A workplace is more than just a collection of office furniture, some conference rooms, white boards and coffee pots. At its best, it should be a physical reflection of a company’s culture and a space that inspires its employees to do their best work. Elasticity’s new company headquarters, located in a historic building in downtown St. Louis, is just that.
As one of St. Louis’ fastest-growing independent agencies, Elasticity quickly outgrew its former offices, and owners/partners Brian Cross, Aaron Perlut and Andrew Barnett began considering options for new space. The owner of the Elasticity’s previous building, with whom they had a strong relationship, was considering purchasing and renovating another nearby historic downtown property that was once the home of the Kessler Fur & Hat Co. and, later, the Bride’s House bridal shop.
“I told him that, if he bought it, we were in,” says Cross, who looked at the dilapidated third and fourth floors of the building as a blank slate upon which to design the future of the agency. The building, built in 1886, was a complete gut job, which was a lengthy and daunting process; but which also allowed for total freedom of vision.
The third floor – Elasticity’s main office space – took six months to complete. Three months later, the fourth floor was completed; and just recently, a section of the second floor, now also occupied by Elasticity, has been renovated. The result is a perfect design marriage of old St. Louis history and fresh, modern appeal.
“It’s an old building, and I knew I wanted some old stuff in it,” Cross says. He commissioned local reclaimed wood furniture maker Reclaim Renew to design a large conference room table and entry desk. The refinished hardwood floors throughout the offices are original; and exposed red brick on the exterior walls, as well as original window casings, bring in more of the building’s history. Another original feature is the meticulously restored tin ceiling, painted silver to match the exposed ductwork.
The modern color scheme of orange, white and grey takes its cue from the company logo – an orange mustachioed robot. On one wall in the aptly named “Robot Conference Room,” hangs an incredible Mardi Gras bead art piece of the logo that Cross had commissioned by local artist Rob Corley, who actually retrieves the beads from the streets of Soulard Mardi Gras each year.
“I didn’t want the office to have a corporate feel,” says Cross. “I wanted it to look like a creative firm and I wanted people to feel mobile within the space, rather than chained to their desks.” Plenty of communal spaces throughout the three floors make this possible, including a stylish second floor lounge with comfortable, modern couches and even a couple of iconic Eames lounge chairs and ottomans. Oversized windows fill the space with natural light.
On the fourth floor, employees can take a break and de-stress over a game of ping-pong, foosball or electronic basketball, or cook a meal in a gorgeous and well-appointed full kitchen and dining area. If anyone wants to grab a workout during the day or has an event to get to right after work, there’s even a large shower in the bathroom (and complementary towels!).
In addition to the stylish office space with plenty of room to grow, Elasticity’s partners recently worked with the building owner to renovate the small, street-level storefront that visitors must enter and walk through to get to the upper floors, turning it into the Tiny Bar – an open-to-the-public bar that serves a variety of specialty cocktails three evenings a week.
Being in the heart of downtown St. Louis (and contributing to its economy) is the perfect fit for Elasticity, as the agency has worked hard to help improve both the city and region through work with such clients as the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, Cortex Innovation Community, Ballpark Village and its own creation, Rally St. Louis – a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform that uses funding from the region’s residents and generates ideas to help market Greater St. Louis. This one-of-a-kind workspace is proving to be the perfect new home for a unique and rapidly growing creative company and its talented employees.
Feel free to stop by and see for yourself. Come take a tour of the new Elasticity headquarters and learn a bit more about what we do and where we do it.
Editor’s Note: The beautiful photography is courtesy of our very own Ryan Stiles, who is every bit as dreamy as his work.