Wilson Sporting Goods Headquarters

Merit Award

Before beginning the design of Wilson Sporting Goods’ headquarters, the Gensler team undertook an extensive analysis of the company’s existing workplace, studying the way employees interact, how they feel in their space, and how the work flows. The goals were to align with the energy and teamwork common to all sports, and promote creativity and innovation in all departments. The renovated office reflects the passion of its employees, increases recruitment and retention, and educates visitors about the Wilson brand.

Wilson Sporting Goods engineers its products for “the moment of impact,” and Gensler incorporated this concept into the design of the space, including the main entry. A 60-ft.-long graphic wall is made of 60 aluminum-composite fins printed with 1,200 black-and-white images showing moments of impact: a Roger Federer backhand, a dodged tackle by Tom Brady, a Padraig Harrington putt, and historic moments in Wilson’s corporate history. The result is a sweeping entry statement that communicates Wilson’s essence to employees and visitors. The showroom was designed to help visitors experience the energy, joy, and power of the Wilson brand. Wilson products are displayed in playful and unexpected ways: Basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls are stacked in a colorful, artful pyramid, while golf balls were constructed into a quilt and tennis balls hang from a custom chandelier. Products are not limited to the showroom. Employees use products and prototypes on a daily basis in their work, and therefore the workplace was designed with products easily accessible, as in retail environments. They are now showcased, and large-scale images near collaboration zones link the products to their sports.

Finally, not only were Wilson Sporting Goods athletes and finished products considered and celebrated, but also their manufacturing. Leather, felt, and other materials used in Wilson balls were collected from the factory floor and used to create textural accent walls. All of these branded elements lead Wilson Sporting Goods new headquarters to not only function as a great place to work, but also reinforce the company’s iconic status.

Jury Comments: 

“A very clean and powerful sports-themed environment that doesn’t fall into the typical clichés found in many related executions, where memorabilia-style exhibits prevail. A well-branded space with abstracted use of products and powerful imagery divided to create a sense of motion and energy. Substantial open space with nice textural walls relating back to the products.” “Use of sporting goods manufacturing waste products offers unique graphic and textural surfaces that form the backdrop for this environment. Whimsical, sculptural presentations of the sporting goods feature the product in memorable ways.”

Design Firm: 

Gensler

Client: 

Wilson Sporting Goods

Location City: 

Chicago

Project Area: 

N/A

Open Date: 

N/A

Project Budget: 

N/A

Photo Credits: 

Hedrich Blessing Photography

Design Team: 

Carlos Martinez (principal in charge), Tony LaPorte (senior designer/project manager), Alfred Fiesel, Elizabeth Gilmore, Sheila Picchioni, Mark Shinn

Consultants: 

N/A

Fabricators: 

CenterPoint (fabrication and installation)

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