Newsworthy: AOL Design is AOK

Oct. 1, 2007

When designers at architectural giant HOK set out to brand America Online's (AOL) new corporate office in Beverly Hills, CA, they found some tricky spaces, including a three-story rotunda, which divides the floors in halves.

"For the design of the second-floor rotunda, I wanted to clad the curving walls in one of AOL's bright branding colors to enliven the space and encourage the staff to interact," says Clay Pendergrast, interior design director and vice president at HOK.

On one side of the rotunda, five orange/red-colored, 8-foot-tall by 4-foot-wide Lightblocks wall panels are inscribed with the AOL logo. On the opposite side of the rotunda the panels are etched in AOL company traits such as "intuitive," "inspiring," and "dynamic." Both sides create a bold, curving "billboard" for the Internet service provider.

On the ground level, adjacent to the building lobby, is the Internet Café, another inviting, AOL color-branded space that entices staff and visitors inside to relax, grab a bite to eat, and go online. The front of the technically formed horseshoe-shaped bar is clad in thermal-formed white frosted panels. In the corridor adjacent to the Internet Café is a wall of sustainable wheat-board paneling dotted by lighted niche slots finished in yellow, orange, and lime green-colored Lightblocks.

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