April 28th, 2020
Laura Newpoff, Columbus CEO
Article originally published on Columbus CEO
By Laura Newpoff
Apr 27, 2020
In 2018, when Nationwide decided to turn the building that had operated as a movie theater for nearly two decades into an innovation center, the goal was to create a purpose-built space that would foster a collaborative work environment.
To do so, the dark, closed-off theater spaces would have to be opened up to allow for modern office design, natural lighting and visual connectivity.
After more than a year of planning, design and build-out, the CoOperative opened at 175 W. Nationwide Blvd. in November. Former movie-goers who frequented the old Arena Grand Theatre and, later, the Studio Movie Grill wouldn’t recognize the building as it stands today.
The old ticket booth now is a lobby/sunroom with towering windows that provide views of the Arena District.
The former concession area now is a town hall gathering space with open views to the second and third stories.
The old lower-level theaters now are “neighborhoods” outfitted with a variety of flexible workspaces, including floating team rooms that can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of work styles, furniture configurations and different number of guests.
Former closed corridors now offer open mezzanine views and sightlines into the neighborhoods and town square below.
Scott Liles, innovation project lead for Nationwide, says the transformation with the town square anchoring the neighborhoods was meant to spur “constructive collisions” among workers.
“The space was meant to be multi-functional and not constrain how people work,” Liles says. On a recent tour he pointed out two employees gathered around a laptop at a high-top table in a communal area, a place they had intentionally moved to get away from their desks.
Nationwide’s corporate real estate office worked with Nationwide Realty Investors and the Columbus Architectural Studio on the project. Continental Office supplied the furniture.