NPR Headquarters: “This is NPR”
Multimedia news organization NPR relocated its headquarters to a renovated, landmark-status, 4-story 1920’s warehouse and an adjoining new, 7-story building; together they form a 440,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, LEED-Gold certified headquarters that accommodates a staff of over 700 that was previously divided into 3 separate locations. Along with developing a comprehensive environmental graphics, donor recognition and wayfinding sign program for the headquarters and a branding and identity program for the NPR store and staff cafeteria, the designers were also responsible for creating a permanent, interactive lobby exhibition entitled “This is NPR.”
Complementing the adjacent 2-story digital media mosaic which mirrors the NPR website in real-time, a 70-foot-long, permanent, interactive exhibition entitled “This is NPR” spans the length of the new building’s lobby. The exhibition consists of a reader rail supporting 2 tiers of angled panels displaying narrative text, images, video monitors, and interactive audio listening devices featuring detailed information about NPR.
High up against the window, a striking, member network map is displayed. Created in a translucent white resin with raised translucent blue rods to pinpoint the location of each member station, the map’s placement at a window allows it to glow with natural light. The upper portion of the reader rail features NPR milestones alongside significant events in world and radio broadcast history.
The interactive component of the exhibition includes an interface that allows smart phone users to access a specially designed website so that they can listen to a selection of audio clips. These clips are identified as highlighted cue icons embedded throughout the exhibition text and include oral histories and excerpts from significant broadcasts. The designers collaborated with a media developer to create this user interface adding an audio element to the exhibition that allows NPR’s most significant recordings to be accessible to visitors using mobile technology.
Architect: Hickok Cole Architects