By: Virginia Larrea and Tanya Rolsten

A factor that separates Baker Barrios Architects from other firms is that our architects and interior designers work side by side on each project. This collaboration means that interior architecture considerations are fully integrated from the beginning.

In the case of the Tampa Bay Chamber, the complete design process was based on the ability to move from one discipline to the other. Our designers started with an existing space where they understood their limitations and the engineers’ limitations but kept in mind the knowledge that they could transform the space for the better.

“We wanted our clients to think and dream [about] their new space, with new technology, enhanced communication systems, and a strong lighting design,” said Virginia Larrea, one of the architects on the project.

“It is our role as designers to listen to our clients’ needs and wants and translate that information into a space that is beyond what they could have imagined,” said Tanya Rolsten, interior designer.

It is important to present the client with a strong concept from the start of the project, and in this project, our experts needed to be able to showcase their values and integrity through the re-design of their existing space. To accomplish this, they dug deep into who The Tampa Bay Chamber really is and what they represent to the Tampa Community. They researched how the Tampa Bay Chamber impacts the city, discussed with the client how they view themselves and what their day to day tasks consist of. One of the most important questions they asked was how they see themselves and their space working for them and the community in the future. With all this knowledge, BBA was able to produce a solid concept that gave the designers a road map as guidance for the entire life of the project.

The process began by examining existing issues and then pushing ideas to the client, where “aha” moments could take place. This process with the client resulted in a design that will be more dynamic for the current tenants and a place that will cater to future users. With the use of our technology and design programs the team was able to provide the Chamber a “preview” of their space before it was even built. This allowed them to be immersed into their new environment early on and give the team their feedback on any design or finish changes they felt was necessary to make the space uniquely theirs.

This new transformative design will have a lasting impact on how the Tampa Bay Chamber team works; it is more than just a trendy, eye-appealing space. It is an efficient space, where many new ideas that will benefit the City of Tampa will be born.