Bergmeyer’s design team found much-needed sources of serenity in – perhaps not surprisingly – the regions where Fragomen’s largest client populations also had their origins: East Asia and India. An image of a Japanese tea house inspired the darkly-stained figural enclosures behind the reception desk, kitchen, and elsewhere in the space.
The teak-like wood ceiling slats and the familiar, but auspicious Chinese red of the upholstery and reception desk completed the restrained, but very legible palette, of Fragomen’s primary public areas. Further into the 60,000 SF space, a vibrantly-colored geometric seat-back pattern and rope-like armed lounge seating make both playful and contemporary reference to traditional embroidery from Asia and India.
Functionally speaking, flexibility carried the day. Fragomen’s staffing needs, and corporate client demands, fluctuate wildly amidst business cycles and evolving legal standards so their workplace needed to support these changing demands for usage of space. Areas of benching workstations were interspersed within permanent seating and private offices.
The variety in this plan allowed case workers and attorneys to create team-sized zones within the larger office and aggregate themselves geographically to serve different communities of immigrant candidates. The overall effect is a space that projects both confidence and reassurance in innumerable languages.