Some people hate puzzles and some people like puzzles, but at Bainbridge, we love them. They’re a chance to flex our creative and strategic muscles. We love master planning and space analysis projects for the same reasons. With so many moving pieces, from departmental needs to organizational growth, master planning and space analysis projects are like multi-dimensional puzzles. Lucky for you, we have the expertise to make all the pieces fall into place.

The Method Behind the Madness of Master Planning

The scope of a master planning and space analysis project is daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. With so many factors and stakeholders, it’s important to have a strong process and methodology in place. When everyone is on the same page it makes complex projects just a little bit easier. It’s like having all the edge pieces of a puzzle already laid out, all that’s left to do is fill in the middle.

As with most of our projects, our process begins by defining the goals and objectives of our clients. From there we conduct informational interviews with key stakeholders to identify space needs and standards, and gather information on current staffing and growth projections. We also look at all of their support and ancillary spaces. During this process, we often have to push departments to look towards the future and think strategically about what they’ll need.

We like to describe our project programming style as listening between the lines. As our long list of repeat clients will attest, we excel in the art of diplomacy and negotiation. We recognize that interior planning is much more than just the physical space and we strive to be sensitive
to the internal workings of an organization, its atmosphere, philosophies, and morale.

A lot of work goes into the front end of our process. Research, discovery, and strategic planning inform every aspect of the following phases, schematic design and design development. We begin by preparing preliminary space plans presenting different options and solutions. After meeting with the project stakeholders we refine feedback into a single final space plan direction and begin refining the details. The end product is a final floor plan showing individual workstations and all support equipment.

A Master Planning Puzzle For The City Of Portland

Bainbridge and the City of Portland have a 35-year working relationship, so when they approached us about a five-year space evaluation for the Bureau of Development Services in the 1900 Building, we were happy to help.

As a governmental institution, efficiency and planning are especially important to the city. Our task was to help them maximize efficiency while planning for future growth. The specific five-year goal is to eliminate leased space and consolidate city employees into owned facilities. With so many moving pieces, this puzzle was going to take careful analysis and planning to figure out.

Bainbridge compiled a master planning and space analysis report for the Bureau of Development Services. We found that in the long term the 1900 Building is adequate to meet the space requirements for BDS. However, to do this will required reducing existing standard workstation sizes and taking over the seventh floor when it is vacated.

In the interim, we assisted with relocating two departments to other city leased space and reshuffled all remaining staff to accommodate immediate growth. The goal was to do this with minimum disruption to staff, and was phased across several weekend moves. We also worked to reuse existing products, improve adjacencies within bureaus, full fill ergonomic requests and improve the general upkeep of the office.

Master planning and space analysis projects like this are a huge undertaking. There’s also a lot at stake. It’s imperative that work continues as normal throughout the process. It’s just another piece of the puzzle we had in front of us.


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