The Revived Public Space

From clients across global and U.S. markets IA has heard similar feedback. We want to go back to the workplace eventually, even if it means only a few days a week. Our research shows that teams miss collaborative environments, face-to-face interaction, and the use of physical space to differentiate between work and home, among other advantages that only a physical workspace can afford. While the establishment of IA’s Quanta and Revived Workplace programs do much to address the needs of many of those we work with, we recognize that additional tools are essential to ready a post-pandemic workplace.

IA Managing Director Lisa Kelly has seen this gap in much of her work with Southern California landlord spaces. “A lot of the tools we’re seeing in the market aren’t customized to help clients address some of the unique scenarios they’re anticipating in the post-pandemic workplace,” according to Kelly. “We thought it was important to create a system that could help landlords, as well as large occupiers. They’re facing questions that a lot of tenants aren’t going to see. They’ll have to develop a plan for tenants or employees and determine how best to communicate that plan.”

Enter the Landlord/Large Occupier Readiness Assessment & Action Plan

IA Interior Architects’ workplace strategists realized that conversations about how the visitor, tenant, and employee experience will change in the post-COVID-19 world only scratch the surface. Ultimately, what may work in some public-facing spaces may not work in others. Inspired by that challenge, IA partnered with landlords, developers, and others to create a holistic roadmap that re-imagines a safer, more comfortable, and healthier user experience in large, complex areas.

Similar in many ways to the original Revived Workplace program, the Landlord/Large Occupier Readiness Assessment & Action Plan (LLORAAP) is a structured system to aid teams in developing or finalizing a return to the office strategy that relies on WHO and CDC guidelines and insights garnered over the course of IA’s 36 years in the industry. The entire process starts with a guided assessment, transitions to a floorplan and occupancy review, and culminates in a gap analysis, action plan, and comprehensive report.

Tish Kruse, Senior Director of Workplace Strategy, worked closely with the team that developed the LLORAAP tool for a number of IA’s clients. “For those who work in the building…it’s learning and adapting to new routines that maintain safety in the public spaces,” she explains. “And for those new to the building or occasional visitors, the results will explicitly convey the means for using and traversing the space safely.” Accordingly, the new tool includes resources that provide for the assessment of public-facing spaces relative to COVID-19 issues, and establishes the framework to create an effective action plan to prepare for the return of tenants, visitors, and employees.

“Ultimately the goal of the action plan is to make sure no stone is left unturned,” says Valerie Jardon, IA Senior Strategist and primary author of the tool. “These inputs are going to lead to the creation of occupancy plans, space recommendations, etc., that are truly customized to the needs of a landlord or large occupier.”


IA originally developed the Quanta tool (powered by Saltmine) to help clients visualize their workspace in such a way that the adherence to WHO and CDC guidelines is immediately visible, measurable, and correctable. This 3D & 2D visualization tool has built-in social distancing parameters, compliance algorithms, hygiene/sanitation catalogs, and a protocol signage and graphics placement tool, all designed to ensure these spaces comply with federal, local, and internal guidelines. Although not initially intended to cover all the issues raised by the current pandemic, Quanta remains invaluable in guiding a workplace return strategy. “Both IA team members and the clients we work with are enabled to view in real-time and in 3D the implications of their customized public space revival plan,” says IA’s Guy Messick, Director of Design Intelligence. Quanta effectively brings the landlord/large occupier readiness assessment and action plan to life, but to offer a more complete picture for landlords who need to know how spaces will hold-up given different levels of stress, it became apparent that one more innovation was needed.

Pedestrian Simulation: People + Proximity

One of the newest technological innovations that IA brings to the table in our conversations with landlords and large tenants is a pedestrian simulation tool. Able to simulate how users move through a space under a wide variety of conditions, IA can better analyze the comfort, travel speed, and efficiency of the movement of people as they make their way through public spaces, and more importantly, the potential risk that these spaces create under present conditions. Using both 2D and 3D simulations, this output informs how IA creates and tests the LLORAAP for a particular site and the desired outcomes.

A Cohesive Effort

With this group of tools, in conjunction with solutions gleaned from the IA Protocol Signage & Graphics Turnkey Solution, as well as our existing change management structures, we are able to offer landlords and large occupiers a new layer of assurance as they create and work through return strategies for their facilities.

IA is a global firm of architects, designers, strategists, and specialists. We focus exclusively on environments through the lens of interior architecture—a radical idea in 1984, when IA was founded. We are highly connected agents of change, committed to creativity, innovation, growth, and community.

IA is a global firm of architects, designers, strategists, and specialists. We focus exclusively on environments through the lens of interior architecture—a radical idea in 1984, when IA was founded. We are highly connected agents of change, committed to creativity, innovation, growth, and community.

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