Image by Garrett Rowland
A vibrant wall sculpture featuring colorful, enlarged jacks that spill across the wall in a conference room keeping employees engaged and excited to interact.

Ted Moudis Associates Boasts a CoreNet Global Project of the Year

May 19, 2023
TMA designs a Times square office for Ducera Partners that features wild pops of art throughout both the forward-facing client zone that drips with class and the bankers’ dedicated work areas where modern comfort abounds.
Stepping off the elevator onto the 36th floor at 11 Times Square in New York City, employees and clients of Ducera Partners— a leading investment banking advisory practice specializing in mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring—will find an art gallery, workspace and living room all rolled into one. This spacious, daylit and uniquely curated project designed by fellow New Yorkers Ted Moudis Associates’ (TMA) is based off warm, neutral tones, comfortable furnishings, strategically placed mirrors, an extensive artwork collection, natural materials and an open floor plate with an angled grid that naturally supported the client’s interest in creating two zones: a front-of-the-house client experience; a staff area with comfortable, generously spaced 120-degree workstations, inviting, collaborative areas and a staff kitchen and lounge.

Looking for a space to support its rapidly growing team, Ducera was happy to find close to 30,000 square feet with 360-degree views, tall ceilings and great daylighting in this Times Square high rise. To start customizing this signature office space, TMA quickly latched on to the interlocking geometry in Ducera’s logo and generously played with the design throughout the office. Beginning with the elevator lobby, a mirrored wall with black mullion lines and interlocking diagonals references the logo and sets the interior palette scene of soft, warm neutral shades with gray couches, wooden walls and porcelain flooring. The first of many pieces of artwork is displayed on a pedestal here in the corner.

“We placed artwork throughout the space to act as landmarks and focal points to add interest and highlight the client's art collection which he was very proud of,” explained Jeff Knoll, studio design principal at TMA.
Next to the seating area is the first of three glass-enclosed conference rooms, lending a clean, simple appearance with wooden credenzas. This is in contrast to the neighboring circulation path, which is more textured—the corridor is clad in a bronze mirror, which creates a sense of volume and ties into the warm gray wooden floor. Artwork also hangs on the reflective surface.

The hallway’s Arktura acoustic ceiling tile features striking metal strips and doubles as an access point for the AC units and ductwork hidden above. “Typically, a sheetrock ceiling would be used for such an application, but that’s a very monolithic material and then the quality of those access panels would be very apparent and unsightly,” said Knoll. “This pushed us to explore other materials on the marketplace.” Not only does the Arktura product offer a simple, flat, thin and accessible tile, but it seamlessly ties into Ducera’s geometric-shaped logo design.

At the end of the hallway sits a simple reception desk which doubles as a bar for after-hours social events.

The conference rooms were designed in a variety of sizes and scale, enhancing that sculptural quality as the spaces play off the mirrored reflections and outdoor views. As an homage to those views of the “Center of the Universe,” a neon framed sign is purposely located on a window overlooking Times Square. Another art piece of note is the installation of colorful jacks, seemingly sprayed across the wall in one conference room.

The space dedicated to one-to-one client meetings begins to pivot the project over to a high-end residential aesthetic with sectional gray sofas in a semicircle, upholstered wall panels and a hanging light pendant that also mimics the Ducera logo. More artwork and thoughtfully spaced, curated items on the metal shelves behind the couch and on top of the central coffee table include purple antique Venetian glass and Amethyst minerals.
A staff lounge area features a café space with wooden cabinets, chairs and a table. It then fans out into a carpeted area with serpentine soft seating where employees can relax, work in a different setting or hold an informal meeting. The mirror theme is extended here as well, reflecting light and creating a greater sense of depth.

“This space was also intended as a growth area if the client were to require additional workstations. The seating could easily be removed and replaced with desks,” he added. Work zones feature exposed ceilings to take advantage of the room height and the light fixtures run at a diagonal, tying back once again to the geometrics of the firm’s logo.

Staff members are reporting that the bold, defined aesthetic and open floor plan have helped build their community and company culture—and they’ve got the accolades to prove it. The project was awarded CoreNet Global’s New York City chapter’s Project of the Year in their 2022 Corporate Real Estate Awards for Excellence in the 25,000-100,000-sq.-ft. category.

“To have our work for Ducera Partners be recognized with the CoreNet 2022 Corporate Real Estate Award for Excellence is a testament that we are successfully leaving a lasting positive experience on the workforce community,” stated Ted Moudis, senior principal. “At a time when the commercial real estate industry needs new solutions for encouraging employees to return to the office, workplaces that emphasize thoughtful functionality and collaboration are paramount.”

About the Author

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett | Contributing Editor

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett has been covering the AEC industry for the past 25 years. She writes for a number of industry magazines and works with AEC firms and product manufacturers on content writing projects.

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