Founded in 2002, Mathnasium is a supplemental math learning franchise that emphasizes teaching methods outside of traditionally taught algorithms. Its unique approach incorporates oral, visual, mental, tactile and written modalities to give children an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude and relationships. With over 1,000 learning centers in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, our design task was to reimagine their global head office in alignment with their branding, update the look for the 21st century, and “rescue” them from a typical office cubicle experience.
Our first step was to divide the empty 14,000 square foot space to accommodate the companies growing organizational structure. We divided the floor plan into three major work areas, then punctuated the circulation route with colorful pavilions, one primary red, the other primary yellow as featured in the company’s branding. Each pavilion introduces informal public or private gathering areas and provide opportunities for spontaneous interactions. Like stones dramatically carved by circulating water, each pavilion is shaped to encourage movement while carefully designating each area. Each carefully positioned pavilion allows for a striking and mentally inspiring experience as one navigates the office space.
Once complete, we recognized the considerable drama of the space and approached documenting the space with a gesture towards whimsy and office antics. Inspired by Mathnasium’s joyful learning attitude and its playful and colorful new environment, we turned to James Turrell, Robert Longo, and Ellsworth Kelly for inspirational points of departure.
Phase 2, which will feature a black pavilion is under development.