New Project: Volunteers of America

Posted by Breanna Sheldon on : September  21,  2018

Written by Kent Hikida, AIA of The Switzer Group 

Volunteers of America – Greater New York (VOA-GNY) completed a new centralized office headquarters space on the 9th floor at 135 W. 50th Street, New York, NY 10020. The project is a complete interior renovation of the entire 9th floor as a single-tenant space. The goal of the project was to centralize administrative offices from five (5) de-centralized program offices, and to create operational synergies, and efficiencies within VOA-GNY.

The project includes a reception area, private offices, open area workstations, a boardroom, staff meeting rooms, pantry/break areas, open collaboration spaces, copy areas, a computer server room, storage areas, and other support spaces to accommodate the functional and programmatic office headquarters requirements for VOA-GNY. The following work groups were relocated to the new headquarters: President-CEO’s office, COO’s office, CFO’s office and Finance Department, Program Leader offices, Human Resources, Marketing and Development Office, and Strategic Planning Office. MEP-FA-FP, Lighting, Technology, Security, and Audiovisual systems were installed to support VOA-GNY’s environmental and life-safety requirements, and to support the functional departmental requirements. New furniture was provided throughout. The space was designed to create efficiencies in communication between departments, and to support the mission and values of VOA-GNY for the next 20-years.

Photography: Copyright Tom Sibley

The reception area features a dynamic display of photographs representing the extensive community services provided by VOA-GNY through their multiple program facilities serving the tri-state region. A video monitor welcomes guests; and announces upcoming events. Recessed, diagonal LED lighting on the walls, inspired by the VOA-GNY logo, leads from the elevator lobby and reception area toward the boardroom and the office area. Concrete flooring provides a solid, yet humble statement that is enhanced by a colorful inset area rug accent. Wood walls provide warmth.


The boardroom accommodates 24-seated around a table, and 12 additional seated on an adjacent banquette. The boardroom features a fully-integrated audio visual and lighting system, and a wood slat ceiling for acoustics.

Specially designed felt ceiling panels were coordinated with lighting and sprinkler piping to maximize the ceiling height within the open office area. The light gray acoustic panels are light gray to help reflect light; and are octagonal to correspond to the geometry of the 120-degree work stations below. The workstations have light gray felt panels between workstations to complement the ceiling panels and to provide additional acoustic absorption. Walnut storage cabinets create a warm and inviting environment. HVAC ducts were routed to the perimeter of these area.

Click Here to view the Original Article: Written by Kent Hikida, AIA of The Switzer Group 

Project Design: The Switzer Group 

Furniture Dealer: Benhar Office Interiors 

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