Designed to inspire

The new premises of ‘The Jerusalem Post’ are a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one.

June 25, 2013 21:26
4 minute read.
The 'Post's new offices in downtown Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Post new office 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Inaugurated in April, the new premises of The Jerusalem Post at 206 Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem are like a breath of fresh air compared to the former dreary, dilapidated building on Yirmiyahu Street in the Romema neighborhood.

Bright, clean, modern and airy, the offices have infused new life into the staff and atmosphere of the venerable English-language daily.

Designed by ImagePoint Interior Design, the offices occupy the third and sixth floors of the eight-story Jerusalem Capital Studios building. They have windows on all sides, affording panoramic views and washing the premises with sunshine during the day and the glittering lights of the city at night. As JCS is home to other media outlets such as ABC, Channel 2 News and Channel 10 News, the Post’s new premises are not only centrally located but also suitably situated.

However, relocating the whole operation from the huge building on Yirmiyahu to the smaller, albeit much more attractive space on Jaffa presented quite a challenge to the paper’s management in Tel Aviv, and to interior designer Orna Barkat.

Solution number one, says Barkat, owner and CEO of the Ra’anana-based ImagePoint Interior Design, was to split the offices into two floors. The third floor houses the archives, the French department, the International Edition, The Jerusalem Report and several other ancillary publications of the paper. On the sixth floor are the offices of the daily’s editors and staff, as well as Metro, In Jerusalem, Billboard, Weekend, The Christian Edition, graphics, scanning, accounting, the ads department and the conference room.

While some of the staff are still adjusting to sharing the smaller space with their colleagues, Barkat explains that a lot of thought went into the planning. For example, schedules were taken into account so that those sharing an area would not all be working there at the same time.

Another space consideration, she says, was the issue of walls. In some parts of the premises, walls were put up to create offices and individualized areas, while in other parts, walls were torn down to create a more spacious open plan. Clean and pristine, the freshly painted white walls add another dimension to the light, airy feel.

“Design is important for Israel,” says Barkat, 51, who opened her interior design company four years ago.

“One of the advantages is that Israel is a leader in design and hi-tech. Good interior design with positive energy makes people happy,” adds the former engineer, who is also part of the management team of the Design Museum in Holon.

As many people spend more than half their time in the workplace, the surroundings should be pleasant and inviting, she stresses. And they should instill a sense of pride in the place and the product or service, she adds.

And that is where the concept of branding comes in. Placing the logo and other elements related to the company is a tangible way of making a connection between the office structure and the company itself. For the employees, it fosters a sense of unity with the enterprise they are working for, she says.

“And you don’t have to be a big name to do it,” says Barkat. “Small businesses can spend a little to brand their office, and it is well worth it for long term.”

In the new offices of the Post, black, white and red is the pervading color palette. Evoking the newspaper’s logo, the walls have several variations on that tricolor theme. For example, on some walls there is black-and-white wallpaper with a recurring pattern of the words “The Jerusalem Post,” accentuated here and there with stripes of red.

“Design is important, but it should not be overdone,” says Barkat. “An entire red wall, for instance, would be disturbing. You can use red in the hallways or on a pillar, but not on a whole wall where people are working. That would be too much.”

Another feature that was added to the sixth floor layout was a reception area. For such a prestigious place, you can’t have people walk in the door and face a blank or even a branded wall, Barkat explains, so they added a reception desk to welcome staff and visitors alike. From there, the layout fans out on either side to the various offices and open-space work areas.

Some walls in the offices feature colorful covers of the many magazines and supplements that have been published by the Post. And, as a reminder of the newspaper’s long and illustrious eight-decade history, there are reproductions of full-length front pages whose headlines captured monumental moments in time. To that end, the paper’s mission statement is emblazoned on the wall of the reception area: “The leading news source from Israel.”

And in recognition of the many who have stood at the helm of The Jerusalem Post over the years, the walls of the conference room display framed photographs of the paper’s venerated former editors-in chief.

With its contemporary layout, bold branding and sunny atmosphere, The Jerusalem Post presses on into the future while respecting its formidable legacy.

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