The recycled gym floor that serves as the main paths in Ashley McGraw Architects’ Syracuse, New York, office isn’t just practical, it is an example of the firm’s work and design philosophy. “We do a lot of work in the educational sector, and have a passion for sustainability,” says principal and senior interior designer Susanne Angarano. “The floor is the essence of both.”
Sourced from Pioneer Millworks in Farmington, New York, the tongue-andgroove oak planks cover about 6,000 square feet in the space, including circulation paths, a studio zone, and conference room. Random lengths of the 2 1⁄2-inch-wide boards were nailed down over a plywood subfloor. To preserve the material’s circa 1920s vestiges of painted basketball-court markings, the design team opted not to sand or refinish the salvaged wood. Architects decided that the original clear varnish topcoat was in good shape, and the irregular exclamations of color added character. The team deliberately concentrated the smallest color fragments in the central walkway area, so that a confetti-like pattern graphically guides visitors through the workplace.
“The application is a perfect fit for our office aesthetic and culture,” Angarano says. “It helps tell our story. It starts dialogue about our work and sustainable materials, and is simply unique.”