When listing pockets of professional creativity in today’s New York, the East Village isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind – at least not before the seemingly countless suites and converted lofts of SoHo and parts of Brooklyn that so many cutting edge ad agencies, media companies and creative consultants call home. But if there’s one guideline to working life in the city that trumps all others, it’s to jump on a good space when you find it, no matter where it is.
Media and entertainment company Alldayeveryday seems to have adhered to this rule of thumb when they moved into their 11th Street workspace just over two years ago. Allday is one of the few companies of their kind in the neighborhood, which suits them just fine.
“This is a great neighborhood to work in,” said Marketing Director Jamie Falkowski. “It is just a bit off the beaten path, but still accessible to just about anywhere in the city. I really enjoy being in an area that has more small businesses than chains.”
It’s feasible to imagine that Alldayeveryday could have at least been tempted to make an office as interesting as theirs work in almost any neighborhood. Housed in a former firehouse that dates back to 1939, the Allday headquarters are an open-space blend of original details and modifications meant to maximize creativity and versatility. They also have the entire building, a rarity in Manhattan real estate.
“We have three floors, all designed and set up to be open with a handful of conference and meeting rooms throughout,” Falkowski said. “The nature of our work has us constantly shifting from floor to floor which can inspire a lot of impromptu catch ups. A lot of great work comes from face time and constant sharing of thoughts and opinions; with that our office space provides a lot of flexibility.”
The team added in glass walled conference rooms, did away with a second floor lofted area and made use of existing features like a skylight and hardwood floors. During renovations, they also discovered original subway tiles, which they’ve made visible through cutaways high up in the first floor wall.
While kitchens on each floor and a spacious roof deck would be sure to arouse jealousy from even the most content cubicle jockey, the art on display is actually one of the most noticeable features of the Allday firehouse. Photographs, posters and prints are hung on walls and stacked in corners, lining much of the available space with points of inspiration. Falkowski notes that it’s “the immeasurable, like great art, magazines and a constant influx of interesting visitors that keeps the place exciting.”
The overall vibe is unmistakably that of an innovative, collaborative place.
“The office feels at times more like a club house than a desk job,” Falkowski said. “It helps to have a place you enjoy going to every day versus a cube.”
Photographs by Christian Cox