GLG’s First Large Scale Activity-Based Workspace in U.S.
July 8, 2014
GLG’S NEW GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS PIONEERS LATEST APPROACH TO OFFICE DESIGN AND CULTURE
Midtown Manhattan Space Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects Is First Large-Scale Activity-Based Working Project in U.S.
New York, New York; July 8, 2014 — GLG, the world’s largest membership for professional learning and expertise, opened its groundbreaking global headquarters this week, stepping into a new model of transparency and collaboration in the workplace. The office is the first of its scale in the United States to embrace activity-based working, an innovative concept that eschews assigned personal workspaces for a more flexible and productive approach to work life. (Photographs of the office can be found here. A video about the office is available here.)
GLG’s new headquarters encompasses more than 64,000 square feet (more than double its previous New York footprint) over two now-connected floors of W&H Properties’ historic One Grand Central Place (formerly the Lincoln Building). The building is located at 60 E. 42nd Street, at the top of Vanderbilt Avenue, across from Grand Central Terminal. The office is the latest project from Clive Wilkinson Architects, an award-winning Los Angeles-based firm responsible for Google’s corporate headquarters, Googleplex, and the “Superdesk” for the Barbarian Group’s New York offices. It is also the first major project completed in the new Vanderbilt Avenue corridor, part of the Midtown East area which has recently seen an increase in development projects, and received intense focus from both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations.
“Our mission is to transform the way the world’s top professionals share expertise and learn, and our new headquarters will allow us to open up GLG and infuse that spirit in everything we do,” said Alexander Saint-Amand, GLG President and CEO. “We host thousands of meetings in New York City every year but to date have never hosted them in our offices. Now we will.”
The new headquarters, which has work space for 350 employees, clients, and guests, represents an important new opportunity for GLG. The company was founded in 1998 to serve professionals who needed perspective they couldn’t find in one-size-fits-all industry reports. Today GLG facilitates thousands of connections a week between the world’s leading investors, entrepreneurs, corporations, consulting firms, nonprofits, and startups and a teaching membership of 375,000 policy specialists, academics, engineers, former C-level managers, professional leaders, and other subject matter experts. The new office allows GLG to bring conversations, roundtables, and gatherings in-house, making the space a hub of thought leadership and education.
“We hope GLG’s headquarters sets a new bar for maximizing collaboration and creativity, which is the holy grail of workplace design,” said Clive Wilkinson, the president and design director of Clive Wilkinson Architects. “The dynamic space creates a wealth of new opportunities in terms of where and how you can work. Employees might be giving up their personal desks, but they gain the entire office.”
“New York is fortunate that GLG, a global leader in the knowledge economy, has made a major investment in creating a ‘next generation’ headquarters and work environment in the heart of the City,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
The activity-based working approach to the open office plan has gained a foothold in companies in Australia and parts of Europe. GLG’s new office is organized into “neighborhoods” of team tables, brainstorming stations, quiet concentration areas, telephone booths, meeting pods, conference rooms, an atrium, and a coffee bar. Employees move from neighborhood to neighborhood depending on the work they’re doing. To make this work, employees have lockers to store their belongings overnight. They all use laptops that dock at screens where they choose to work. They still have office phone numbers, which run through their laptops with headsets.
A video of Saint-Amand and Wilkinson introducing the new office is available here.
About GLG/Gerson Lehrman Group
GLG is transforming the way the world’s top professionals share expertise and learn. GLG curates custom learning experiences among professionals and thought leaders across fields, within a rigorous compliance framework. GLG scales one-to-one learning through conversations, mentorships, small group convening, surveys, and other interactions with its network of more than 375,000 experts. Global, technology-driven, and nimble, GLG is the world’s largest membership for professional learning and expertise. Its 850 employees work in 21 offices in 12 countries. To find out more, visit www.GLG.it and follow @GLG.