In 2010, Omgivning moved into the Corporation Building at 724 S. Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles Historic Core. It was the perfect location for an adaptive reuse specialized architecture firm, where we were mere blocks away from nearly all of our projects. Part of our mission is revitalization, and working in the thick of the revitalization was a no-brainer.
Glimpses of old walls were left on the concrete floor as we opened up the space. We went from one conference room to five, the kitchen and printer area moved three times, and going from no restrooms (they were shared in the stairwell) to building two.
Omgivning is known to throw some epic office parties, especially for the holidays. All staff would stop working and start clearing the desks, decorating, hanging lights, displaying tomtes (Swedish elves) on the shelf, and putting our favorite holiday movies and music videos on our computers for all the guests.
Happy hours and lunchtime breaks were often taken on the roof. It was the best rooftop downtown. We were usually the only ones up there enjoying the view. From the roof, surrounded by many of our downtown projects, the barkitects (office pups) would chase each other on the astroturf, and we celebrated birthdays, project openings, baby showers, Karin’s FAIA status, 2017’s full solar eclipse, and countless other events.
When we moved in, there was a total staff of three people. At its peak in January 2020, we had reached 39 staff members, with daily meetings with clients and drop-ins from consultants and product reps. Things were getting a little cramped.
Then in March 2020, our bustling 5,000 square foot office went silent. Everyone worked from home as we adjusted to a new normal. As we came out of lockdown and we gave the staff the option to return, but a lot of people got comfortable working from home. We knew the office would never be the same happening spot it once was, and knew it was time to move on.
Omgivning has always been growth forward, and acquiring our own building has been a part of this growth. In August 2022, this dream became reality. We found a building in Chinatown, which meant we had to move out of our home of twelve years.
Packing and purging an office full of drawings, material samples, literature, and memories was a herculean effort that took an entire month.
![Moved out group shot]
Right before the keys were turned in, we said our goodbyes to the office by going up to the roof one last time and sending the place off with a farewell toast.
Thanks, 5th floor. We’ll miss you.