When renegade computer game company ION Storm craved an environmental upgrade, they sought an architectural firm capable of infusing high-end technology with comfort and sophistication. Veteran studio designers RBDG transformed the 22,000 sq.ft. space into a Willy Wonka-esque interpretation of ION Storm’s”workplace wish list.”
A young company with such talent and promise had to establish a territory of its own. Gone were the days of cramped cubicles and rooms crammed with racks of computer hardware. Convenience, comfort and credibility now reigned supreme in the glass-enrobed, split-level penthouse space. RBDG assembled amélange of raw materials and used them in their natural state. Random outcroppings of concrete, wood, glass, aluminum, steel and aircraft cable appear throughout, their usage uncommon yet appropriate to their surroundings.
Beyond the glass doors of the lobby lies a main conference room armed in bullet resistant glass and foreboding roll-down metal doors that are employed when the threat of espionage arises. Totally enclosed individual workstations feature roofs that block the extreme sunlight from above and are tailored to support large screen formats. The recreation room is complete with ping-pong table, a pool table and various”old school” video games to revitalize staff.
Besides the requisite work spaces and meeting areas, ION Storm’s office satisfies a variety of specialized technological needs. Original music and sound effects for the games are created in the recording control room and studio. Games in current production are filtered through the Death Match area – a virtual testing ground consisting of nine networked stations. Adjacent to the Death Match area is a 12-monitor viewing bay where bystanders witness battles-in-progress.
Above the Death Match area lies the motion capture stage where human movement is sampled and then transferred to the game characters. Assembling the mocapstage was tricky – no metal could be used in its construction because of the interference from the wiring connected to the subject being sampled. A sound isolated video screening theater features a 16:9 aspect ratio screen and 5.1 surround sound, bringing ION Storm’s computer confections to life.