Ware Malcomb design firm has relocated its San Diego headquarters to a renovated Sorrento Valley office building meant to showcase the firm’s work and its history.
“It’s a nice place to highlight for us, almost as a showroom,” said Tiffany English, principal of Ware Malcomb’s San Diego operations.
“This embraces a little bit of who we are, our history, and integrates it into who we’ve become,” English said. “We’re a company that grew out of industrial architects. We embrace our history of concrete tilt (buildings).”
The firm took over and remodeled about 7,800 square feet of a 40-year-old office building at 3911 Sorrento Valley Blvd., transforming it into a creative office environment while retaining a bit of an industrial feel.
“Our current space is an open, creative work environment with multiple meeting rooms in what we call alternative work environments, alternative work strategies,” English said. “We can meet in groups, work individually, have heads down space, have open collaborative space.”
Established in 1972 and now with 22 offices worldwide, Ware Malcomb got its start designing industrial buildings, and the new San Diego headquarters pays homage to that by keeping raw concrete flooring and finishes.
“We tried to keep and embrace that natural concrete feel of the building,” English said.
A roll-up garage door adds to that feel, and brings in natural lighting as do multiple skylights.
“Natural lighting we find to be a plus for all of us,” English said. “I think everybody enjoys the natural light.”
The building also features ceilings 19 to 20 feet high which add to the industrial feel.
In relocating the San Diego headquarters, “We were looking specifically for a product type that embraced a little bit of our industrial background. We were looking for something with the high ceilings that has the concrete tilt look, the ability to have some creative license for what we’ve done with the space,” English said. “It’s always easier to do with these older industrial buildings.”
There are benching stand/sit desks throughout the office, something many clients are requesting for their office space.
Aiming to be more efficient, much of the space in the new headquarters does double duty.
“Even our conference rooms don’t only function as a conference room,” English said.
Instead of traditional furniture with chairs arranged formally around a table, the new conference rooms have a more relaxing feel with lounging furniture.
Formal office space with private offices behind closed doors also was replaced with a wide open space.
“We don’t have any traditional private offices at all,” English said. “We do not have standard cubicles.”
The new offices also give Ware Malcomb room to grow.
The firm has 37 people working in its Sorrento Valley office, but expects to add more in 2019.
There also are eight people working in a downtown office at 600 B St.
“Our new San Diego office accommodates Ware Malcomb’s tremendous growth in the vibrant San Diego market, while also positioning the firm for the future,” English said.
The firm specializes in designing a wide range of projects from commercial office and industrial to educational and retail.
Projects done by Ware Malcomb’s San Diego offices include the ongoing renovation of Cubic Corp.’s Balboa Avenue campus, Psyonix headquarters, renovation of Rancho Vista Corporate Center, and Curadero restaurant at the Hotel Palomar.