Originally published in Interiors & Sources

05/01/2012

Old Becomes New

Corgan works hand-in-hand with Fossil designers to create a headquarters that brings the brand's tagline of modern vintage to life, all while highlighting the company's focus on people.

By AnnMarie Martin

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_1.jpg

    The wall of Fossil tins in the lobby is a nod to the brand’s past, as its watches have traditionally come in collectible tins—the graphic design of which has always been done in-house. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_2.jpg

    The wall of Fossil tins in the lobby is a nod to the brand’s past, as its watches have traditionally come in collectible tins—the graphic design of which has always been done in-house. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_3.jpg

    The widespread use of glass and wood promotes the ideals of warmth, openness and authenticity that Fossil identified as important from the start of the process. Even the cafeteria offers up a vintage diner aesthetic, rather than a corporate, buttoned-up feel. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_4.jpg

    The widespread use of glass and wood promotes the ideals of warmth, openness and authenticity that Fossil identified as important from the start of the process. Even the cafeteria offers up a vintage diner aesthetic, rather than a corporate, buttoned-up feel. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_5.jpg

    The widespread use of glass and wood promotes the ideals of warmth, openness and authenticity that Fossil identified as important from the start of the process. Even the cafeteria offers up a vintage diner aesthetic, rather than a corporate, buttoned-up feel. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_6.jpg

    The staircase in the fitness center provides a great amount of energy to the space. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_7.jpg

    Ceiling beams were exposed to reveal the bare bones of the building, exemplifying Fossil’s authenticity. View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0512/Article_Images/I_0512_Web_PE_Fossil_8.jpg

    View larger

SOURCES | CONTACT

It’s not just Fossil products that are unique. This watch and lifestyle brand offers up a distinctive in-store experience that puts the spotlight squarely on the customer, and designers of its global headquarters would have been remiss if they didn’t acknowledge both of these aspects of the company that make it such a success.

“There’s a warmth and a focus on people when you walk into a Fossil store,” says Lindsay Wilson, principal at Corgan, the international design firm that partnered with Fossil to create its new 535,000-square-foot home in Richardson, Texas. “People that work in their stores are trained to give a personal experience in customer service. The company wanted to bring that warmth and welcoming feeling to the Fossil headquarters as well,” all while housing 1,100 employees and designers from all of Fossil’s departments together under one roof—a roof that was originally two.

Instead of taking the option of a new build, Fossil chose an existing property with two buildings that needed to be connected. “The building they decided to move into, when you visit it initially, was exactly the opposite of what they wanted to have for their end product,” says Stephen Park, associate with Corgan and lead designer on the project. “It was very hierarchically organized, very compartmentalized.” The buildings were also two completely different spaces structurally, one being concrete and the other steel.

This former headquarters of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas was a relatively conservative space. “It in no way reflected this hip, energetic lifestyle brand company,” says Wilson—but their choice in and of itself did. She explains the Fossil brand and experience as “this idea of reuse and being true to something, making something old new again—modern vintage is a tagline they use in a lot of their advertising.” Turning the existing property into a home Fossil could call its own became a main tenet of the project.

One step in achieving that was through the selection of materials that evoke the same sense of comfort and warmth the company promotes. Reclaimed wood from a textile mill in Virginia was used throughout the space.

Corgan also partnered closely with Fossil designers to create spaces built off a foundation of connectivity, visibility, authenticity and collaboration. “They thought they could get a greater cohesion in their products if the footwear designers were collaborating with their watch designers, who were collaborating with the jewelry designers, who were collaborating with the apparel designers,” says Wilson. A challenge was getting all of these departments next to each other, as management wished them to be. “We did that by opening up portions of the building and connecting them with a bridge. People can walk and see each other,” and conduct candid, impromptu meetings, which is how Fossil operates as a company, says Park.

Facilitating the visibility and openness they strove for also entailed stripping the interiors down to the bones of the building, which Fossil wanted to celebrate. “The brand has a very gritty, textural quality and that was expressed in the building’s structural elements such as the exposed concrete floors and exposed steel,” Park says. Ceilings were removed to reveal concrete beams that became an identity of the project. The paint was stripped off of the beams so they looked vintage or distressed in nature.

While accessibility was a priority, workplace function was also a problem that needed addressing. “In their previous facility there wasn’t enough storage. People didn’t have the right workstations,” says Wilson. “We needed to give these designers the spaces that they needed to do their jobs properly. They spent so much time cleaning up, putting up and reorganizing instead of designing. It was important that we established workrooms and showrooms and storage. We did all new systems furniture, putting everybody in the same size workstation—7 foot by 7 foot—but customized some of the storage, so that the watch group has storage that fits watches and apparel has storage that fits apparel.”

The focus on its employees was taken one step further with the addition of a fitness center and cafeteria—amenities that had never been offered before. The building previously featured a full-service cafeteria, so the "food service guts" were already in place. In an effort to tie the space more closely to Fossil’s time-worn aesthetic, the design team worked to make patrons feel as if they were sitting at the counter of an old-fashioned diner. Custom-built furnishings and stations help give the cafeteria a vintage atmosphere.

On the flip side, Fossil and Corgan wanted the fitness center to encourage employees to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Employees are encouraged to work out at the modern facility whatever time of day they wish. The fitness center is also equipped with 10 multi-color cruiser bicycles that employees can ride to meetings or appointments on the campus.

In another amazing design statement and nod to Fossil’s history, a wall of watch tins lines the lobby, which needed to be opened up as it began as a low, cramped space. “From the beginning of Fossil, when you bought a Fossil watch it’s been in a tin,” says Wilson. “What people don’t know is the graphic design for them is done in-house. And they’ll highlight different things going on in popular culture, different holidays, so it really is an archive of their business and a little bit of social commentary.”

This striking entrance takes visitors by the hand and leads them on a journey of learning about what the Fossil brand stands for—a company that fosters open, creative communication with a distinct sense of style. That’s something they were able to pinpoint for Corgan from the start, and something the design team was able to replicate perfectly in the company’s new headquarters.

 

 

SOURCES:
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systems furniture
Knoll | 1, 3
(877) 615-6655


upholstery
Maharam

Knoll Textiles
(866) 565-5858

Unika Vaev
(800) 237-1625

flooring
Robbins Sport Surfaces | 2
(800) 543-1913

Shaw Contract
(800) 257-7429


hardware
Doug Mockett & Co.
(800) 523-1269

surfacing
Dal-Tile

Formica
(800) FORMICA

Knox Tile
(214) 761-5669

Laminart
(800) 621-1006

Texas Stone
(800) 336-1131

Urbanwoods Company | 4
(214) 284-2812


wall coverings
Maharam

MDC
(800) 621-4006


ceiling/wall systems
Armstrong
(877) ARMSTRONG

CONTACT:
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client
Fossil, Inc.
901 S. Central Expressway
Richardson, TX 75080
(800) 449-3056
www.fossil.com

project team
architecture + interior design
Corgan Associates
401 North Houston Street
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 748-2000
dallas@corgan.com
www.corgan.com

structural engineer
AG&E Associates
www.ageassociates.com

civil engineer
Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers

landscape engineer
Steven M. Rahn

 

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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