Toby Walker, AIA, of Walker Design transforms a 1970′s military manufacturing warehouse into an iconic corporate headquarters for Consolidated/Online Labels in the Warehouse District of Sanford, Orlando.
The task of a minimal renovation to a vacant 1970’s military manufacturing / warehouse facility was transformed into an adaptive reuse effort. Of the existing 167,500 SF structure, 45,000 SF of the existing space was captured and rehabilitated into a corporate headquarters for the new owners while the balance of the overall project received an aesthetic update to infuse life into this forgotten building.
The requirements as stated by the owner were explicit, “Create an appropriate and memorable first impression for our clients, while providing a functional and efficient plan taking into consideration productivity for our staff’.
Addressing the owners request, the design team created a clean and simplified vertical entry lobby clad in quarry cut Brazilian limestone, metal panel, and glass curtain wall. The juxtaposition of these timeless materials superimposed on the existing cast in place concrete façade clearly delineates entry while creating an appropriate exterior expression for the new owners expanding business.
Upon entry the visitor is greeted by an abundance of natural light surrounded by warm gradient tones of natural stone. The spatial volume, natural light and material palette allow the entry lobby to act as a showroom introducing visitors to the corporate brand and their various products, ultimately creating an ‘appropriate and memorable first impression’.
To ensure the plan would be functional and efficient the design team set up a ‘task force’ of end users to assist with the design and planning process. This allowed the users to discuss inefficiencies they were experiencing in their current space to ensure they would have a space designed that would allow them to work more effectively. The owner was inclined to provide a work environment that proved that the employees were the most valuable part of the operation by incorporating staff amenity spaces including relax rooms, a fitness center, and entertainment spaces into the office floor plan.
This teaming process proved to be an overwhelming success. In November 2013 the new building was occupied by the owner and in December they had their highest grossing month in the 26 year history of the company.
*This project was completed while employed by Heery Design.