Smarter Spaces by Design

Corporate Environments
Written by Pauline Müller

The corporate world is rapidly changing, and so is how we work. Setting the standard for office furniture and design, as well as office interior construction is Corporate Environments.

From its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Corporate Environments has expanded to include the state’s Augusta and Athens markets in its portfolio and prefers staying in tune with the times and its clients’ needs, rather than following tradition. It serves the construction and real estate, corporate, education, government, and healthcare markets by asking all the right questions before transforming specifications into exciting designs.

While creativity, design skill, and an artistic eye certainly are parts of any project, identifying a client’s exact needs is one of the most valuable skills needed to deliver desired results in interior design. And, creative people need to get it right if they are going to make a client’s space set the tone for achieving success.

“A state-of-the-art environment is essential to attracting new talent and energizing collaboration throughout an organization,” says Alison Rutledge, Director of Business Development. Well-designed spaces are not just about beauty. Instead, they are about form meeting function.

When it comes to reimagining the workplace, Corporate Environments’ experts turn outdated offices into unexpected and exciting collaborative spaces. Its standards are so high that Knoll International, the international bestselling furniture designer, has become a trusted partner. Knoll was founded in 1938 in New York and is also the name for which famous architect and industrial designer Eero Saarinen designed the iconic Tulip chair in the mid-fifties.

Another important partnership is with DIRTT, a digital design tool for prefabricated spaces. The association was sparked when Corporate Environments started seeing a marked increase in the demand for its interior construction services. From this, the need arose for software that would give it the capabilities it needed to achieve these goals, and DIRTT’s ICE software tool did the trick. This gave Corporate Environments the ability to support the entire lifespan of its projects, from pre-design consulting and three-dimensional visualizations to conclusion.

Since implementing the intuitive platform that also speeds up the design process and readily accepts amendments, the company has seen a sharp decline in its construction waste, making it a much greener, more cost-effective partner. The ICE software allows the user easy access to embedded technology so designers can stay ahead of the fast-paced design environment on a range of devices.

Corporate Environments proved the incredible value of the software in 2017 at its Atlanta facility when it turned all of 25,000 square feet into a beautiful showroom where it can display its work, methods, and functional alternatives to traditional office layouts where clients can interact with and relate to them. It also worked with Square Feet Studio, which designed the layout, workstations, private offices, and ancillary furniture, creating the magnificent space from which it now works.

The company has worked towards improving its output by also rethinking its systems and introducing several new software packages, including a cloud-based platform, which tracks opportunities, comes up with client proposals, and processes orders and accounts for all its activities. In addition, more new software now assists the company’s project management capabilities, spatial planning, product configuration, and its furniture lifecycle management.

Despite all the technology, the company’s creativity comes from its team of sixty industry experts, and their diversity drives its creative solutions. In support of this, Corporate Environments provides an internship for a single undergraduate interior design student annually. This does not only benefit the intern, who gains valuable industry knowledge from the experience, but it also allows the company to analyze how its methods hold up to the scrutiny of young adults on the brink of their new careers. This program has proven to be hugely successful, with the company gaining many fresh, creative minds after they graduate.

Thanks to the company’s modern approach to everything it does and a string of fantastic completed projects, Corporate Environments has become a veritable talent magnet, drawing in new, bright minds who will stimulate continued expansion.

The company has secured scores of great projects over the years and has worked for such entities as SunTrust Bank, Inspire Brands, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Jackson Healthcare, Emory University, and the Greater Atlanta Christian School. Then there are also UPS, Atlantic Capital Bank, Goodwill of North Georgia, and even baseball teams like the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta United, and the Atlanta Falcons, among others.

“Project outcomes have been extraordinary for our clients and provided moments of immense gratitude, pride, and professional accomplishment to members of our team,” says Rutledge. This was especially true for Greater Atlanta Christian School. On this project, the company handled the design and installation of a comprehensive DIRTT solution across multiple campus projects in the junior and senior high schools, while completely overhauling the school’s performing arts center. The client was over the moon with the results.

The firm is certified annually by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and its great work has resulted in the company being honored as among the top ten women-owned firms by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and as a top workplace by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In response to its longstanding and much-respected relationship with Knoll, Corporate Environments has been made a part of that company’s ‘President’s Circle,’ a much-coveted position reserved for the international giant’s top twenty distributors in the United States.

The company, having received so much, also tries to give back with strong support for society’s most vulnerable. It makes regular contributions to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and its leadership serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations in and around the Atlanta region. It also hosts corporate events in aid of groups like Goodwill of North Georgia, Atlanta Community, and many others.

The evolution of how we work is driven by the changing needs of people in office spaces. The distinct current shift in these needs as younger people enter the workforce has led designers away from traditional layouts, in search of more comfortable, healthy spaces in which to spend the majority of one’s day. This notion has led to the advent of informal workspaces that are both fluid and versatile, with elements that stimulate productivity as well as creativity.

Thanks to its impressive growth and hugely talented people, Corporate Environments intends to remain the trendsetter that it has become. “We have a superb client base that was developed over many years, and we continue to attract new clients that will ensure our continued success [and growth],” says Rutledge.

And grown it has. The company’s projected forecasts, based on the financial years between 2019 and 2021, set an average goal of ten percent top-line growth every year. “This is consistent with the results we have achieved over the prior seven years where we have been able to grow revenue from $25.3 million in 2012 to nearly $50 million in 2018,” adds Rutledge, who puts the company’s growth down to solid teamwork.

And Corporate Environments can only grow bigger and better. “When you maintain a standard of excellence and teamwork, anything is possible,” says Rutledge. Considering its tremendous success in a tough market, one cannot help but be confident of its success.



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