The relocation and design of the new headquarters for the client by the firm was comprised of several typical renovation challenges: limited budget, fast-moving schedule and high expectations of the building owner, broker and end-user. In addition to the usual trials, the building selected for the new corporate headquarters; a prominent mid-century high-rise building in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky; also required the repurposing of an original and antiquated data-center on the 5th floor into an inviting reception space, executive-level office suite, corporate board room, a technology hub, and a comfortable living-room space. A clear understanding of the existing conditions and applicable codes, as well as a collaborative design and specification process was conducted to make certain the transformation was comprehensive and seamless. While the building owner and broker were concerned the transformation might not meet the client’s high expectations, the CFO leading the project team for the client supported the firm’s technical investigation and design studies. The entire floor was raised on 12” high pedestals and needed stabilization before new construction could begin. Large data equipment on top and massive amounts of conduit tangled below were removed without damage to the existing flooring system. Open dialogue with the design team, local code officials, contractors and product manufacturers enabled all parties to contribute to a cohesive and appropriate solution. The outcome was one that created an environment that is unique for Louisville office spaces and reflective of the client’s resourceful and innovate company mission.
The firm looked to the building’s mid-century architecture for clues to solve the design challenges. The building’s 40+ year-old raised-flooring system, together with an introduction of the period’s iconic “sunken living-room” guided the team to create a unique company gathering space. The design team restacked the departments within the first five floors of the building, placing the client’s reception and executive program elements in the original data-center space. Requirements laid forth by code officials and Shaw Contract led the firm to a cohesive design solution for the existing raised-flooring. This included alternating the direction of sub-floor materials for stability, provision of a flame-retardant barrier and subsequent primer coats to ensure a secure installation. These efforts safeguarded that flooring materials would not shift overtime and the product warranty would remain intact. With this solution in-hand the sequencing of welcoming and gathering areas and the detailing of built-in tiered-seating made the renovated space unexpected and attractive for the clients new and existing talent pool. Styling of material and finish selections reinforced the dynamic intent for the space while celebrating brand messaging. This was accomplished by integrating active materials that reflected the company’s logo; and intentional color blocking that signaled corporate and departmental spaces. The “living-room” space is used by employees for casual meetings and relaxing. Its central location provides the opportunity for leadership to get-to-know their workforce. Since moving into the new headquarters, the client has found employees who used to work from home, now prefer to come into the office.