Texans know beef, so it only makes sense that the purveyor of what some regard as the best burgers in the world would turn to an architecture practice from the Lone Star State to realize its New York headquarters. The fact that Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, which has outposts in Austin and Houston, creates thoughtfully composed, eminently functional workspaces might also have had something to do with Shake Shack’s choice of the firm to oversee its Manhattan home base.
Taking up half a floor in a repurposed Tribeca printing facility, the nearly 1,200-square-metre HQ is a skillful amalgam of new reception, office and kitchen spaces in a sprawling industrial shell. A variety of elements were used to define and demark each area, from metal and warm wood frameworks to area rugs and lighting.
Among the light fixtures illuminating a sprawling kitchen and gathering space are a striking ceiling grid of suspended glass and wood orbs and a single hanging fixture covered by an oversized drum shade.
The office kitchen, as might be expected at a food and hospitality company, has pride of place in the design. A massive walnut island lined with wood-topped stools runs the length of the space, flanked on one side by black cabinets and on the other by plush green sofas, lush plant life and rows of communal tables.
Executive offices, a conference room and other private areas are interspersed throughout. Some are delineated by black metal structuring that echoes the frames of the building’s large industrial windows, while others are contained within rustic wood enclosures. The reception area is dominated by a monolithic walnut desk and two more rich green sofas.
On the ground floor, a Shake Shack outlet and high-tech test kitchen have also been incorporated, allowing the brand to experiment with new food offerings and develop them on-site. Think of the result as a richly layered and extremely effective creation, much like those signature burgers.
The design by Texas-based Michael Hsu Office of Architecture skilfully integrates reception, office and kitchen spaces in a sprawling industrial shell.