At Nokia’s facility in Silicon Valley, Resolve was a unique design solution for a unique design problem. A circular blue wall enclosed a 70,000-square-foot area of empty space. The shape and size of the space alone posed an interesting design question: What kind of offices or workstations can you put into such a nonlinear space?
Additionally, just outside of the space was an open kitchen area for employees. Because it was adjacent to this thoroughfare, Becky Locke, Nokia’s facilities project manager, knew that the decision regarding how to fill the space was an important one. “This is in such a public area, and it can get pretty noisy. Then there’s the cool window you can look through—so you want to install something exciting,” she says.
“When I saw Resolve, I had to have it,” Locke says. “It was cutting edge, and it was open. I could see how it promotes communication because it makes people more aware of others around them. So when this space opened up, Resolve was my immediate thought.”
Most of the building has a professional, but raw and industrial, look. Ceilings have exposed ductwork; columns, beams, and perimeter walls are exposed and either unpainted, or painted with bright, lively colors; much of the floor is concrete.
The building’s open ductwork and exposed structure are perfectly complemented by Resolve. From outside the blue wall, you see the metal piping, which mirrors the metal ductwork visible above it along the ceiling. Resolve curved work surfaces and movable tables reflect the idea of flowing tunnels that connect different parts of the building. The open angles and light fabric screens allow employees to see, hear, and work easily with each other as a team, similar to the way employees navigate through the building.
As you might expect, it was more than just aesthetics and metaphor that drove the choice of Resolve as the ideal solution to Nokia’s space problem. Practical concerns played a significant role in the decision, too. According to Locke, had they used regular open-plan systems furniture or desks with returns, she could have fit between six and eight people inside the circular space. “With Resolve, we were able to get 11 workstations in, plus a nice team area with a couch. We were able to fit it all in here, and it really flows and moves.”
Frequently, people who approach the area for the first time find their curiosity piqued by the view from the corridor. Recently, a woman was being shown through the space for the first time. Her immediate reaction was summed up in one word: “Weird.” Then there was a pause. She played with one of the rollable, pullout tables, and sat down at one of the Resolve work surfaces. After leaning back and taking in the rest of the station—the ladder shelves, the white board, the fabric boundary screens—she mused, “Actually it’s kind of cool. Yeah, I like it.’
Ultimately, Resolve was an ideal way to solve the practical, architectural, and aesthetic problems posed by the small rotunda-like space at Nokia’s Silicon Valley office. The two were perfectly matched, says Cholak. “One shows off the other: The space shows off Resolve, and Resolve shows off the space.”
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