ARO Office

Our relocation to Downtown Brooklyn marks a new beginning and coincides with ARO’s 30th anniversary. The loft-like new office features a casual yet refined design that centers collaboration.

People gathering around a table in an office kitchen.
The quintessential chalk wall, a feature of each prior ARO office, defines a dynamic entry that blends kitchen, dining area, soft seating, reception, and the book library. Grid 1, part of the ARO Collection with FilzFelt, is suspended from the ceiling.

Just as we design to translate our clients’ missions into architecture, it was critical that the new office space reflect our own ethos. With ARO as client, designer, and end-user, the design is a case study of our rigorous, values-driven process turned inward. The project team conducted multiple all-office engagement sessions, which revealed key directives desired by staff: the new space needed to provide a sense of comfort, communicate openness, maximize natural light, and ultimately be an inviting workspace where we could all thrive.

People working at desk in an open office

Daylight permeates the central desk area, all conference rooms, and even the model shop, while expansive Brooklyn views surround the office on three sides. Conference rooms of varying sizes and new breakout seating support the informal collaboration and work modes that staff needed and desired.

  • People gathered around a table in a large conference room
    Conference rooms tables were crafted with chestnut timbers reclaimed from a former glove factory in Coshocton, OH.
  • Table and chairs in an empty blue conference room
    Felt applications from The ARO Collection add color and enhanced acoustics to meeting areas throughout.
  • Table and chairs in an empty orange conference room
    Felt applications from The ARO Collection add color and enhanced acoustics to meeting areas throughout.

Targeting LEED Platinum and WELL certifications, the 6,500 SF new office demonstrates our holistic approach to sustainability. Amplifying staff-led efforts on internal Zero Waste , our Materials Working Group, and a circular construction workshop, the team prioritized materials for their reuse and low-carbon impact. Elements of the firm’s line of architectural felt products, The ARO Collection, add vibrancy and enhance acoustics throughout.

People gathered around a table with views of a city outside

Both the book and materials libraries anchor the office and reflect ARO’s core directives of research, learning, and material innovation. The new office design centralizes the team, adapts lessons learned from working together during the pandemic, and integrates direct feedback from staff to support the next chapter of ARO.

Two people look at material samples in a daylit office
Photo of a four people sitting and working at a table surrounded by views of a city
The Architect’s Newspaper Visits ARO’s New Brooklyn Office