is provided to promote active commuting.
  • Interoffice mobility is promoted through light- and art-filled corridors.


  • Scooters and bikes were purchased for the office and are routinely used for inter-office travel during the day.
  • The open office plan has allowed for a larger number of break-away areas to encourage people to move away from their desks and into alternative work environments.
  • Follow up evaluation/tracking systems are in place to understand how employees are moving and using the new space.
  • User Side Images Image 510
    View Down the Stairs. Photo: Nick Merrick
  • User Side Images Image 511
    Biking for inter-office travel. Photo: Nick Merrick
  • User Side Images Image 512
    Downstairs Layout. Photo: Nick Merrick
  • User Side Images Image 513
    The main staircase, designed to enhance connectivity between the ground and upper floors. Photo: Ryan Gobuty