Everyone in New York wants rooftop access. It's one of the few private outdoor spaces in an otherwise hectic and crowded city. Of course, there are only so many rooftops and everyone can't have one.
Confronted with this tragic reality, most of us simply go about our business and do our best to make friends luckier than ourselves. But, not local tech company Undertone.
When Undertone found themselves on the 8th floor of a Madison Avenue skyscraper, they got creative. Instead of moving, or doing without, the company completely remodeled a conference room to resemble a New York City rooftop. They brought in a picnic table, some lounge chairs, a couple of miniature water towers and even a spotlight to approximate the feeling of the sun. As weird as it may sound, it really does feel like you're on a rooftop in the East Village.
A couple of weeks ago — right as the weather started to make real rooftops obsolete — the people at Undertone invited us by to see their space and have a drink on their "rooftop." Check it out.
So, what exactly is it you do here?
Undertone develops and delivers creative, high impact digital advertising across screens and devices. We are experts in creating ads that consumers find engaging and interesting (and in many cases, entertaining and fun), and we do it for some of the largest and most well-known brands and ad agencies on the planet. It’s much better to experience it than read about it, so just check out undertone.com to see our work in action.
This is an amazing space, especially considering you're right here in the heart of Madison Avenue. I keep expecting Don Draper to come around a corner. How long have you been here?
Thank you! It’s actually only a block away from the Roosevelt Hotel, where a few episodes of Man Men were shot and this area has much history in our industry. We’ve been here since the spring of 2013. This is the first office of ours that we had a chance to design and build out to our specifications, so we’re especially proud and happy when we can do unique things like carve out space for groups like PIXL, our creative team.
I have to say, this is once swanky rooftop. What the story?
It’s designed to be a fun and inviting meeting and gathering space. The objective was to create a huddle area that promotes and enables creativity through collaboration. The aesthetic is meant to marry our brand and the city we live in. It resembles a stylish NYC rooftop, hence its nickname "The Refinery." The grid on the wall is a map of Midtown East.
Wow, you didn't miss any details at all. Is that real moss?
Yes! The petrified moss compliments our brand color and adds texture to the environment. The water tanks and chairs are lines that we see throughout Manhattan’s profile. No blinds or shades were added to use the natural brick background as a compliment. It’s complete with faux wood deck tiles arranged in a basketweave pattern, outdoor furniture, and string lights.
It really does look like an NYC rooftop too. Who gets to use the space?
The space is primarily used by PIXL, Undertone’s internal creative studio. PIXL finds that the scenery helps them get in the frame of mind to do fresh thinking, leading to ever-more innovative concepts for our clients. However, it is used for all for catch ups, client and team meetings, or simply to just have lunch.
Can you tell me a little bit about the tree of tablets?
The tree uses cast iron piping as conduits to connect and display 13 tablets which a visitor can interact with by selecting a tablet, which will then initiate an Undertone developed ad unit followed by recognition of the teams that brought it to life.