Let’s face it: Design matters when it comes to the workplace. We scanned Sarasota and Manatee and found creative designs that embody a company’s mission and make employees and clients say, “Wow!”  

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FINANCE

Caldwell Trust, Venice

Sophistication and elegance instill client confidence.

Caldwell Trust specializes in investments, trusts, estates and retirement planning. Its $3 million, 11,500-square-foot, Italianate-style headquarters radiates smart, luxurious sophistication. Visitors enter through a 1,500-square-foot, marble-floored grand foyer with a 17-foot high ceiling. The main conference room incorporates hidden high-end audiovisual systems and videoconferencing equipment. The building also houses a library, catering kitchen, print shop and workout room. 

CEO R.G. “Kelly” Caldwell Jr. calls the company’s home “more than the realization of a long-held dream. It’s the physical embodiment of our commitment to our clients. Its features enhance our ability to provide services in the most cost-effective, secure manner.”

Architect: Venice Design Group

Features: 24-foot by 36-foot main conference room with hidden state-of-the-art technology, 26-foot parapet in the center of the building, 55-foot by 25-foot garden courtyard

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Health Care 

Voalte, Sarasota

A fun, laid-back atmosphere inspires creative work.

Since its founding in 2008, Voalté has garnered plenty of attention as a provider of communication systems for the health care industry. And so has its 12,000-square-foot headquarters on Fruitville Road, colored with hot pinks, chartreuse and other bold hues.

The interior also channels Silicon Valley. Employees are encouraged to get away from their desks and work collaboratively at the bean bag pod. An onsite bistro stocked with fruit and healthy snack items encourages employees to congregate. The office also hosts quarterly art exhibits that feature works from local students and artists.

“We designed our Sarasota headquarters to support rapid growth and enable us to develop customer relationships with some of the country’s leading health care organizations,” Oscar Callejas, Voalté’s VP of operations, says. “Our space encourages creativity and collaboration.”

Architect: William Dobson, Tampa-based architect

Features: Transparent conference rooms, noise-cancelling features, flexible meeting spaces, bean bag pod, art exhibits

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MEDICAL

SmileWorks Kids Dentistry

Play Station vibe keeps children—and their parents—smiling.

With its neon-green façade and bright purple signs and awnings, SmileWorks Kids Dentistry stands out among the office and medical parks on Fruitville Road. Inside, it gets even better.

Dr. Manav Malik (Dr. M&M to the kids) wanted a dental office that would “be one-of-a-kind in the state” while eliminating the fear and anxiety kids often associate with dental visits. Computer stations, five video game stations, baby and toddler toys and giant murals make it feel more like a kid’s dream arcade.

Architect: DSDG, Sarasota

Features: Custom murals, video games, arcade games, TVs above the dental chairs for cartoons and movies

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Architect: William Dobson, Tampa-based architect

Features: Transparent offices and conference rooms, noise-cancelling features, flexible meeting spaces, bean bag pod, art exhibits

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Image: Gene Pollux

RESTAURANT

Darwin Brewing Co.

A Bradenton hot spot shines with industrial chic design.

When Darwin Brewing Co.’s owners bought the old Bradenton Press building on 17th Avenue West, they had a choice: Raze it and start from scratch or renovate the existing structure. They chose to renovate, and the result is a mix of modern and rustic that creates an ideal environment to sip some of the area’s tastiest brews.

General manager Matt Cornelius says initially there wasn’t much emphasis on the design. “Our thought was, we’ve got great beer—let’s build a brewery,” he recalls. Fortunately, they teamed up with local architecture firm Fawley Bryant, which helped turn the space into what Cornelius describes as “industrial merged with inviting.”

When the weather is nice, garage doors rise to give the taproom a wide-open feel, and the concrete floors recall the building’s former life. The long, U-shaped, reclaimed wood bar gives a perfect view of the dozens of beer taps. TVs adorn one wall. Large windows in the interior allow customers to view the brewing process.

Architect: Fawley Bryant Architects, Manatee County

Features:  Full production brewery, tasting room, outdoor beer garden

 

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