Chicagoland headquarters elevates brand message to art.
Textura was founded in 2004 by three PriceWaterhouseCoopers partners who realized the construction industry needed to embrace the power of digital technology. Today, it’s the leading provider of cloud-based collaboration and productivity tools for the industry. And just like its products designed to increase efficiency, lower costs, and encourage collaboration, its new offices in Deerfield, Ill., just outside Chicago, elevate those qualities to an art form.
The 65,000-sq.-ft. offices are in a completely refurbished 40-year-old building on 13 acres. Working with architects Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (VDTA, Chicago), Textura wanted to create a dynamic, environmentally friendly workspace awash in natural light and open to encourage collaboration, communication, and sharing.
To complement VDTA’s architecture, its Media Objectives studio was asked to develop environmental graphics and signage for the new workspace. After extensive research of Textura’s marketing collateral and software products, the EGD team drew inspiration from the consistent graphic technique of layering information, creating a sense of movement and abstractly visualizing the dynamic web of integration created by the company’s products.
"Our firm believes design is the answer, given we know the questions we are answering," says Joe Lawton,VDTA's director of media and marketing. "To discover these questions, we kick off each project with an intensive research phase. This often involves immersion in our clients' environment, literary research, a best-practice survey, and stakeholder interviews." The team had used Textura products on a previous project and had some familiarity with the company. To learn more about Textura's brand identity and DNA, they surveyed the marketing team and also reviewed Textura's current/past brand collateral for graphic inspiration. "We also conducted on-site observations and in-person surveys to understand how the users were utilizing the existing workspace," Lawton adds.
The brand expression flows throughout the building, from identity signage inside the lobby to wayfinding and signage and a dramatic graphic feature on the main stairwell.
Inside the lobby, architectural elements in the ceiling draw the eye toward an internally lit Textura logo set into a wood-veneer wall. Just past the lobby, in the main communicating stair, a custom art installation inspired by the Textura brand mark draws visitors into an open waiting area. With the look of high-tech Op-Art, the stairwell installation consists of a grid of rotated dimensional tiles that reference the geometric qualities of the brand mark, revealing hints of the brand colors on their edges. The tiles’ white faces reflect the natural sunlight in the space to create a play of light and shadow.
Elsewhere in the office, the Media Objectives team used diamond patterns at various scales and densities on glass and wall surfaces, distinguishing unique zones in the open floor plan through the use of color.
To celebrate Textura’s innovation in its industry, an artful feature wall holds patents and copyright plaques suspended from wire cables. Media Objectives designed custom room identification and wayfinding signage with unique pictograms and a color palette complementing the interiors.
>>See more Chicago EGD projects during the 2015 SEGD Conference: Experience ChicagoJune 4-6!
Project Area: 65,000 SF
Open Date: 2014
Architecture and Environmental Graphic Design: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates + Media Objectives
Design Team: David Jennerjahn, Kurt Volkman, Joe Lawton, Ian Thomas, Elena Ranjeva
Stair Installation Fabrication: WILO Design
Signage Fabrication: HM Witt
Lobby Sign Fabrication: Southwater Signs
Graphic Fabrication: Cushing Co.
Photos: Tom Harris, Hedrich Blessing (interior), Matt Dula (exterior)