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7TH ANNUAL GRAY AWARDS: BREAKOUT CATEGORY, WORKSPACE/HOME OFFICE



bright office space with leather chairs and large boardroom table

Granville Island Office by Hungerford Salter Interior Design; Photograph by Ema Peter


GRAY Media announces the breakout category, workspace/home office finalists for the 7th Annual GRAY Awards.

SEATTLE, Febraury 29, 2024 — Now in its 7th year, GRAY Awards — the international cross-disciplinary design awards program — continues to recognize the outstanding work happening around the world. Finalists have been selected in the fields of ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS, LANDSCAPE, and PRODUCT DESIGN.

JUDGES CATEGORIES
Designers and manufacturers were invited to submit their projects in nine judges categories plus an editors’ pick Design for Good category. An esteemed panel of international design luminaries will select a winner in each of the initial nine categories. The winning designers will receive print and digital recognition as well as a custom designed trophy by acclaimed glass artist John Hogan.

GRAY CATEGORIES
GRAY encourages designers and manufacturers to create "Design for Good" projects —projects that have made a positive impact through design on a humanitarian, community, or environmental issue — and offers an award dedicated to these works each year.

In 2020, when the GRAY Awards expanded from a regional to international program, GRAY added a Legacy Award dedicated exclusively to a Pacific Northwest-based designer's lifetime achievement, honoring the region where GRAY began and the home to the GRAY Awards Parties. GRAY will name the next Legacy at the Party.

BREAKOUT CATEGORIES
Newly introduced at the 6th annual GRAY Awards last year, GRAY added several Breakout Categories, opening up opportunities to win GRAY Awards in micro-categories from Kitchens to Collaborations.


gold foil GRAY Awards logo
All winners will be announced at the GRAY Awards Party in Seattle in March, 2024 at Block 41, Seattle. The party is one of the most highly anticipated design bashes of the year, where all guests are treated like winners.






JUDGES

design judges black and white portraits

It is our privilege each year to welcome an international group of distinguished creatives to the GRAY Awards judging panel. Each working at the top of their game, these professionals now focus a discerning eye on determining the winners of the coveted GRAY Awards trophies.

7th annual GRAY Awards judging panel: Lee Broom, Brigitte Shim, Alessandro Munge, Silvia Tcherassi, Stephen Burks




FINALISTS - BREAKOUT CATEGORY, WORKSPACE/HOME OFFICE

dark and moody office space with center island and tall stools

Maurice Law by McKinley Studios

Photograph by Ema Peter


The client's request was to renovate their existing third-floor office space and newly acquired space on the lower level of the building, while subtly integrating Indigenous culture and values into the design without the typical use of pronounced, archetypal visual cues. The design challenge was to provide purpose to the two separate spaces, strategically dividing function and program, while encouraging connection and movement between the two floors.

McKinley began the process with a deep dive into Indigenous history, studying cultural practices, traditions, values, and art, and how to integrate them all while aiming to blend the specific needs of an active, growing firm. The quiet nature of the work dictated a natural separation between private and public spaces. The third floor was programmed with private offices and their required support spaces, branching off from a parti. The parti itself was based around a centralized rotunda with an intersecting axis. These axes created the main corridors of the floor, spanning out to strategic windows facing the four cardinal directions. This intentional placement echoes the cultural significance of the directions themselves, as well as that of a circular shape.

The lower level was reserved for the main client meeting rooms, lounge, and games area. Set in a uniquely brutalist shell with harsh angles, unused mezzanines, and limited natural light, the design challenges presented some unique opportunities. One of the mezzanines was deactivated along the exterior to allow natural light to penetrate the offices and general common spaces. Additionally, the oversized boardroom was enclosed in double-height glass to encourage the limited natural light to filter in. The concrete coffers were utilized and accentuated by custom light panels to create a sunlight/sky effect overhead and highlight the structural beauty of the waffle slab ceiling.

The material pallet was inspired by nature and the firm's Indigenous roots, taking textural and tonal cues from the prairies. Dark oak millwork, reminiscent of the tones in forest evergreen tree trunks, enveloped in an earthy textural plaster shell provides the background for the vibrant art and furnishings which take their color cues from traditional Indigenous clothing and jewelry. A consistent palette visually ties the two floors together connecting the physical separation of these two spaces, which are three floors apart.




office space with metal arches divider

Photograph by Benjamin Benschneider


DWS Co. had the unique opportunity to design the top floor of McKinstry’s Catalyst Building, a pioneering project in sustainable architecture. As one of the largest cross-laminated timber buildings in the country, the Catalyst Building is on target to achieve zero-carbon and zero-energy certifications from the International Living Future Institute. The firm's task was to transform the top floor into a multifaceted office space, balancing the needs of McKinstry's Spokane team and various other tenants, while creating a shared amenities space that promotes community and collaboration. The primary design intent was to foster a post-pandemic work environment that not only felt comfortable, but also one which celebrated its location in Spokane, WA and the innovative spirit of McKinstry.

In response to the evolving workplace landscape, the design team focused on adaptability and a sense of comfort. They re-envisioned the conventional workspace, creating areas that adapt to individual preferences for solitude or collaboration.

The chosen color palette for the space is deeply rooted in two main inspirations: the local charm of Spokane, and the aim to cultivate a tranquil, comforting environment, easing the transition from remote to office work. Spokane, known affectionately as “The Lilac City,” guided the choice of lilac hues, infusing the office with colors that speak to the city’s vibrant identity. This lilac theme is complemented by greens and blues, evoking the tranquility of outdoor spaces and instilling a serene atmosphere. Strategic incorporation of greenery amplifies this connection with nature, enhancing the overall sense of well-being in the workspace.

To showcase McKinstry’s innovation, DWS Co. integrated their cutting-edge
Overcast system throughout the space. This highly configurable appliance helps streamline the ceiling infrastructure and reflects McKinstry’s expertise in creating smarter, more efficient buildings. Additionally, they leveraged McKinstry’s in-house metalworking capabilities to fabricate bespoke metal pieces, adding a touch of industrial elegance to the space.




bright office space with leather chairs and large boardroom table

Granville Island Office by Hungerford Salter Interior Design

Photograph by Ema Peter


The clients had a specific vision for their office space - to have it feel like an extension of their home. After finding a unique waterfront location on Granville Island that had a beautiful industrial foundation, Hungerford Salter's design went on to respect the existing character of the space while adding a layer of warmth and elegance, and addressing the functional requirements of their business.


Upon entering the office, one immediately notices the wooden beams that punctuate the drywall ceiling, maintaining a connection to the original architecture. The hardwood floors were carefully chosen for their textured appearance, further emphasizing the building's industrial past. Locally-made steel and glass doorways were designed to complement the architectural heritage and allow natural light to flow between rooms. Smooth, dark stained millwork with clean lines and brass detailing stand in contrast to the rougher textures and is used to create a cohesive look between spaces in the office.

The Living Room serves as the heart of the office, accommodating daytime meetings and evening gatherings. A stunning alabaster chandelier by Randy Zieber provides a soft glow, while custom millwork serves as both storage and an art display for the client’s collection. The client had a large amount of filing storage required, that needed to be accessed regularly. The challenge in this space was to accommodate the storage in a way that still felt residential, open and elegant. Streamlined track lighting from Flos creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, with adjustable light levels to suit the client’s evolving needs. The color palette of soft grays, blues, and creams reflects the oceanfront location, creating a cohesive and inviting aesthetic.




dark home office space with comfortable seating and high ceilings

Preston Hollow Modern Farmhouse by Pulp Design Studios

Image courtesy Pulp Design Studios


In this Dallas new build, Pulp designed a transplanted New York family's first single-family home after years of apartment living. The house has a modern and chic aesthetic that offers a new twist on modern farmhouse style. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors let in beautiful natural light throughout the interiors, but the clients wanted a more cozy style in this study.

The design team used Sherwin-Williams Greenblack paint to create an intimate and focused space that can function both as a home office and a secondary gathering space. For the seating area, they used American Leather and Vanguard, as well as a Visual Comfort chandelier and lighting. The home office wall was custom designed by the Pulp team, specifically to fit the client's technology needs and profession.





Light and eclectic office lobby design in restored home

Photograph by George Barberis


In the vibrant NW Alphabet District of Portland, the Studio WDP is a unique blend of artistry and innovation, redefining the concept of a workplace. The firm's vision aimed to create an office that seamlessly combines the comforts of home with the functionality of a workspace. Designed to be a hub for the creative community, a backdrop for events, and a space that invites playful experimentation, Studio WDP stands out as an inviting and creatively inspiring office.

The 2022-2023 renovation by WDP of the century-old property (1923) marked a pivotal chapter in its evolution, meticulously upgrading the entire building to transition from a residential haven to a dynamic commercial space. The result is a timeless environment that transcends design trends, embodying the property's evolution into a distinguished workspace.

Stepping into the WDP Studio reveals an open-concept main floor designed for collaboration. The luxurious kitchen, equipped with residential amenities, creates a warm atmosphere for both work and relaxation. The main meeting area features a versatile dining table, seamlessly transitioning from a communal workspace to a conference hub.

The intentionally minimalist front gallery serves as a neutral ground for
discussions, emphasizing the studio's commitment to thoughtful design.
Connected to the gallery is the material library, flooded with lighting,
functional shelving, counters, and a work island.

On the second floor, bedrooms have been transformed into distinctive offices, fostering a sense of community among team members. Playful powder rooms, once part of a larger bathroom, add a touch of whimsy to the upper level, enhancing the studio's commitment to a unique and inspiring workspace.

Studio WDP challenges workplace conventions, prioritizing the human experience. Integrating a range of aesthetics, from historic details to modern lighting, handmade objects, and vintage furnishings, the studio trends.




7th Annual GRAY Awards finalists' announcements began December 18, 2023 and will continue to publish daily until all categories have been announced. For more information, visit our GRAY Awards Party page.


 

Thank you to our 7th annual GRAY Awards sponsors and industry partners:


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