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Cushing Terrell designs Great Oaks Workplace in Charleston, South Carolina

Project name:
Great Oaks Workplace
Architecture firm:
Cushing Terrell
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Garey Gomez
Principal architect:
Brad Sperry
Design team:
Principal In Charge: Brad Sperry. Project Manager: Whitney Brown. Project Architect: Aubrey Morris. Design Lead: Grace Kirby. Designer: Claire Hunt. Designer: Cortne Lanier. Architectural support: Mia Kaplan. Architect of Record: Shannon Christensen
GHDP (EGD Consultant)
Built area:
34,820 ft²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Cushing Terrell
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Cushing Terrell, AlfaTech, CED
Tools used:
Great Oaks
Commercial › Office Building

This approximately 34,820-square-foot tenant improvement project spreads across a floor-and-a-half of a newly constructed office space in Charleston, South Carolina. With creative design solutions and intentional finish selections, the dynamic space responds to the client’s creative vision, programmatic needs, and sustainability standards in a thoughtful, colorful, narrative way. 

Ultimately inspired by the client’s history and getting “back to their roots,” Cushing Terrell’s design concept for the project stemmed from the old saying that “great oaks from little acorns grow.” Woven through the design by way of simple moments and strategic space planning, this workspace acknowledges and celebrates the origin story: books. 

In collaboration with GHD Partners, custom wall graphics and art are used as a nod to these unassuming beginnings and client-procured book references. Using natural materials, organic forms, and expressive elements, the space tells the story of the early days – “the acorn” – and continued growth – “the oak tree.” Additionally influenced by local Charleston culture and aesthetics, it features vibrant colors, eclectic patterns, and floral emblems. 

To create an equitable working environment, an open floor layout provides access to daylight and views for each user at their sit/stand workspaces, with flexible working and meeting-style locations available throughout each level. Coffee bars with lounge furniture and bookshelves provide a respite away from desk areas for a place to read, relax, or catch up with coworkers. Other amenity spaces include quiet spaces, mother’s rooms, interfaith/meditation rooms, gender-neutral restrooms, a game room, and a kitchenette.  

The spirited workplace environment not only inspires a sense of nostalgia for the company’s history in its users, but also invites them to participate in the company’s future growth as authors of the new stories yet to be written.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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