Moving from a co-working space in Times Square to a sophisticated but edgy Flatiron location, Haven Life brought in Sean Carlson Perry to handle their first official office.
Photos by Nick Glimenakis.
Companies have landmarks as they grow. The first official, on-the-books employee. The first out-of-home office space. The first year of making a profit. Another of these major moments is a company’s first real office space. We’re not talking co-working space… we’re saying full-blown, logo on the entrance dedicated space. Haven Life, a life insurance company under Mass Mutual, has officially joined the big leagues by hitting that landmark. Having expanded beyond the capacity of their Time Square-based co-working space, they found a 7,000 square-foot office in the Flatiron. To mastermind their new space, they called in Sean Carlson Perry to head a complete gut renovation and architectural overhaul.
Knowing how important this first space would be to the company, Sean pulled out all of the stops. Removing any dividing walls, the office became open, a primary request of the client. Conference rooms and break out sections are cleverly glassed off to give privacy without interrupting sightlines. Thinking ahead, Sean also specified acoustic panels, upholstery, and carpeting to absorb the sound that often reverberates in concrete open offices.
When asked about art, Sean replies that “the furniture is art.” Bright pops of colored upholstery and textured poufs attest to that. Though perhaps the greatest piece of art are the giant 178-piece pendant light sculptures that weaves its way through the office, acting as both practical lighting and wayfinding. Each pendant was individually hung by Sean and his team. When the employees walked into the office, it was the first time they were all able to work in the same space as a team. If that’s not a company landmark, we don’t know what is.
"Sean pulled together many different options and worked closely with us to refine them down to a design that worked perfectly for us. Since the design was implemented on a fresh space, our teammates were blown away by the new office when they walked in. Originally, we were in a co-working space and were all divided up by teams-tech, marketing, etc. The ability to walk into an open floor plan and easily see everyone on our team, has really been impactful and exciting for everyone." - Todd Rodgers, CTO of Haven Life
When Haven Life life insurance upgraded from a co-working space in Times Square to their first-ever individual office in the Flatiron, they hired Sean Carlson Perry to handle the overhaul, renovation, and redesign.
Among the striking design elements are multiple lighting sculptures made of individually hung pendants. It was a lighting and wayfinding solution brainstormed by Sean, and there are exactly 178 bulbs. As Todd Rodgers from Haven Life says, "The electricians were very patient and accommodating, but every time I walked in, I was a little concerned I might find Sean tied up to a column with a bunch of red electrical cable."
Glassed-off rooms act as conference areas, but when business is not being taken care of, employees can play shuffleboard. Yes, that's an actual shuffleboard over there.
A central lounge area anchors the office. It's perfect for meeting, socializing, relaxing, napping (ok, maybe not the last one). But that sofa with the colored poufs looks like it would be hard to resist.
To soften the dark wood floors, cowhide carpet tiles line the lounge.
Sean completely custom designed the kitchen. And yes, you can see the tap in the center of the kitchen.
In call rooms, shelves are lined with books that say "In Case You Die." It's a joke since the company works in life insurance.
And to balance out the skim-coated concrete walls, plant life comes to the rescue!
Custom millwork tables were completed by Architectural Millwork and Timber, and it's one of Todd's favorite parts as it accommodates the team's unique structure.
Why, hello Saarinen table!
At first you might look at this room and think "Yawn, conference table." But then when you look closely, you realize that it's actually a ping pong table and your jaw drops.
According to Sean, these are the most comfortable lounge chairs on the market.
Fun fact: you can see J-Lo's balcony from this room.