Setting an example is often more compelling than verbally trying to sell an idea, as contract-furniture dealer AOS can attest. When the New Orleans– based business was renovating and expanding its offices, it turned to local firms EskewDumezRipple (EDR) and VergesRome Architects for a design solution that would enhance employee productivity and increase sales. In response, the architects put the products AOS represents to work rather than on display.

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The design team prioritized the employee experience, focusing on comfort, flexibility, and aesthetic appeal. A light-hued palette of mainly white and gray replaces the previous red-and-black color scheme to create a clean and versatile backdrop. Like many current workplaces, the office features a variety of zones— workstations, collaborative areas, private phone booths, and lounges—to support the range of employees and activities. The design team anchored each area with customized, prefabricated millwork and wall systems by DIRTT—the software-based construction-planning and fabrication service—that sped up the building process to a mere six weeks. Instead of a cacophony of disparate goods, a cohesive collection of products that AOS sells furnishes both workspace and lounge areas to show it in use. (In the workstation zone alone there are more than 40 product lines, yet all complement each other.)

Open since 2017, the 10,000-square-foot office and showroom has seen an increase in client traffic ( including showroom tours and events) by more than 150 percent, as well as a revenue increase from approximately $42 million in 2017 to upwards of $60 million this year. AOS believes that the design of the space has had the biggest impact, estimating that 90 percent of client tours have resulted in a purchase. When all is said and done, it’s also indicative of how design has improved team productivity

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365 Canal St., Suite 3150, New Orleans, LA 70130



Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Steve Dumez, FAIA

Jason Richards, AIA, LEED BD+C

Emily Heausler, IIDA


VergesRome Architects:

320 N Carrollton Ave # 100, New Orleans, LA 70119



Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Steve Rome, AIA

Haley Brizzolara, IIDA, LEED Green Associate

Emily Batte


General contractor:

Kent Design + Build



Neil Alexander






10,000 square feet



$1.46 million


Completion date:

August 2017



Entrances: C.R. Laurence

Special doors: DIRTT



Locksets: DIRTT

Closers: DIRTT

Pulls: DIRTT

Other special hardware: DIRTT


Interior Finishes

Acoustical ceilings: TURF, DIRTT

Suspension grid: Newmat

Demountable partitions: DIRTT

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: DIRTT

Paints and stains: Pratt & Lambert, DIRTT Custom, Benjamin Moore

Wall coverings: Designtex, Knoll

Paneling: DIRTT

Plastic laminate: Abet Laminati

Solid surfacing: Ceasarstone, Cambria

Special surfacing: DIRTT

Floor and wall tile: Ceramiche Caesar (Local rep: Horizon Tile)

Carpet: Bentley, Shaw

Raised flooring: DIRTT

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Construct (Custom Blackened Steel Panels)

*Glass: DIRTT, Carvart, Clarus

*Window Shades: Mecho Shade



Office furniture: Knoll

Reception furniture: Knoll

Chairs: Alias, Davis, Knoll

Tables: Alias, Nucraft, Knoll

Upholstery: Knoll Textiles

Other furniture: Spacesaver High Density Storage

*Task Chairs: Knoll



Interior ambient lighting: Iguzzini, Finelite, Vibia

Downlights: Focal Point, Bruck

Tasklighting: Artemide