Leveraging a Space to Impress Clients
Custom-designed elegance offers aesthetics, connectivity, and adaptability
When your name is Wow Lighting and Controls, you’ve really set your self up to impress. Everyone who comes in should have their jaws at about floor level. But there was an extra challenge for company president Mike Begert and his team at Wow.
They sell lighting fixtures from manufacturers across the globe. That means the people walking through the door are interior designers and architects. They’re known for attention to detail. They have a great eye. They’re quite picky in the best possible way. Earning that wow wasn’t going to be easy.
“We needed a space that had that sort of fit, finish, and detail they would appreciate and could possibly use in their future designs,” says Begert.
Making a plan
When it came to build their showroom, there were practical considerations, too. They needed functional offices as much as they needed to show off new solutions. And since the product was always changing, they needed a space that could adapt to everything new that was coming to market. Wow was skeptical that a conventional construction approach could work.
Answering questions before they’re even asked
Begert had a bit of experience with DIRTT. Wow had used it minimally at one of their other facilities, but this new office/showroom was on a different scale. That put Begert into research mode. After a mini-marathon of construction videos, Begert took a trip to the DIRTT Experience Center in Calgary. This gave him the opportunity to see how DIRTT solutions were made and meet the people who put them together. Being on that tour served as inspiration.
“It was the catalyst of thinking outside of our traditional box. And not only what we wanted the space to look like, but how we wanted the space to work for us,” he says. “I really don’t think we could have done that without that tour.”
The design process with DIRTT is very involved… We went in with an open mind and it provided us answers to questions, to be honest, we probably hadn’t even thought existed yet.
Hide the wires for a cleaner space
Knowing the full capabilities of DIRTT, Begert and his team started work on the showroom. This knowledge had fundamentally changed their approach. The more they thought about what they needed, they more DIRTT they wanted to use.
“With the DIRTT experience, you are so involved in the process that as you start to ratchet down on what your needs really are, it opens up new innovative possibilities to solve your problem.” Begert estimates they used about twice as much DIRTT as they had originally planned. It was all to have that space live up to its potential.
“There was no intention to do a raised floor system,” says Mike. “But our audience here is constantly looking at the ceiling. So, we could eliminate some clutter in the ceiling so that the fixtures were the focal point, rather than the wiring above them. We kind of had those aha moments throughout the process.”
A space that evolves with the business
When it came to showcasing custom lighting, using DIRTT was more than just a bright idea. There are spaces at WOW where a variety of fixtures are on display. Each one of them is wall-mounted and hardwired in. Keeping product current is essential, but with a conventional approach, trading out one of these lights is a lot of work. Crack into the drywall, disconnect the electrical, rebuild the wall. Mud. Sand. Paint. It’s time consuming. And messy. Not a good look when you are trying to show off what you’ve got.
“Our business continues to grow so rapidly, that… steel studs and drywall and then renovations would present some challenges,” says Begert. He knew this from experience at previous locations. “Our needs continually change. And space continually needs to be refreshed, for lack of a better term. So that modularity sort of put DIRTT to the forefront of our mindset.”
DIRTT wall panels pop off in seconds allowing you access to the wall cavity. DIRTT quick-connect electrical makes swapping out a fixture easy. It takes a fraction of the time and there is no mess. It’s the kind of thing that can happen after hours without customers ever knowing what went down.
Inspiring people who use the space
One aspect of planning for the future is being ready to adapt the physical space. Part of it is being able to adapt to the emotional space, too. Wow achieved this using integrated technology. It turned offices and boardrooms into training centers. Having screens mounted inside the wall offers a powerful tool, with low-profile elegance. Its perfect for staff to stream a webinar or for clients to scroll through design options.
“Our big board room upstairs, we’re calling the inspiration center,” says Begert. “The idea of using embedded technology is to run through different areas that really feature lighting as a design element. So, in the background, as architects are coming around with their end users, they are constantly being bombarded with inspirations of what their space could look like.”
The Wow factor
Going into this project, Wow Lighting and Controls had a big to-do list. Create a one-of-a-kind environment that can continue to be customized. Build a functional space for the team. Keep detail-oriented style front of mind for the clients. It’s one thing to design a space like that, but the test is how it works in the real world. According to Begert, using DIRTT allowed them to check all the boxes.
“We’re all really proud to present the space. For our clients it shows fit, finish and attention to detail that we try to promote and sell as an agency,” says Begert. “So, when you start to layer all these inspirations on top of one another, it really did become an obvious solution for us.”
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