Last year, Cisco unveiled its Penn One smart building in New York, New York. The project is more than a workplace, but an embodiment of Cisco’s smart building solutions - which are designed to create connected experiences built and powered by innovative, user-centric technology.
This project also reinforces the rise of trophy buildings, or - the home of high-impact workplace experiences. The trophy building is strategic on multiple levels: current teams can innovate and collaborate better, it’s a powerful recruiting tool, and organizations can more effectively map their real estate strategy in an uncertain, post-Covid world.
The emergence of trophy buildings represents a significant departure from the traditional corporate office layout. The era of secluded cubicles and executive offices tucked away in corners is over. Most workplaces in the twentieth century were designed for individual concentration and isolated departmental work, with collaborative discussions taking place behind closed doors in boardrooms.
Trophy buildings redefine this approach, emphasizing open, adaptable, and dynamic shared spaces that foster team collaboration. This transformation is anchored with visual collaboration technology, establishing digital frameworks for connectivity that were previously absent. As organizational hierarchies become more horizontal and work adopts a project-based structure, these visual solutions offer teams the necessary tools for brainstorming, refining ideas, and fostering creativity in a flexible work environment. In trophy buildings, collaboration is pervasive, incorporating visual, multiparty interactions that occur both in-person and remotely.
The team at Cisco’s Penn One clearly understood the assignment. Just take a look at some of the technology they’ve incorporated into their workplace experience - you can watch the quick tour here:
Let’s just highlight the tech stack we see in just one of the hybrid working and learning spaces at Penn One:
- (2) virtual whiteboards powered by ThinkHub
- Ability to take (4) meetings in one room
- Digital control panel for window shades and room lighting
- Digital display of internet outages map
In another video, we get a firsthand POV tour of what it’s like to enter Cisco’s Penn One smart building and get your day started. Let’s dive in:
Stop through the game room / lounge room to socialize with some colleagues or get organized to begin your day. Nice to have this casual space between meetings and work sessions.
Since everyone scans in - you can see how many people are in the building (and where). You can even check out which rooms are available / where people are gathering. This would be incredibly useful if you’re looking for a break spot or maybe want to connect with some colleagues outside of meeting time.
Each room has a digital panel that you can use your keycard to scan into.
Check out this learning space - the thing that sticks out the most is the incredible view - lots of natural light coming from big, beautiful windows. It’s obvious the Cisco team was intentional in designing a space that feels energizing and inviting.
And this is where we arrive at the part of the space that delivers that experiential wow factor: the ThinkHub video wall - a visual collaboration tool the team can use to collaborate and innovate.
ThinkHub gives the Cisco team the ability to connect to the ThinkHub interactive whiteboard in-person via touch or via the companion T1V app. So whether you’re in-room or remote, ThinkHub supports hybrid collaboration. Despite the investment Cisco and other organizations of this size are making in their physical smart buildings, it still remains a crucial requirement to support hybrid meetings.
As you can see here, the Cisco team hosts hybrid meetings right from their ThinkHub wall.
We’ll continue to share how our partners are building incredible workspaces to drive deeper collaboration, engagement, and innovation in their respective organizations.
Ps: You can learn more about this incredible facility, and how Cisco is modeling the workplace of the future, with this additional reading:
Cisco Smart Building Solutions: Build for the changing way we work
The Future of Real Estate for Hybrid Work - Penn 1
The Smart Office for Hybrid Work. Cisco PENN 1 NYC Tour
Reimagined from the from the ground up - Cisco's Penn One Office
The Making of Penn One