Tresata, a technology company based in Charlotte, NC, wanted its new headquarters to entice, intrigue, and speak to its innovative culture and brand. With that in mind, IA choose contrast as the overarching concept—divergence from the expected—expressed through four design elements: portal, bent-plate ceiling, pivot, and slant, punctuated by subtle references to the firm’s name.
The portal and bent-plate ceiling are realized by a dark passage lit only by floor lights. Its dropped ceiling bends into a curved-edge plane over the entry area before transitioning into as a series of walls and booths with curved corners.
Further into the workspace, a meeting lounge furnished residential style, with three doors on pivots, is a glass box with rounded corners similar to those of the booths. Exposed struts within the lounge, part of the building’s architecture, are painted in one of Tresata’s brand colors. Building columns sheathed in stark white gypsum board literally slant away from the curved elements under a black industrial ceiling.
The Tresata moniker can be understood in a variety of ways. It means 300 in Sanskrit, an ancient lingua franca—an apt subtext for a firm that generates enterprise software to monetize big data for customer intelligence management. The headquarters occupies suite 300. The number three is the basis of the triangle and the triad.
And Tresata has three founders. The design playfully alludes to the number three throughout. For example, there are the three pivoting doors, three paths through the work environment, and three telephone rooms, referred to as the founders’ rooms. The color of each room pays homage to the lineage of one of the founders: red for India, the programmer; orange for the Netherlands, the businessperson; and black for New Zealand, the software analyst.
A five-year-old success story, Tresata was started in the Charlotte living room of one of the founders. For the new headquarters Silicon Valley seemed to beckon, but Tresata wanted to stay in Charlotte where its roots are deep, its enthusiasm for the city unrivaled. This isn’t just about financial gain; it’s about satisfaction, community, and quality of life. Charlotte is a great city for innovation, creativity, and families. Growing a business in an area conducive to family life is a Tresata core value.
A big supporter of Charlotte’s thriving artists and artisans, the firm’s logo, signage, and most of its artwork was created locally. Invested in the city’s developing businesses prowess, Tresata is the force behind the annual Charlotte hackathon for the tech community. To inaugurate itsFor the World initiative—using the predictive application of big data to address social challenges and give back to the community—Tresata established a partnership with nearby Davidson College. The emphasis on aligning with local and regional businesses is what led Tresata to IA, whose own Charlotte office opened in 2013. The new headquarters celebrates the city and offers great visual connectivity to uptown Charlotte, with walkable shops and restaurants, and adjacency to the train station.
Wellness, transparency, comradery, and sharing are Tresata core values embodied throughout the space. Stand-sit desks and ergonomic high chairs without armrests were a client choice to keep staff on its feet. IA designed the desks—simple, handsome, and effective, but expensive when bid. As a cost effective, creative solution, IA challenged Tresata staff to hand-build the desks; IA taught them to swing a hammer. All staff, including the founders, sit together at unassigned desks in the open office.
Clear glass on a black wall creates a sustainable writing surface that is easily cleaned. The use of glass throughout underlines Tresata’s culture of transparency and belief that everyone is part of the firm’s success. But when needed, the welcome room provides privacy for meetings with new hires or clients. Its barn door, made of horizontal planks of reclaimed wood separated by one-inch spaces, allows for air circulation and visual access to the rest of the space.
Tresata staff often congregates in three areas for work and leisure: near the booths, at the transparent meeting lounge, or at the ping-pong table and shuffleboard area, adjacent to a semi-circular sofa. The sofa faces a glass enclosed TV on the back wall—used frequently for video meetings with the New York office. Artificial turf in the shape of putting greens is another favorite staff hangout.
The new headquarters satisfies all of the clients’ needs in a compact 7,200-sq-ft space. With a five-year occupancy projected, it houses a current staff of 25, with plenty of room for potential expansion.
Material Used :
1. Furniture: ERG International Seating – Raven – inside Curved units
2. Lighting: Cooledge – Line for Cove lighting &Lumenoptix Suspended Cylinders
3. Sherwin Williams Paint – Assorted colors in different finishes for different surfaces