Kittelson & Associates Inc. Headquarters

Portland, Oregon

Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) is a transportation engineering and planning organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Their previous offices were distributed across three levels and the majority of employees occupied private or shared offices. With the opportunity to consolidate to a single floor and reduce their square footage from 30,000 to 16,500, KAI brought their employees out of offices and created flexible common spaces, such as breakrooms, conference rooms, and work areas.

LRS was hired to provide full design services from programming through construction administration, including presenting furniture solutions with the primary objectives of helping KAI become more collaborative and better interface with clients.

Designers took a neighborhood approach to organize open work areas, carefully planning them to facilitate collaboration, yet reduce noise distractions across teams. Offices were downsized and arranged in blocks toward the interior of the space for those whose work requires confidentiality. The rational layout provides efficient workflow by clearly defining departments and office locations, and it also provides nodes of interaction to foster employee relationships. Conference rooms are expandable and inclusive. Employees who require privacy can step into dedicated phone rooms and small meeting spaces, or take a moment in the wellness room. The copy/print area is located near a coffee station to reinforce connections.

The functional and aesthetic aspects of the new office emphasize KAI’s expertise in transportation planning.Designers created a sophisticated yet subtly playful motif, incorporating elements of topography and signage to emphasize the KAI brand. Wayfinding is emphasized with the high-contrast color palette inspired by transportation construction. Phone rooms are indicated with orange paint and light up when in use, and wall murals feature custom map graphics.

The dramatic reduction in square footage and the change in workstyle could have been tremendously disruptive to KAI. Instead, LRS designers hosted town halls during the design process and created a welcome packet, introducing the KAI staff to new ways of working within shared areas, flexible meeting spaces, and neighborhood workstations. Our successful partnership approach to the project helped KAI achieve their goals of a happy, confident, and collaborative staff.