Movable glass walls with lasers? Park Place Technologies has them

Park Place Technologies, a global data center maintenance and support company in Mayfield Heights, has been growing steadily. Renovations to its headquarters were badly needed.

Founded in 1991, the company has expanded from 240 employees in 2014 on part of the third floor at 5910 Landerbrook Drive to 1,200 people worldwide, with about 400 working today in 96%, or 105,000 square feet, of the Landerbrook building.

So about 18 months ago, Park Place brought in architecture and design firm Vocon’s team, made up of procurement director Patty Harb, technical product designer Jessica Mocilnikar, and project designer Michelle Merker, to design a 16,536-square-foot renovation and expansion.

The project began a little over a year before the final result was unveiled to the awestruck employees this past July. “This looks like Silicon Valley in Northeast Ohio with the look and feel of it,” says Jennifer Deutsch, Park Place’s chief marketing officer. “The space is phenomenal.”

The highlight of the $3.5 million expansion project is a collapsible glass room. Used as a training center, it can be divided into four smaller rooms. The space features movable glass walls that insert into steel tracks in the ceiling, lock into place with divots in the floor, and can be configured to be one open room for training all 400 local employees. Then in just a few minutes, it can be split into small spaces for breakout training.

“We do corporate offices all the time,” says Barb. “But the concept behind this training complex was very involved and had an audio-visual component. It took us some time in the pre-design phase.”

 



For instance, Harb says they had to figure out how to make the glass panels go around corners, fold out to serve as doors, and reconfigure easily to divide the larger room into smaller rooms. “They’re not heavy, so even a smaller person could do it easily,” Harb says.

The overall look is open and airy, Mocilnikar says. “We wanted it to be seamless and not bulky,” she says. “We wanted to open up the room as much as we could.”

Park Place’s Deutsch is especially impressed with the technology inside the movable glass walls. They have writable wall surfaces, multiple screens for presentations and full technological capabilities like video conferencing and sound. “As the walls are connected, the technology is connected,” she says. “There are lasers that connect everything.”

Deutsch marvels at how easily the room—or rooms—come together. “It’s amazing to see someone walking around with those huge glass sheets,” she says. “They [the sheets] just stack up. It’s amazing.”

Another large component of the renovation project was the inclusion of the UpTime Café—a coffeehouse and market staffed with a full-time barista. The café serves coffee, lattes, mochas, and other drinks and offers snacks and meals. The market has other snacks and refrigerated food that can easily be heated up or taken home for dinner.

“They’re growing very quickly, and they wanted to be able to offer options for snacks and meals throughout the day,” Harb says.

The UpTime Café also offers catering for company events. “The food is good,” Deutsch says. “I’m a picky eater, and the food is very good.” Employees can purchase items through an advanced thumbprint scan payment system.

“What’s super-cool is that when we first opened [the café], we put $10 in everyone’s account,” Deutsch says.

The café offers a variety of dining seating options that serve as workspaces, including convertible ping pong tables.

Lastly, Vocon designed a 5,000-square-foot multipurpose fitness center in the basement, offering yoga classes three times a day in the exercise studio. “Our culture is very unique,” Deutsch says. “They provide healthy snacks that are delivered every day to every office on every floor. We emphasize work-life balance and health and wellness.”

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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