Business of Furniture | July 3, 2019 by Emily Clingman
MBH Architects has opened a new regional office in Denver. The Alameda, California-based firm expects this opportunity will allow the company to tap into the booming development along Colorado’s Front Range and a promising talent pool funneling out of surrounding universities.
MBH’s Dimple Manghani will serve as principal-in-charge, tasked with translating the MBH firm’s culture, knowledge and experience to the new office in a WeWork space. Three long-time employees from MBH’s headquarters in California will be moving to Denver to serve as the foundation of the new office: Bonnie Russo, project architect and associate; Joe Irwin, project manager and senior associate; and Corey Russo, project manager and associate.
MBH intends its Denver office to carry on the legacy of high quality service the firm is known for.
“Our clients have really paved the way for us to go to Denver,” Manghani said. “Many of them have expansion plans to Denver. So, we’re starting with that. And, when some of our key employees expressed interest in relocating to Denver, it just became a no-brainer.”
MBH has been in steady growth mode for the past 10 years and looking for more growth opportunities. With offices in Mumbai and on each U.S. coast (the other in New York), Denver’s central location and its booming growth rate (20 percent since 2010, which The Denver Post reports is continuing to climb) is just the right market for the company.
Retail and commercial development are MBH’s specialty offerings, but it’s also looking to expand into residential development in the Denver area. It’s the opportunities in Colorado, though, that appeal to Manghani.
“The more people that move here, the more housing, retail, restaurants, offices will need to be built,” she said. “Overall, more architecture. This all taps into our core specialty.”
MBH creates stunning spaces, each unique and luxurious, modern and classic. The company’s list of design projects is impressive, and this is a short list: Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, Target, Tesla showrooms, fine dining and specialty restaurants, residential and mixed-use buildings, Equinox Fitness Centers, Hilton Hotels, MBC Biolabs, 240 Lorton, Bank of the West, Seramonte Corporate Center and Allbirds.
MBH completed Allbirds’ new headquarters in San Francisco last fall. The brand, which develops eco-friendly footwear out of natural materials, tapped MBH to create an office space that would honor its focus on simplicity and design.
Situated in Jackson Square, one of San Francisco’s oldest historic districts, the 13,000-square-foot office pays homage to the building’s history and original architecture. The team preserved existing millwork, and on the second of the office’s two levels restored exposed brick that is a signature of the neighborhood. Upon entering the clean, open-plan workspace on the ground floor, the company’s signature whimsical doodles, the creation of the New Zealand illustrator Toby Morris, greet visitors and employees. The lobby includes another quintessential Allbirds touch — a wool wallcovering that features the Allbirds logo, made from the same Merino wool used in the brand’s signature Wool Runner shoe. Along with tables and seating for communal gatherings, the lobby area is rounded out by glass enclosed breakout spaces suitable for collaborative and solo work.
The focal point of the office is a grand central stair, which MBH added to improve internal connectivity between the two floors. The new office’s second floor highlights the building’s restored, exposed brick and original street signage taken from its exterior. This floor features several multi-functional zones with open workstations, glass enclosed conference rooms, phone rooms referred to as callbirds and collaboration spaces.
MBH worked with Allbirds on its new San Francisco and New York City flagship stores.
“We find that our values align nicely — they bring a unique and transparent approach to shoe design, and we bring a novel tact when it comes to architecture,” said Ryan McNulty, a Principal at MBH Architects. “Together, we have built a dynamic and future-minded office that will support the brand’s continued growth.”
All in all, it’s the special treatment and continued client relationships that makes MBH successful in all of its work.
“We are diversified and offer a wide range of services,” Manghani said. “That’s proven to be very successful for us. We pride ourselves in the quality and service we provide to our clients. We want to be a partner to them, not a vendor. We try to become an extension of their business while executing their project.”
Manghani said this approach generates a lot of repeat customers, which is why she’s confident Denver is the right next move.