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Olson Kundig's Plan for the Gawker HQ Has a 'Theatrical Spine'

Gawker Media founder and proprietor Nick Denton announced in a memo yesterday that the blog network is moving from its SoHo office to a new one in Union Square, and Gizmodo's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan offers a detailed look at the design, which was concocted by lauded Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig. Architects Kirsten Murray and Kristen Becker designed the two-floor workspace around what they're calling a "central spine," one of those outsized staircases for sitting and co-working that are all the rage in contemporary offices.

Renderings of the current design show both sides of the "spine" equipped with curtains that can be opened to bring in more daylight, and closed for events and such. Here's the architects describing the desired effect:

"We're working with a palette that has a high contrast between light and dark... There's really great daylight in the space from windows on two sides, and those spaces are going to be great, light-filled places to work during the day, to write, to think. And the central spaces will be darker, richer, and that transform themselves into more theatrical places." Campbell-Dollaghan heralds the design as a kind of "death to the open plan office," echoing what's become a widely held sentiment among people who have to work in them, but it lives on here via communal workspaces surrounding the central volume. Olson Kundig's previous projects includes a long list of pared-down homes heavy on the glass and steel, and a South Korean park filled with goofy animal statues.

· Inside the Design of the New Gawker Media (and Gizmodo) Offices [Gizmodo]