In June 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded GoE a contract to support both the Residence Clinic and EEOB. The project scope included replacing the existing furniture and equipment (FF&E) with new product in both locations.
White House Residence Clinic
For the Residence Clinic, the GoE team worked closely with the White House Creative Design Director to develop custom designs for all the furniture that would be utilized in the space, including a reception desk and custom-designed area rugs. Understanding that the building holds historic significance and includes many classical architectural details, designed by well-known historic designers and architects, the GoE team thoughtfully reviewed and considered these details during the design process. As many of the architectural details are based on traditional Greek motifs, GoE introduced a concept for the area rug design based on the Caduceus (a staff carried by Hermes in Greek Mythology that is associated with healing and medicine). In the same vein, the reception desk included a Greek key detail around the top edge of the paneling. While the desk is mostly modern in form, gold-leafing and white marble were added for traditional detailing, earning this piece it’s merit and equal place among other historic White House furnishings. All the furniture and area rugs were proudly manufactured, hand-delivered and installed by American companies.
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
The EEOB facility, another historic site, presented different priorities from that of the Residence Clinic. The GoE team provided a full refresh of waiting room furniture and medical equipment in the clinical space. This area also serves as a workplace for the White House Medical Unit staff and, therefore, needed to prioritize the functions of daily administrative and clinical operations. The GoE team worked with the staff and American manufacturers to select products that would meet all requirements to facilitate their daily needs, while also enhancing the staff’s enjoyment, health, and general well-being in the workplace. The products eventually selected by GoE found a balance between complementing the historic environment and providing the staff with the most up-to-date options available in modern office furnishings.
Overall, the unique aspects of this project presented opportunities for GoE to develop processes and efficiencies for the future.
- First, due to the high-profile nature of these two facilities, security was of the utmost concern and required an additional level of safety planning at both facilities.
- The GoE team worked with Residence Clinic and EEOB staff to understand the security procedures and prepare their installers for these processes.
- Scheduling for these extra steps in security ahead of the installations allowed GoE to meet client expectations while remaining on schedule.
- Second, these two spaces are historic, key buildings to our Nation’s history that continue to serve important functions today.
- It was important to complement and enhance the features of the building while limiting harm to the infrastructure from things such as furniture or equipment wall mounting.
- GoE provided additional coordination to ensure that free-standing furniture and other less-harmful methods could be utilized as much as possible.
- Third, by the time GoE was able to install at the facility, the COVID-19 Pandemic was in full swing. Not only did this present additional health and safety measures and delays in production, but it also meant that additional staff and visitors to the White House would be lining up in the same corridor meant to stage the new and old furniture.
- Addressing the limitations, delays and issues stemming from these circumstances, the GoE team ensured appropriate corridor clearances were met, and that staging was reduced in duration.