M&C Saatchi Agency
New York, New York
The Saatchi brothers, Maurice and Charles, were launching their new agency in New York and were determined to have a workspace as unique and distinctive as the work that they created for their own clients. After a long search to find “just the right location”, they finally found a dramatic space on the top floor of a 19th century mercantile building in the Union Square area – a brick shell with cast iron columns and an intricate wood framed roof. It was decided early on that the best approach to the design of the space was one where there would be a strong and contrasting dialog between the old and the new, between the fussy and the minimal. This approach stretched the construction budget, created a wide range of design opportunities and contributed to our firm’s philosophy that, in renovations, what’s old should be old, what’s new should be new and both are made richer by the comparison.
Being located on a top floor, skylights were opened, new skylights were added and a wood-burning fireplace was installed creating a magical and disorienting smell in the light drenched space. A wide variety of areas were fashioned where teams could meet and create or where staff could simply sit alone and think. It was very satisfying to hear the intake of breath as people came to the space for the first time and were surprised by the unexpected environment they were entering.