Highline Construction x Workshop/APD: Partners, Collaborators, and Clients

December 19, 2022

Get to know our frequent collaborator Highline Construction Group, and take a tour of their new Manhattan office, designed by WAPD.

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We sat down with Dana Raines, Highline’s Director of Business Development, to chat about her role at the company and her relationship to architects and designers like Workshop/APD. Dana has been with Highline for over 4 years now, building industry relationships across New York City.

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What was the scope of this project?

This was basically a complete gut renovation of an empty office space. We outgrew our old space, so we knew we wanted something more sizeable and functional for our growing firm. We found a deal on an office at the height of covid, and then worked with Workshop/APD to design something perfectly suited to our needs.

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What was the challenge with your office space prior to the renovation?

We completely knocked out everything that was here before – we wanted the design and construction to be of a certain caliber, to reflect the quality of work that we do. Our old office was only big enough for about 15 people, and now we’re closer to 30, so we had to build out bathrooms, a kitchen and office space to accommodate a growing staff.

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What were the non-negotiables for your new office?

The number one thing we needed was a private conference room. Our old office had an open floorplan with a conference table in the middle of the room – now we have a beautiful conference room that works for meetings and Zoom calls. The kitchen was another big thing, as well as ample desk space.

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How would you describe the design vision?

We pride ourselves on hitting those modern details – everything level, framed to perfection. We have our own in-house team working on it, so it became a way to showcase the work that we do. Mark, the owner, started his career as a carpenter, so clean design is a point of pride for us.

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What are your favorite design details?

I love the metal and glass partitions and the doors – they’re very high-end. You don’t typically see something like that in an office, but it gives a level of sophistication to the space. We also have beautiful bathrooms. We spec’d some stone from Pro Design, a great subcontractor that we use on a lot of projects for our stonework. They helped make the space a bit special by elevating it beyond subway tile.

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What were the challenges of this project?

There are a lot of limitations with working in an office building, which isn’t what we normally do. We’re used to residential projects where there are fewer schedule restraints and we don’t have to worry about disrupting other people as they’re working. For that reason, a lot of this project was done on nights and weekends. Using our own team also meant that if manpower was needed on a client project, we would send people to those projects. It took a bit longer than a client project would have taken.

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Highline was also working on Workshop/APD’s new office at the time. What was it like being each other’s clients?

At this point, we’ve done so many projects with Workshop that we know your shorthand, we know what you like – even without a drawing we can often anticipate what you need. It’s all about trust and having a strong working relationship, which we do. That was helpful with pricing, budgeting, estimating, and moving more quickly to achieve tighter schedules on all collaborations.