Portland Press Herald Newsroom
Maine Today Media, in the midst of updating technology and consolidating staff locations, retained Lisa Whited of Workplace Transformation Facilitation to lead a process to re-envision their workplace organization. The client wanted to consolidate offices and move the newsroom and associated departments from One City Center in Portland to the former press hall on Gannett Drive in South Portland. CHA Architecture was brought in to collaborate on the renovation of this industrial building.
The old presses filled a 3-story space with an industrial high-bay ceiling. The compact new presses fit in the lower floor, making room to infill the floor above. The new double-height editorial floor includes the newsroom, dining/break area, conference spaces, and audio and video production studios.
All of the news staff, including the publisher, sit in the newsroom, where the desks are arranged to funnel news toward the editors in the center of the space. Large media screens are mounted on the walls.
The main newsroom is surprisingly quiet, but one large conference room, small focus and huddle rooms around the perimeter, and the video booth in the center provide private meeting spaces. The glass partitions around the conference rooms double as writing surfaces for presentations.
The café, a former storage and work space that housed barrels of printing ink, was made inviting with limited intervention: oversized windows, color, lighting, a polished floor, and a variety of seating. Careful attention to graphics, signage, furnishings, and employee spaces has turned this industrial building into a welcoming and collaborative place to work.
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