Risk Management Association’s new workspace by Meyer combines historical aspects from the firm’s 100-year history with modern design elements.
Risk Management Association (RMA), a member-driven nonprofit organization with the purpose of advancing risk education and principles in the financial services industry for more than 1,600 members, hired Meyer to reduce its real estate footprint to accommodate a post-pandemic, hybrid working model for a new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Following a discovery phase, which included tours of local innovation centers to spark inspiration, Meyer was tasked with creating an experience for RMA’s 85 employees, clients, and board members, with an emphasis on creating an innovative, collaborative space for all employees returning to the office. Keeping the principles of equitable design in mind, Meyer created a carefully curated workplace destination for RMA, where employees and members alike can feel a sense of belonging and an elevated workplace experience.
The entry of the space was specifically designed without a reception desk. Instead, it features an inviting fireplace and seating area, seeking to utilize as much space as possible throughout, and acoustic light fixtures, curved panels and soft materials to prioritize comfort. The design reflects the need for flexible, collaborative workspaces and features an open-café concept, a large conference space with telescoping walls, and stylish, comfortable furniture and seating throughout.
Construction on RMA’s hybrid corporate headquarters began in April 2022 and took around six months to complete. Employees and members began utilizing the collaborative workspace in October 2022, with attendance varying each week, based on meetings and team collaboration.
Meyer was responsible for interior architecture and design, workplace strategy, furniture selection, artwork, and branding. Debra Breslow, Principal and workplace design expert at Meyer, led the RMA hybrid corporate headquarters project alongside Jessica Nixon, Project Manager, and Dana Sweeney, Designer.
Meyer worked closely with RMA’s president and CEO, Nancy Foster, and CFO, Brian Long, who emphasized the need to create a workspace that inspired employees, RMA members, and board members to return to the office following the firm’s transition to a hybrid working model. During the planning phase, Meyer invited RMA executives to tour local innovation centers around the Greater Philadelphia area for inspiration and collaborated closely with executives during visioning sessions to help bring RMA’s hybrid HQ to life. These tours and visioning sessions revealed what RMA was seeking in their new space: a light-filled office that inspired creativity and innovation while simultaneously offering comfortable, collaborative, and flexible meeting spaces to meet the unique needs of all those who would be utilizing it.
The team at Meyer was tasked with creating an elevated and branded experience for RMA’s members and 85 employees by incorporating a variety of technology-forward, collaborative meeting spaces featuring telescoping conference room walls, interactive screens in meeting rooms, and a remote reservation system, featuring AV equipment and USB outlets throughout the space.
Comfortability and wellness were top of mind for the design team, which translated into acoustic light fixtures, natural lighting throughout, curved wall paneling, and soft materials for furnishings as well as ergonomic seating, sit to stand desks, and natural greenery. This, combined with quality Knoll furniture, created a workplace destination for employees.
RMA has been providing risk advisory services for over 100 years. As a nod to the firm’s rich history, Meyer incorporated elements of RMA’s past throughout the design – lining walls of shared spaces with historic hand-signed charters, photographs, and a book collection. The workspace also features a working fireplace and adjacent seating for employees and members alike to enjoy.
- Engineer: Bala Consulting Engineers
- Project Manager: Watchdog Project Management
- Furniture: CFI Workspace
- Real Estate: CBRE
- Contractor/Construction: Erickson Construction
- Specific Products/Brands Throughout Space:
Overall Project Results
During the pandemic, the executive team at RMA engaged employees through surveys and determined that a full-time return to office was not necessary, leading the firm to seek out an updated office space geared towards hybrid work. Following the completion of the workspace, both RMA employees and board members have expressed satisfaction with the design of the space, available technology, historical touchpoints, and views of the city of Philadelphia.
In addition to the project team at Meyer, a number of contributors helped bring RMA’s new hybrid corporate headquarters to life. This includes Bala Consulting Engineers, Watchdog Project Management, CFI Workspace, CBRE, and C. Erickson Construction.