Architecture Plus Information Designs Utopian Office for Publicis Groupe

When New York-based Architecture Plus Information (A+I) was called to design a new creative workplace in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City for Publicis Groupe, the expectation was high. After all, the French advertising giant is one of the oldest advertising and public relationships company in the industry and the second largest communications group in the world. Not only did the firm deliver on the promise of excellence, it also formed a new collective called “Le Truc” (French for “thing-a-ma-jig” or “whazzit”), a model within the Publicis Group that breaks down conventional advertising norms to unleash next-level creativity. This collective of “monsters” leans into the spirit of a start-up but wields the vast resources of a world-leading marketing powerhouse.

person walking in orange hallway

person walking up yellow steps in an office

workers sitting at tables in modern office

To start, A+I had to figure out how Publicis goes about its work – the logistics of their creative process and the system under which the company operates to create its magic. Recognizing that the traditional advertising company workplace is bound by outdated norms, they set out to design a multifaceted office experience.

Like the non-linear nature of creativity, the new space supports creativity’s  ebb and flow with diverse environments that support different modes of working. There are not an equal number of workstations as there are employees. Instead, a number of flexible, non-deterministic areas offer flexibility and opportunity for collaboration. Bullpens, auditoriums, libraries, nooks, niches, and lounges are available so that everyone can find a place where they work best, and at any stage of their creative process.

round purple sunken room next to purple seats

meeting room next to open seating areas

Vibrant yet minimal, every vignette feels like a movie set from a utopian film. Curves are a repeated motif throughout the office, as if to challenge the traditional idea of something  boxed in, and echoes in the seating, the arrangement of furniture, additional furnishings, the windows, ceilings, surfaces, and more. Sunken rooms and benches establish a casual environment, both for heads down work and impromptu meetings.

person working next to a window

woman sitting in pink and red meeting room

woman sitting at a pastel green cafe

A cafe and lounge space offer the opportunity for social connectivity and camaraderie to fold into work.

orange lounge area of modern office

woman sitting on an orange banquette seating

orange seating area

The spaces are bold and rich in color, which is found on the walls, floor, and furniture. Playful surprises, like the upside-down mirror and mirrored ceiling below, create a sensorial experience atypical of corporate workplaces.

woman walking across pink conference room

yellow privacy nook

Employees can even choose to work in niches and nooks, all in different moods, sizes, and modalities.

woman sitting next to window in green room

moody privacy room in office

Without a doubt, A+I’s goal to create a “Clubhouse for Creativity” for Le Truc has been achieved, setting a new standard for contemporary offices of the future.

woman sitting in privacy niche of office

woman walking down hallway with curved ceilings

woman sitting with her laptop in pastel blue room

woman walking down yellow stairwell

woman walking down yellow stairwell

woman sitting next to window with hanging greenery

employees working at a white table

woman sitting alone in meeting room

auditorium-style room

woman sitting at a table next to long hallway

woman sitting on a blue sofa

chartreuse colored meeting room

Photography by Magda Biernat.

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She’s probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at vytranyang.com.

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