An angular red corridor at the entrance to these offices for a motocross apparel company in California by Clive Wilkinson Architects leads to a corridor designed like a city street, with trees, benches and offices arranged off smaller side streets (+ slideshow).
A large central corridor that acts as the "main street" runs through the centre of the interior, with different departments and facilities arranged along it each featuring their own distinctive design language.
"Traditional urban planning concepts were utilised to provide the architectural frame to foster a community centred around place, interaction and innovation," Clive Wilkinson Architects explained.
Landscaping elements including trees and seating areas arranged along the length of the corridor add to the impression of an outdoor street, while a large wooden staircase provides additional seating.
Informal meeting spaces with semi-circular benches and a glazed boardroom on the first floor overlook the main circulation area.
Open-plan offices with workstations and enclosed meeting rooms are supplemented by spaces dedicated to specific tasks including a sewing room and photo studio.
An angular opening pulled out from the facade features a bright red interior that continues into the reception area, which is surrounded by a slatted red ceiling and walls.
A large landscaped area outside the building offers employees opportunities to meet and relax in shaded locations, while a bike track references the company's business.
Photography is by Benny Chan.
Clive Wilkinson Architects sent us this project description:
Fox Head offices
The leaders of the motocross apparel company, Fox Head, Inc. approached us in November 2011, with the goal of relocating their headquarters from Morgan Hill, in Northern California, to Irvine, California. They wanted a space that would inspire their staff and encouraged Clive Wilkinson Architects to challenge preconceptions about how an office space can work and how this warehouse shell could become a cutting edge creative house.
The industrial warehouse on Armstrong Avenue in Irvine offered an opportunity of consolidating the company in one open, creative environment. The design solution for the 82,000 sq. ft. space evolved from the desire to create a functional yet playful environment that befits the Fox image. Equally significant was the company's desire for an open, flexible and collaborative work environment for its employees.
Traditional urban planning concepts were utilised to provide the architectural frame to foster a community centred around place, interaction and innovation. A Main Street concept, individual task-oriented neighbourhoods, park-like landscape elements and circulation-oriented "facades" were each enlisted to create a community unique to the company's culture. The various departments were organised on either side of the warehouse connected through a "Main Street" bisecting the ground floor.
The need to articulate the "Main Street" led to the adoption of diverse interior building frontages emphasising the varied functions. Fox's operational needs were met through incorporation of open offices, workstation systems tailored to departmental needs and accompanying support spaces, such as sewing room, photo studio and tech-room.
On the exterior, a sculptural addition was proposed to accommodate Fox's main entrance and provide an identifying landmark. From the main entrance, a wide street leads you through the single story reception area, defined by a red slatted ceiling, into the "Main Street". Here product showrooms define the boundary of the "Main Street" terminating at the lounge/cafeteria zone with its 18-foot high glazed storefront opening to the outdoor recreation area. Here informal meeting areas are housed on the "roofs" of the "Main Street" structures and a raised boardroom offers an unprecedented view of the "Main Street" and the creative warehouse area.
Existing and new infrastructure are exposed and coordinated to enhance the architecture, while the warm palette of reds, oranges and yellows reference the original brand colours of Moto-X Fox while differentiating the "monuments" in the city from the muted background.
Fox's brand represents a diverse set of apparel, equipment, and lifestyle products. In order to celebrate this diversity, the architecture was enlisted to emphasise the different teams of designers, engineers and marketing professionals behind the company image. Each area of the design boasts a uniquely identifiable character. The resulting "city" is a reflection of the company’s character: an open and creative workplace that fosters interaction between varied groups of specialists.
The exterior grounds offered an extension to the workplace and gave Fox the opportunity to embrace the active culture which it represents. A scheme was developed with a raised garden area emanating from the warehouse, enclosed by hedges and shade trees. Outside the clubhouse, loose furniture under trees encourages people to meet, work and relax; while a bike track becomes a highly visible extension of the company.
To realise the project within a tight timeframe, the project team took a highly collaborative approach, enlisting early input from the contractor in order to streamline the design and construction process. The project was taken from conception to permitting within 4 months, and constructed on a fast-track schedule over 7 months. The resulting efficiency of delivery ensured the client significant costs-savings without sacrificing quality of the finished product.
Project Name: Fox Head
Client: Fox Head, Inc.; Shubin Nadal Realty Investors Project
Location: Irvine, California
Date of Project Completion: December 2012
Floor Area: 82,000 SF
Architect: Clive Wilkinson Architects: Clive Wilkinson, Sam Farhang, Sasha Shumyatsky, Matt Moran, Chester Nielsen, Andrea Schoening, Mitsuhiro Komatsu, Annie Ritz, Meredith McDaniel
Mechanical and Plumbing Engineers: TK1SC
Electrical Engineers: OMB Electrical Engineers, Inc.
Structural Engineers: Englekirk Structural Engineers
Landscape Architect: Melendrez
Civil Engineers: Ware Malcomb
General Contractor: Howard Building Corporation