Woodard & Curran, Maine’s largest engineering firm, has moved into a new space on the fifth and sixth floors of 12 Mountfort Street just steps from the waterfront in Portland’s Old Port neighborhood. Woodard & Curran has over 1,200 employees in 27 locations across the country. Moving to the Portland waterfront is a commitment to current and future employees—and to Maine, where the company was founded by Frank Woodard and Al Curran in 1979. The new building offers common meeting rooms, a café, a patio on the top floor, as well as onsite parking with electric vehicle charging spaces and bike storage, and easy access to downtown Portland. The space also features a National Learning Center that will serve the firm’s more than 1,200 employees nationwide.
“This move is exciting on so many levels,” said Woodard & Curran CEO Alyson Watson. “With input from our employees, we’ve designed the space to facilitate communication, collaboration, and innovation—aligning with our values as a firm. Open, airy, and surrounded by windows, this new home base represents our future, with long views of Casco Bay and the City of Portland. As we continue to implement our key strategy focused on high-performing distributed teams, this office space provides the entire range of spaces our people need to deliver their best work, whether they are in the office full-time or visiting for meetings or to collaborate with their colleagues.”
The entire space was designed to provide flexibility and accommodate a wide range of work styles. Using the concept of “democratized space,” there are no private offices. Instead, focus rooms, small collaboration spaces, and other shared areas are available for employees to reserve and use as-needed.
“As we designed this office, we made sure to keep the needs of our employees front-and-center,” said Christine Wade, Woodard & Curran’s Corporate Facilities & Real Estate Manager. “We wanted to make sure that we had spaces that worked for everyone, whether they are in the office full time, part time, or visiting for a meeting or event. This office is also a proving ground for some of the design concepts and will help set a new standard for all our office spaces across the country.”
The new office is also an opportunity for Woodard & Curran to advance sustainability goals, with better access to public transportation and sustainable features such a green roof and air filtration and indoor air quality monitors. The build-out also incorporates advanced acoustic technology to manage sound and automatic shades to reduce glare and actively manage lighting throughout the space. By undertaking this move, the firm was also able to reduce square footage in the office despite a growing workforce both locally and nation wide. This follows from the firm’s universal flexible work policy, increasing options for remote work, and the smart, efficient use of space.
To design the space to meet the wide range of needs of a modern workforce, Woodard & Curran partnered with Workplace Transformation Facilitation, a consultant that helps develop effective, employee-centered workspaces, led by Lisa Whited. Cuningham Architects provided design services, Red Thread handled the technology integration, and Creative Office Resources collaborated on the furniture selection. The build-out was completed by Maine-based construction company, Cianbro.