Office Environment Design – Case Study

By: Adnan Omeragic

The office environment design has been through a constant state of evolution as humans and technology move forward. When embarking on creating an environment, it is always good to know the complete story before the design process begins. One of the goals of our office was to create case study which analyzed variety of office environments. The findings of the case study would serve as informational guide to a successful office environment design.

Along with a brief history of the office environment and its evolution, this case study is a collection of a few of our notable work place design projects. They highlight our approach to designing office environments and how we create spaces where people will enjoy crafting their careers.

Office Environment Design Case Study

To receive a hard copy please contact our office; We would love to talk to you about full findings of the case study.

Summer Sketching Continues

By: John Berendzen

This has been a great summer for Friday morning sketching.  We’ve only been rained out once, and the weather has been mostly perfect.  I am convinced that the hand/mind coordination practice gained through sketching can help make anyone a better thinker.

This year we’ve spent time in Grand Center, Tower Grove Park and various coffee shops around town  However, we’ve spent the most time this year at Benton Park.  There’s a great scale to the park – reminds me a bit of the squares in Savannah Georgia.  So much there to draw….



Elise_sketch1benton park 111800087_10102473529668681_6459301508729470499_n1907473_10102391687620801_9053450651564403712_nElise_sketch2benton park 2




By: Frank Rosario

20th-century limestone bank

UMB Bank – Ferguson, MO

When UMB Financial Corporation decided to make a substantial investment in their Ferguson, MO branch in the summer of 2015, they turned to FoxArchitects to advise them in the specifics of the building’s historic masonry repairs.

In collaboration with the bank’s selected building envelope restoration company, Western Specialty Contractors, I reviewed the discovery findings made by Western, and contacted The Indiana Limestone Institute of America for technical discussion of re-pointing of the stone façade (much of which dates to the bank’s construction in 1902) including mortar-type selection and techniques of combating “rising damp” –the capillary movement of moisture from the ground up into the walls of buildings. Understanding the science of maintaining the integrity of an historic masonry building envelope has always fascinated me, in no small part due to living most of my life within the extents of pre-war St Louis neighborhoods of triple-wythe brick masonry construction.

Every initiative taken in Preservation of our architectural heritage, such as UMB has done here in Ferguson should be applauded for favoring the Sustainable over the disposable, and promoted for the Leadership it sets in the example for other stewards of our community’s architectural heritage. As we near the start of construction next month, I look forward to seeing this prominent centenarian of the Ferguson streetscape readied for her next 100 years.


By: Joe Burzinski

As the first Outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic in the Saint Louis Region, this patient and family-centered healthcare facility continues to perform beyond expectations.

Here are some impressive MEASURABLE OUTCOMES for the Outpatient Bone MarrowTransplant Clinic at St. Louis University Hospital:FOX Metrics SLU BMT

Design-Build Opinion

By: Bob Dunn

Like my opinion on most topics, this one is based on experience and not research.  So fact-checkers have at it, I do not care.  I’ve seen proof of this opinion too many times to be convinced otherwise.

The label “Design-Build” (DB) is being blurred with that of “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD) of projects, so let me first define each method as I have seen them executed  over the last 30 years.  In the DB approach, the general contractor is a single source of design and construction for the owner:  acting as the owner’s architect, engineer and contractor, the  general contractor holds the services contracts for  all professional and construction disciplines. The Owner then has a single contract direct with the G.C.   The IPD method requires the project’s parties- architects, engineers, and contractor(s)-  to work together as a team for the Owner’s interests, but with each contracting separately to the owner.  These days, general contractors have begun advertising DB as IPD.  But no matter what the ads are pitching, the key difference between these methods of project delivery is who holds your contract and what influence that has in identifying and serving the Owner’s interests.  There are many variables in any arrangement of project services, all of which rest upon trust.  A project’s success in realizing the Owner’s interests is most strongly influenced by who holds whose contract.  If your boss says don’t tell the owner or you will not get paid, then an untrustworthy person holds your contract.

I suggest labeling the method of a team of professionals all working together , but contracted separately, as “Team Owner” (TO). If the Owner holds your contract directly, then the Owner is your client, period. No matter the delivery method and what may have been said about it at the outset, the party holding your contract is your client.

Take (to) the Street – Gravois Avenue

By: Frank Rosario

On Tuesday evening July 15, 2015, I and about 75 others interested in the future of Gravois Avenue met at the Five Star Senior Center on Arsenal St to discuss the future of this unique boulevard that slices across the dense street grid of the City of St Louis’ southside. Spurred on by recent MODOT plans to improve traffic flow on State Highway 30 within the City limits, neighbors and interested citizens sat at tables of 6-10 each and brainstormed for an hour the possibilities and priorities of what it means for the several pedestrian and bike -oriented neighborhoods along its route to co-exist-with and benefit-from this arterial. Lots of good ideas, generally expressing variations on a common thread of prioritizing safe pedestrian engagement, while at the same time aiming for a less stop-and-go (albeit Slower) driver experience.  Design Democracy Lives.

Design Thinking at the Sam Fox School

By: Elise Novak


This spring I have had the pleasure of assistant teaching the Design Thinking course at the Graduate School of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. This is a research and design exploration class in which students establish the premise, site and program of what will be their capstone studio project (called the Degree Project) in their final semester.  Students compile a book that graphically presents their design idea and the data/ thought processes that inspired it. Final books went on display in Givens Hall this week.

There are two aspects of the course that I find most compelling. First, all students are required to locate their project in the St. Louis region. In contrast to other semesters when studio sites range from New York to Shanghai, this encourages them to engage in the issues most relevant to St. Louis and (as simple as it sounds) enables them to physically observe and experience their site.  Secondly, students are challenged to overturn any underlying assumptions related to the way we design, the way society operates, and the way we interact with the environment.

The result? A range of unique design ideas representing the particular interests of each student, and suggesting architectures quite unlike those we see in St. Louis today. Here are a few examples of the proposals that came from my group of students:

– The use of temporary architecture in the Loop to experiment with unconventional building programs before investing in more permanent facilities.

– A center for community engagement that seeks to improve Wash U’s relationship with the communities it serves by creating an interface for students and St. Louisans to interact. The intent is to find ways for student initiatives and research to result in tangible and lasting benefits for the city’s neighborhoods.

– The design of a new residential-recreational-industrial-commercial typology that can inhabit abandoned shopping malls and offer a more densified version of suburban life. The proposed site is the Chesterfield Bottoms outlet mall.

– A relaxation center at the Columbia River Bottoms that uses architectural interventions along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to create a variety of “soundscapes” that capitalize on the calming effects of water sounds.

Having graduated from the Wash U program myself one year ago, I have greatly enjoyed this chance to get back on campus and discuss “big ideas” with passionate students excited about the future of architecture and what it can achieve.

SLU Center for Global Citizenship earns award for Innovation in Education

By: Martin Padilla

Good design should always lead to a great user experience.  This is the end result of the Center for Global Citizenship (CGC) project at Saint Louis University (SLU). The University and the CGC were recently recognized by the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) for the Innovation Award in Internationalization.  The award highlights exceptional programs, projects or initiatives aimed at advancing internationalization.  The important element of the award is focusing on programs that can serve as models for other institutions.  As Fox Architects worked with SLU in the programming process, certain design elements that were incorporated into the space are direct contributors to the end result.

Two areas that stand out as a part of SLU’s recognition award are the Development of the Center for Global Citizenship and the Establishment of the SLU Association for International Debate (SAID) Program.

Development of the Center for Global Citizenship: The centers mission was to create a space that would promote collaboration across the university and to educate and engage the SLU community in global awareness, responsibility and participation.  Working with Fox Architects through a constant series of client collaboration, SLU was able to adapt the 87-year old Gymnasium into a space that nurtures engagement and collaboration between cultures and the community.

Design ideas that were integral to this mission: Engaging with Surrounding, Good Food, Location, Multiplicity of Spaces, Human Relationship, Informal Gathering.

Establishment of the SAID program: This interactive debate program that brings together universities from all over the world in active debate related discussions has created a rich collaborative environment.  The debate program utilizes the technology built into the space to debate in real-time to universities located all over the world. The SAID program continues to grow and has developed into a collaborative organization that has increased the awareness of the center, while enriching the SLU community.

Design ideas that were integral to this mission: Creating Spaces that Foster Collaboration and Discussion, Technology Integration.

SLU CGC diagrams 5716

Visit our project section for more information. More information on the Award can be found here and on SLU’s website.



Revisiting the Liebert Learning Center

By: Jacob Coburn

Last month Fox traveled to Liebert Learning Center in Westerville, OH to meet with Frank Bibens (President, Global Services, Emerson Network Power) and the Director of Corporate Training & Development to discuss the success of the new facility completed in 2009.

Emerson ExteriorC1Lobby_small

The visit went very well and Fox walked away with some valuable insight on the facility and the things they were enjoying as well as what could be done to improve for future projects.  Overall the response was outstanding and Frank and his team couldn’t have had more encouraging things to say about the job Fox did on the training facility.

Liebert QuotesLiebert 2


Thanks to Frank and the whole Liebert team for their hospitality.

Fox Presents to IFMA Organization at RGA HQ

By: Jacob Coburn

Last month members of Fox Architects were asked to present to IFMA (International Facility Management Association) at the recently completed RGA (Reinsurance Group- America Inc) Global Headquarters on the design principles used by Fox in designing the new HQ.  The panel discussion was titled Focus Privacy in the New Workplace and addressed on two major topics; accommodating generational gaps and how to prepare for the future generations, and how different workplace environments affect the quality of those different generation’s performance.

Exterior Red WallEntry Lobby

IFMA was pleased to see their largest turnout as over 100 visitors came to see the panel discussion and get a short tour of the world class facility.  Along with myself, Coleen Crutcher and Jacob Coburn represented the three generations (Baby-Boomers, Gen-X, and the Millennials) to offer unique perspectives on the way these generations function in existing workplaces and how with RGA’s new model Fox took evidence-based design to improve quality of space, communication, and create a more efficient workplace.  By focusing on core principals like access to daylight and views, balancing individual and shared spaces and giving free access to alternative work spaces, RGA is seeing an increase in collaboration without distracting the more focused workers.


By showing the floor plans which highlighted office traffic control and space zoning, Fox was able to show the importance of a proper layout and how the right environment is integral to creating trust in the office, the key to imparting knowledge from older generations to future generations.  The panel ended with a tour of the amenities level which includes RGA’s cafeteria-auditorium, servery, training rooms, and the entrance for the facility.


Fox would like to say a special thanks to IFMA for inviting us to give this presentation and thank RGA for allowing us to host the event in their new facility.

Bob Dunn