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​Serendipitous collaborations create vibrant user environments

When Staples paired up for a joint project with Workbar, a Boston based coworking provider, a unique partnership was born. To tackle this opportunity, Staples asked the design team at Bergmeyer to create a consumer experience that would be unique while maintaining the individual visibility of both brands. With this cohabitation, the design needed to embody more than just the Workbar brand, it needed to meet Staples’ goal of creating a “cool space within a Staples store,” one that would drive excitement and customer traffic.

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One of the main challenges of this project was to design a workplace people would want to work in, while being located within a big box retail space. Our designers worked closely with the teams at Staples and Workbar to create a multidimensional experience. The Workbar at Staples workplace is comprised of smaller rectilinear boxes within the Staples “big box,” each housing major elements of the Workbar concept. The rotated volumes are easy to identify and approach juxtaposed with the Staples product aisles. The result creates a dynamic storefront within Staples that draws the customer through the space without disrupting the flow of the retail environment, yet communicates the different brands clearly with height, volume and finishes.

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A sequence of unusual and quirky spaces within Workbar produces a flow from high-energy collaborative workspace to more introspective environments. The variety of spaces offer a sprinkling of private phone rooms, soft lounge seating and reading nooks, bookable conference rooms and offices, and even an enclosed courtyard which is open to the bustle of the Staples store beyond. Visually connecting the Workbar Café, the heart and social hub of the work space, to the Staples retail environment was a key design element ensuring that both Staples customers and Workbar members understood the mutually beneficial relationship between the two businesses.