The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)
The headquarters relocation for the Graduate Management Admission Council® was driven by the commitment of the organization to its employees. Moving the office location from Tysons Corner to Reston Town Center created increased accessibility for their. Prior to determining the final building selection, the organization conducted an internal zip code study to ascertain their employees’ daily commutes. The relocation improved the commute for 80% of the employees, substantially increasing employee/work-life satisfaction.
The primary design theme seamlessly integrated throughout the office space was that of the frontyard”/“backyard” concept. The “front yard” represents a formal, well manicured area creating a favorable first impression. The front yard is located on the southeast side of the building overlooking the Reston Town Center. Elements within the “front yard” include an expansive reception area, with a monumental staircase and a two-story water. The monumental stair and water feature create a vertical connection between the two floors where the Board Room and conference rooms are located. The “back yard” represents a casual area that is fun, active, and engaging. Elements within the back yard include a team room, with informal seating, a fireplace, and a coffee/copy hub. This area is located in the midst of employee offices, where a main circulation corridor penetrates the backyard. To create a sense of transparency and community, 95% of the offices were designed with a pre-fabricated glass wall system, which allowed for daylight into the interior of the space.
The global nature of this Client’s business reinforced the importance of state of the art audio/visual capabilities. The training facility referred to as “The World” was made up of three conference/training rooms that open into one large room through the use of three Skyfold® Custom Powerlift Partitions and one moveable partition. This created flexibility in holding functions for up to 200 people, or dividing them up into individual small meeting rooms. The return on design provided to the client, is functional flexibility; the space is never sitting idle and maximizing their real estate investment.
Although achieving a LEED certification was not a primary goal of this Client, it was important to the entire project team to act as stewards of the environment. The design team expressed their sustainable commitment by specifying many environmentally preferred products including carpet with high recycled content, low VOC paints, rubber in lieu of vinyl products, reclaimed sorghum straw on casework, and porcelain tile with high recycled content.
Furthermore, during demolition, the general contractor recycled aluminum door frames, gutted and scrapped metal and aluminum lenses from light fixtures, copper piping, scrapped ductwork metal, steel supports, and steel studs.
"FOX was amazing! I felt as if they were family on this project. Their innovative ideas and dedication made the project a huge success. All phases were handled with the importance needed to make the new office space award-winning." - Buck Blackburn, Associate Director of Facilities and Office Services