Eighteen months after many workers were sent home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, companies are welcoming people back to the office — and back to some of the coolest offices in Metro Phoenix. Many businesses have learned that their employees can work from just about anywhere, so their office spaces need to be more than just functional. Dull, drab cubicles are being replaced by bright and airy glass-enclosed collaborative work zones, cheery gathering areas, games rooms and tranquil outdoor spaces — inspiring surroundings that will positively affect staffers productivity and happiness.
Each year, AZRE Magazine shines a spotlight on office environments that are as attractive as they are functional. From expansive multi-floor new builds that will accommodate thousands of employees to reimagined postmodern contemporary masterworks, the 15 coolest offices of 2021, showcased below, are achievements in design, technology and sustainability.
The 15 coolest offices in Metro Phoenix
Owner: Wexford Science + Technology
General contractor: Okland Construction
Architect/designer: HKS and SmithGroup
Location: 850 N. 5th St., Phoenix
Size: 227,113 SF
Value: $77 million
Start/completion: March 2019/December 2020
Why it’s awesome: 850 PBC is the first purpose-built life science building in the Phoenix metropolitan area. LEED Gold-certified, it offers seven floors of laboratories, offices and research space, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows. An advanced air-filtration system, including once-through air in all labs, and touchless fixtures promote health and wellness. The modern lobby features custom local artwork, a restaurant, stage and outdoor covered patio.
Owner: Nationwide Realty Investors
General contractor: Layton Construction
Architect/designer: Columbus Architectural Studio
Location: Loop 101 and Hayden Road
Size: 460,000 SF
Brokerage: Lee & Associates
Start/completion: July 2019/May 2021
Why it’s awesome: This multitenant office building is anchored by Nationwide Insurance. Spacious indoor areas feature an airy palette of white, grays, blues and orange, accented by warm woods and gleaming stainless steel. Amenities include a cafe and dining hall, gym, medical office, lactation stations and event spaces. Employees can also take a refreshing respite on two large outdoor patios, complete with seating and lush landscaping.
Centuri Group, Inc.
General contractor: NPL Construction
Architect/designer: Evolution Design Inc.
Location: 19820 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix
Size: 55,592 SF
Brokerage: Newmark Knight Frank
Why it’s awesome: When the energy construction company decided to consolidate several workplaces into one headquarters, it required a large office space that allowed for many departments to work efficiently. An edgy design motif that incorporates the company’s hexagonal logo was implemented throughout in the form of decorative partitions, light fixtures and finish patterns. Interior details include polished concrete floors, black hardware and light fixtures, and sleek glass. Warmth is brought in through branding walls, clad with medium-toned wood, and a decorative wood slat ceiling that hovers above the break room.
Owner: CDM Capital Group
General contractor: E&K Drywall
Architect/designer: Cawley Architects
Location: 1802 W. Knudson Drive, Phoenix
Size: 11,500 SF
Start/completion: Q4 2019/Q3 2020
Why it’s awesome: As part of a 26,647-square-foot tenant improvement project, the new office was conceived by the owners as a showcase for their drywall capabilities and artistry. Unusual drywall applications are incorporated throughout, including a conference room ceiling crafted solely of beautifully lit drywall “beams.” The fun yet practical office features colorful interior elements and innovative space planning. Vibrant hues throughout and a creative wall planter are focal points of the project.
Owner: LBA Realty
General contractor: 180 Degrees
Location: 2575 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
Size: 10,000 SF
Start/completion: February 2019/June 2020
Why it’s awesome: Gensler created a new Living Lab workplace model where work and process are fully on display, and where the team and clients can mingle and mix. The 100% agile setting embodies the company’s culture of openness and collaboration and supports the way its designers want to work. Focus rooms, a makerspace, resource library and virtual reality station are balanced by work and social areas. Lifestyle amenities, including a cafe, patio, lockers and a wellness room, bring comfort and convenience to the office.
Owner: Lincoln Property Company
General contractor: Holder Construction
Architect/designer: Davis (building, public spaces); McCarthy Nordburg (DoorDash interiors)
Location: 1033 W. Roosevelt Way, Tempe
Size: 358,800 SF
Value: $187.5 million
Brokerage: Lincoln Property Company
Start/completion: April 2018/January 2020
Why it’s awesome: This stunning building, the Arizona headquarters for DoorDash, features an exceptional level of interior amenities, including a 13,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor lobby with contemporary-meets-comfort furnishings, small- and large-group dining and conference areas, a TV wall and an on-site gym with the latest Peloton and Mirror equipment. A 13,000-square-foot rooftop deck offers shaded seating, game areas, sweeping city and mountain views, and catering.
InfoArmor @ Portales
Owner: Form Property Services
General contractor: Wespac Construction
Architect/designer: Evolution Design Inc.
Location: 4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Size: 22,568 SF
Value: $1.3 million
Start/completion: February 2020/January 2021
Why it’s awesome: The new headquarters for the identity protection company showcases a clean-lined modern and industrial aesthetic. Existing raw concrete flooring and columns were maintained throughout, and wood accents and dark deck colors were utilized. Overall, the design provides a sophisticated business environment while keeping the space open and welcoming for employees.
Owner: SunCap Property Group
General contractor: Graycor Construction Company
Location: 100 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert
Size: 120,000 SF
Start/completion: September 2019/October 2020
Why it’s awesome: This administrative and engineering building infuses elements of outer space within a Sonoran Desert context. Gradient hues represent the layers between space and earth, and a suspended satellite hovers above the main lobby. A 300-seat subdivisible meeting space, on-site cafe and outdoor patio support collaboration, while frosted glass doors, suspended acoustical tiles and re-imagined workstations enhance privacy and reduce noise.
Owner: Fenix Development
General contractor: Stevens-Leinweber Construction
Architect/designer: Ajanta Design
Location: 430 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe
Size: 103,000 SF
Value: $7.5 million
Start/completion: April 2020/January 2021
Why it’s awesome: Opendoor’s new “homequarters” spans three floors at The Watermark, overlooking Tempe Town Lake. The interiors welcome with residential-style touches, such as hallway shelving where staff can contribute personal display items. Work areas are broken up by “neighborhoods,” each with its own individual living room. Shared areas include meeting rooms, kitchens, lounges and open workspaces with stunning views. Direct and indirect lighting, and acoustics that vary scale and soundscapes, produce a calm, productive work environment.
Owner: SOLLiD Cabinetry
General contractor: LGE Design Build
Architect/designer: LGE Design Group
Location: 2615 E. Germann Road, Chandler
Size: 251,000 SF
Value: $25.1 million
Start/completion: April 2020/August 2021
Why it’s awesome: Approximately 6 acres under roof house manufacturing equipment imported from around the world as well as 50,000 square feet of Class A office space. The expansive two-story lobby showcases luxe finishes, including a solid walnut reception desk and fluted marble back wall. Polished concrete flooring complements rich wood tones, white stone surfaces and black steel accents. Eye-catching light fixtures and modernist furnishings complete the look.
Owner: Plaza Companies
General Contractor: Jokake Construction
Architect/designer: Phoenix Design One
Location: 1465 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Size: 24,430 SF
Start/completion: February 2020/November 2020
Why it’s awesome: SOURCE wanted its new headquarters to be connected to nature. A neutral palette and elemental materials combine for an office that is open and serene. Full glass fronts flood the central collaborative space with natural light, while white walls make the interiors feel even more airy. Circular lighting and round ceiling panels mimic clouds and the sun. Raw materials, such as metal, polished concrete and stone, and natural elements, including preserved moss and other greenery, add to the organic feel.
Owner: George Oliver
General contractor: RSG Builders
Architect/designer: George Oliver Design
Location: 25 S. Arizona Place, Chandler
Size: 112,000 SF
Start/completion: March 2020/January 2021
Why it’s awesome: The Alexander replaces the traditional office with wellness-inspired programming, collaborative workspaces and a focus on personal growth. Amenities include a yoga studio, Kaleidoscope organic juice and coffee bar, library, billiards room, mother’s room, 50-person training center, multiple outdoor areas and a dog-friendly patio. Touchless amenities and an upgraded HVAC system underscore the developer’s understanding of pandemic-related market, tenant and employee needs.
Owner: Creation RE
General contractor: LGE Design Build
Architect/designer: LGE Design Group
Location: 325 N. Ash St., Gilbert
Size: 40,559 SF
Value: $6 million
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield
Start/completion: Q4 2018/Q2 2021
Why it’s awesome: Located within walking distance to downtown Gilbert’s thriving Heritage District, the building features large covered patios, ground floor retail spaces and modern build-to-suit offices with amazing views. The interiors showcase an urban industrial aesthetic with polished concrete flooring, raw brick and warm wood accents, and bold artwork.
Owner: Voya Financial
General contractor: Willmeng Construction
Architect: Balmer Architectural Group
Interior design firm: RSP Architects
Location: 1700 S. Price Road, Chandler
Size: 147,548 SF
Value: $14.7 million
Start/completion: August 2019/April 2020
Why it’s awesome: Occupying three floors of Building 16 in the Allred Park Place development, this open-concept office offers a modern and airy vibe, with large banks of windows and a glass wall system throughout, concrete accents and a vivid color palette. Amenities include a kitchen/meal prep area, inviting dining areas, two large training rooms and collaboration spaces. High-end finishes, including large-format tile on the floors and elevator walls, lend a sophisticated touch. Built with sustainability in mind, it features LED lighting with automatic controls and incorporated materials made from recycled content for carpeting, wall coverings, ceiling tiles and fabrics.
Architect/designer: James T. Flynn
Location: 1545 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix
Size: 3,984 SF
Reimagined: Q2 2021
Why it’s awesome: When the pandemic sent workers home, WHYFOR’s owner transitioned his empty office space into a creative co-working hub. Built of glass, concrete and steel in 1974, the building benefits from a minimalist design, modern lines and an abundance of natural light. Interior atriums and indoor-outdoor spaces fuel creativity. The structure is accented by intriguing artwork, midcentury modern furnishings, a sliding glass door-enclosed conference space and a handful of private offices.