The design of the headquarters of Continuum, a global design and innovation consulting firm, resulted from an intense collaboration between the client and Sasaki. This renovation was nothing less than complete transformation—from a closed, disconnected, and inflexible series of spaces into an environment to that supports Continuum's creative process, establishing a clear connection between people, process, and output. The 45,000-square-foot headquarters celebrates the firm's people—their intellectual curiosities, personalities, and passions. The design reduces boundaries between groups and facilitates collaboration by creating spaces where ideas are displayed and shared—not only among project staff, but across the entire company and with visiting clients. The flexibility, openness, and dramatic but understated spaces generate a sense of activity and excitement. It feels inventive, passionate, and creative, and allows for the work and processes that are central to Continuum to be front and center.
Continuum is a highly interdisciplinary firm with projects that vary greatly in size and scope. Their offices had evolved and expanded over time, resulting in space that was fractured and isolated and inhibited the kind of collaboration that is integral to their process. The space also had to become a tool that enhanced their methodology—a highly flexible, adaptable, and transformable space that could be anything Continuum needed at any time. The space also did not represent their way of thinking to the outside world. It was critical to create a workplace that allowed clients to see and understand the depth and range of Continuum's capabilities.
The openness and flexibility of Sasaki's design fosters collaboration and support a variety of work styles. Informal meeting areas mix in with defined conference rooms. Vertical pin-up and display surfaces exist throughout the space, allowing for multiple project areas, some closed and confidential, and many open and easily reconfigured. Minimal fixed walls and abundant natural light from added central skylights allow for work space and collaboration anywhere within the studio, at any time.
Walls and spaces are organized more densely towards the center of the building around a central sky lit space, opening up what once was two separate floors and establishing a strong connection with a grand communicating staircase. This atrium is the heart of Continuum. It enables connections among designers with diverse expertise. It provides the start of a tour route for potential clients so that they can experience the creative process of the company, examine prototypes produced in the shop, and consider work in progress in the team spaces. It is the main gathering area for all-staff meetings. It offers the opportunity for industry events to be held in an environment that is a showcase for Continuum.