June 10, 2016 . Workplace, Project Profiles, Design

KEXP Radio Breathes Life Into New Seattle Center Location


Founded in 1972, KEXP is an iconic Seattle public radio station that provides rich music experiences on the air, online, and on the streets. Watson height adjustable Seven benching and modular Zo storage helped transform KEXP's offices into an open and collaborative workspace. 

Project at a glance

Challenge: Create an open office space in KEXP’s new Seattle Center location that brings people closer together, reflects the station’s creative culture, and looks great to the public--all while keeping to a tight budget.

Solution: Watson modular and height-adjustable Seven benching with space-efficient Zo storage credenzas

Industry: Broadcasting/Media

Team: Architect - SkB, Designer / dealer - oBJEKTS

KEXP-Exterior.jpgWhen it came time to move from an old, cramped private office environment into a new open space visible to the public through floor-to-ceiling windows, thoughtful design was needed to create a collaborative team space that maintained KEXP’s personality and presented a unified look to the outside world.

Bringing the team together in KEXP’s unique “uncorporate” style

Unlike some teams moving from a private to an open, modern office environment, the KEXP staff were excited to work closer together, but a little concerned about looking ‘corporate’. Here’s how the project team delivered a highly-functional office space that looked great and allowed KEXP to express its unique personality:

  • Kraft SurfaceNon-traditional materials – KEXP chose Watson’s Craft Surface for their bench tops. This unique material looks and feels warmer and more natural than traditional laminates,without sacrificing toughness or durability.

  • Adjustable benches to fit each person’s work style – Watson’s Seven adjustable-height benches allow each KEXP team member to change how they work throughout the day.

  • Tackable privacy screens – with integral tackable privacy screens at a fixed height, KEXP’s office has a unified look while allowing each team member to make their workspace their own with artwork, photos or other personal items.


“People love having the mobility in the sit to stand desks.”
Rischel Granquist, Manager of Administrative Services, KEXP


KEXP_bench_detail.jpgAn efficient team space that reflects KEXP’s care for the environment

Part of KEXP’s unique culture is a healthy respect for the environment, so it was important for the station to minimize the carbon footprint of its new office furniture.

Watson was a natural choice with its commitment to sourcing regional and sustainable materials where possible, building in-house, and minimizing waste.

The KEXP team chose to eliminate edge banding, specify furniture sizes that optimized material usage, and select cover privacy screens with a fabric made from recycled plastic.


“Now that we are all working in the same area, everyone can actually see who is around for quick check-ins, etc. ”
Rischel Granquist, Manager of Administrative Services, KEXP


The right fit at the right price

With Watson’s wide range of bench and storage options it was easy for the project team to specify a solution that exactly met KEXP’s functional and aesthetic needs without having to build custom furniture. 

Quick and easy installation also kept costs in check with each workstation taking 30 minutes to install versus 3 hours with other manufacturers’ comparable solutions.


“Furniture was the only thing we didn’t need to worry about”
~Amy Trulson, Project Manager - oBJEKTS

Show the personality, hide the mess

When space is tight, compact, efficient storage is essential to keeping the office looking organized and clutter free. KEXP chose Zo credenzas with a narrow footprint that slid partially under the bench to combine storage with extra desk space.

Messy cabling was also kept out of sight but within easy reach thanks to the power and data raceway that’s integrated with each Seven bench

Real value for years to come

Smart planning combined with hard-working, beautiful furniture created a new open office space that’s helped KEXP improve teamwork, maintain their personality and look great to the outside world--all within tight budgetary goals. Watson’s thoughtful design, robust quality and expert craftsmanship ensures that KEXP will continue to get great value from its new workspace for many years to come.


Follow @watson_furniture.

Get Watson news and updates: