Kimley-Horn is a 1,500-person firm that’s ranked among the top 20 pure design and transportation firms in the nation.
So when its executives wanted to continue their success in the “Great Places to Work” initiative, the company enlisted Cooper Carry’s Interiors group to design a fantastic new Vero Beach, Fla., office — then develop a corporate strategic facility plan for its 60 offices nationwide.
We took a trip to Vero Beach to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of their office environments. We considered the amount of existing open workspace versus closed offices; the size of individual employee workspaces; filing and storage requirements; equipment use; employee adjacencies; and how employees interacted or exchanged information.
We also observed and conducted interviews with a wide spectrum of employees, including senior leadership. From that data, we then compiled an evaluation matrix to compare and contrast the various office space being occupied by the company.
The result of the evaluation was a report that recommended new workplace guiding principles driven by a recognition for future organizational and developmental demands that might be placed on the company.
This corporate strategic facility plan helped realign Kimley-Horn’s workplace-planning approach to more accurately reflect the firm’s corporate culture while taking into account those localized office cultural factors which might play a role in their future.
In essence, each office would reflect the important aspects of its local market while retaining the overall corporate image.
From the strategic plan, Kimley-Horn decided to develop a prototypical office concept in their Vero Beach location by building a new 112,000-square-foot office building located on a parcel of land on the prominent Indian River Boulevard.
Taking advantage of the relative low supply of Class A office space, Kimley-Horn developed this property into a multi-building office park to not only house their new office building, but also to fill demand for premier office space in the Vero Beach market.
The 30,797-square-foot Kimley-Horn space is configured on two floors that are above one level of structured parking; they surround a central landscaped courtyard on the second level. The courtyard provides daylight, views and social spaces for the enjoyment of all employees.
Some unique features of the space include:
- Two double height atria
- A grand stair that connects the two office floors together
- The central courtyard
- Two sunlight filled bridge elements that highlight the passages from public space to private space
The biggest change in the interior space of the Vero Beach office was a transition from a predominately closed-work environment to a more open and collaborative format.
The traditional approach to work spaces used by Kimley-Horn was to provide a private office to every engineer who had obtained their Professional Engineer’s license. In the Vero Beach office, there is only one private office for a regional employee.
Every employee has a work station with low partitions, which allows teams to collaborate seamlessly. An open office plan with only one enclosed office serves to foster collaboration and communication among employees.
The project also included a Town Center with a lounge-feel to encourage informal collaboration. Team rooms are created as partial glass islands where mill work is built in on one side and printing on another. The reception area design reflects the Kimley-Horn logo in order to subtlety incorporate the company’s brand.
Energetic tropical accent colors of lime green, swimming pool blue, fuchsia, and deep violet were incorporated in the common spaces to evoke images of Florida past and present.
The project has received LEED-NC Silver certification, and includes many sustainable features, including enhanced refrigerant management, storage and collection of recyclables, outdoor air delivery monitoring, daylighting, and recycled content materials.
Without a doubt, the new cutting-edge office design supports collaborative effort, which is part of what makes Kimley-Horn a great place to work.
- Architect/Interior Design: Cooper Carry