A balance of public and private space was important to the firm.<@SM>Private offices run along the exterior of the space.<@SM>Family-oriented public space is featured in the office's interior, including a unique wall of family photos, a revolving family-photo slideshow in the u201cliving roomu201d and a dining room with a family-style farm table.

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IRVINE, CA—Commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm Hughes Marino has completed its own creative-office space at 2 Park Plaza, Suite 750, here. The space is the firm’s unique version of the creative-office concept, which strives for the right balance between traditional private offices and public space. GlobeSt.com has learned that Gensler was the architect and Howard Building Corp. the general contractor for the project.

“There has been an enormous amount of hype surrounding open office space for the past few years,” says Jason Hughes, CEO of Hughes Marino. “Some claim that the borderless workspaces often favored by tech companies are destined to become the wave of the future.”

But the company’s clients’ needs, as well as the needs of his own firm, are more complex than simply doing the new thing because it’s the new thing, adds Hughes. “While an open office concept may seem ‘cool,’ there must be a balance of public and private space in order to achieve maximum productivity. A great deal of research has shown that in many open-space offices, employees are unable to concentrate. Further, many put on headphones that stop interaction completely so that they can focus on their work.”

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Given this research and knowledge, Hughes Marino took a different approach to crafting its new space here. The office features private offices along the exterior, while in the interior the setting feels more like a home than a traditional office. The shared space is designed as a living room, family room, kitchen and dining room. Highe-end finishes, chandeliers and dramatic art pieces add ambiance.

The “home” setting features family touches including one office wall that displays framed photos of team members with their families. In addition, a revolving slideshow of scores of family photos runs in the office living room. Hughes says these “family-focused elements bring an essential energy to the office that reflects our company’s culture.”

Team members in the Orange County office collaborate over espresso at the breakfast bar, meet during mid-day games of pool and share meals at a family-style farm table, he adds. “When creative space is done correctly, people want to come to the office, and they enjoy their time while they’re here. The result is a strong company culture, increased productivity and a high level of team interaction.”

The new office offers the private space employees need to concentrate on their individual work, along with shared space to collaborate. “With all the hours that people spend at work, we want to give our team a space in which they always feel welcome and inspired,” says Hughes. “Creative space isn’t about being trendy. When done correctly, it’s about building a real team, having the ability to concentrate and enjoying being at work.”

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More than simply following a trend, today’s office users are seeking space that displays their own company culture. As GlobeSt.com reported last week, a joint venture between international real estate firm Hines and Oaktree Capital Management LP has revealed architectural-design plans for 17850 Von Karman, a 242,000-square-foot, nine-story, class-A office building to be constructed here, for which Gensler is the architect for the project. Plans include offering tenants a “distinguished identity,” with a unique glass-and-wood façade and highly visible building signage. Tenants will have the flexibility to design a next-generation “creative-space” workplace, with a combination of collaboration and focus spaces, or a more-traditional layout that optimizes productivity. The building will also provide indoor and outdoor spaces, with opportunities to interact, socialize and collaborate to accommodate tenant companies’ specific lifestyles.