Case Study

iS design

Raleigh, NC


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Space Planning
  • Finish Selections
  • FF&E Coordination

iS design

In the fall of 2018, iS design, p.a. secured a lease for a suite on the First Floor of Pilot Mill that could not be occupied until September 2019. This, of course, gave the firm plenty of time to design and permit improvements prior to occupancy – a dangerous proposition for an architecture and interiors firm teaming with designers.

SQ FT: 2,636
CATEGORY: Workplace Projects
iS design

About the Project

The suite is in a 110-year-old cotton mill that boasts of revealed heavy timber construction with solid brick exterior bearing walls.  As was typical of industrial construction in that era, large windows in the exposed masonry walls flood the space with natural light while creating a rugged chic that is quite appealing. The suite is also blessed with high floor to ceiling heights with timber beams and wood floor decking well above those areas that have no dropped ceiling.

Although the existing tenant had previously created a large conference room that could function quite well in a new life as the firm’s Finish Library, iS design set out to make improvements elsewhere.

These enhancements focused first on the requirement for a new Conference Room in some other location in the suite to replace the repurposed one.  An opportunity to do this existed at a lone enclosed office behind a built-in reception desk near the suite entry that also had a radiused gypsum board soffit above. This soffit did double duty as it concealed plumbing lines that drop through the floor deck above. The solution included demolishing the soffit and reception desk thus allowing the single office to expand and become a new Conference Room with glass borrowing light from windows directly opposite it in the exterior wall of the Lobby. A new soffit was built which frames the Conference Room window wall on two sides while also extending further into the suite over a new reception desk location. Linear lighting was included in this assembly which emphasizes a linear progression leading guests deeper inside the suite toward reception.

The second focus was to completely demolish the existing dated break area and replace it with new built-in millwork with integral shelf lighting above a solid surface countertop.  Nearby, new pendant lighting suspended from an existing exposed electrical conduit afforded a well-lighted location for a new 10-foot-long high top break table in the heart of the suite.  This composition not only supplies an enjoyable location for a midday meal, it doubles quite nicely as an informal area for impromptu collaborative meetings; a necessity for a design firm.

In order to create more open office area for workspace use, an existing small breakout conference area was demolished to create a new open space with a sound absorptive pendant light added at its center to create an interesting focal point.  This also became an opportunity to provide an accent wall color at the end of a long view from the other side of the new Break Area.