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#Projectoftheweek: LUESA - Designing the New Space for Government

Wednesday, August 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sandra Doherty
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LUESA - Designing the New Space for Government
Charlotte, NC


The Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) needed a new space that facilitated the vision for their organization - a space created with customer engagement in mind that provided a seamless transition from the digital to the physical experience. Three distinct engagement zones were created as part of an open plan that offers a customer-focused experience - Greet, Meet and Serve. These zones have their own unique architectural elements and use of materials. In addition, they have been crafted to work as one cohesive space allowing LUESA to better serve the 200+ customers a day that visit the facility.

As a highly progressive organization responsible for everything from enforcing building and zoning codes to managing water and land resources in the county, LUESA was seen as a bureaucracy more concerned with regulation than customer service. This was a perception issue for the agency that they wanted to change. To show that serving people is their priority, LUESA decided to completely overhaul the way they interface with the community. Such a move meant not only changing how LUESA operates—to become more welcoming and collaborative—but also changing their space to reflect their new focus. Understanding the client’s priority of making the experience all about customer service, the design team took some cues from successful retail brands. We discussed LUESA’s customer service being as progressive and interactive and Apple, as fresh and bold as Target and as comfortable and familiar as Starbucks. These “themes” would find themselves interjected into the three engagement zones of the overall plan: Greet, Meet and Serve. In LUESA's new four-story building, visitors are greeted by a sculptural reception desk, then directed to their relevant LUESA departmental station. As a result of this diffusion of services, there is no single linear path and no clustering of traffic. As a complement to the new open layout, integrated technology assists with queuing and provides customer wait times. Low floor-to-floor heights led designers to remove the finished ceilings in order to maximize the space's volume and create even greater visibility. In some spots, various overhead architectural elements now delineate different zones of activity. The new LUESA setting also features a cheerful color scheme of green and blue, representing land and water, respectively, and a fun topography graphic, based loosely on the county's terrain and applied to the interior conference rooms. They are among the elements that add notes of brand commensurate personality to the space


Architect: Gensler

General Contractor: Rodgers Builders


McVeigh & Mangum Engineering, inc.


Quality Consulting Engineers, LLC


Ramey Kemp & Associates, Inc


Stewart Engineering


Vertex Technology Consultants

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