Incorporating Brand-driven Environments into Architecture
Today’s Architecture Creates Spaces that Reflect a Company’s Culture
The concept of experience design isn’t new to architects. From Disney theme parks to the sleek surfaces of an Apple store, architectural design is becoming more about meeting human needs and less about current trends.
For Curtis Miner Architecture, creating brand-driven environments for clients has been a natural evolution. As we spend time with a client learning about company culture and goals, we’ve discovered we can help them tell powerful stories, communicate strategic messages, and celebrate their culture. “We are finding that corporate clients would like individualism,” states Gerrit Timmerman, CMA Principal. “They want architecture that tells the story of the company.”
During the first steps of our collaboration with Groove Entertainment Technologies, we discerned that this trusted technology services provider takes a humble approach to doing business. We are incorporating this into the design of their building exterior. Based on the unassuming façade, you would never know that last year the company was recognized by Utah Business as one of Best Companies to Work for in Utah. But once you enter the building, the spaces speak to innovation and technology. A new showroom will highlight the eye candy — products and technology that catch the attention of existing and future clients (and even talented team members). It’s an architectural solution and design expression that connects people and place.
Project Architect Dallas Nelson worked with Alphagraphics in Layton to design their iconic facility. With a strong street presence, the owner wanted their new building to draw attention, and customers, to the main lobby. The company is known for its copying and printing, but they go far beyond those services. “The goal for the design was to portray a cutting edge, technology-centered company,” says Dallas. The design team took the goals to heart. The final design steered clear of traditional forms and materials, incorporating innovative painted steel panels and bold forms. The bright red of the logo was carried from the exterior to the furnishings, interior walls, and conference room. “The building has been a huge boost for the business,” Dallas proclaims. “They received the international Alphagraphics Franchise of the Year following completion of the project.”
Continuing advances in digital technology also play a part in creating culture-driven spaces. From 3D models to virtual reality (VR) walk-throughs, these visual tools help CMA determine whether the up-front discussions about company goals and culture are being adequately conveyed in our design efforts.
“We love sharing a design using VR,” says Gerrit. “The pure emotions a client displays when seeing their unbuilt space is exhilarating.” When working recently with People’s Intermountain Bank, the client had received the floor plan without comment. But when the owner put on the VR googles and grasped the hand-held joysticks, he noticed right away that a window was needed in an interior environment. Those shared “a-ha” moments accentuate and accelerate design and communication to help us get to the best branded design solution.