Walker Design assists Carroll Bradford in developing a workplace that transforms a diverse corporation into a community. As a diverse Florida based construction solutions provider with many divisions, unification of this company and culture was critical to the success of this project.
During our introduction to the Carroll Bradford team there was a clear directive from ownership, “We care about our brand, our culture, our employees, and we want everyone to be aware of it. Let’s do something unique that represents who we are and where we are going as a company!”. The hiring, mentoring, and retainage of valued staff is important to the success of any corporation however for this client with the extensive cross training, diversity in skills and focuses it is critical to the success of Carroll Bradford.
Reinforcing fun in the workplace, after a long year of social distancing was an essential part of Carroll Bradford’s office design. The concept of bringing back office culture and togetherness was set into motion through the idea of creating a home away from home. A business that serves as a team of leaders in the Central Florida construction industry, Carroll Bradford is established on principals that focus on customers, relationships, and teamwork. The desire was to unify their employees in an atmosphere that encouraged collaboration where ideas can resonate freely. Having touch down meetings, places to gather for informal chats, and areas for recreational breaks, were key components when designing this space. With an open and synergistic aesthetic goal in mind, there was a lot of opposing challenges that were faced. The building’s existing conditions lacked natural light, had low ceilings, felt outdated and oppressive. The strategy came into play that existing physical barriers must be removed, the addition of light and contemporary finishes gave personality to the office, while glass walls allowed for visual connectivity, allowing natural light and exterior views to all occupants of the office.
The building program includes some standard corporate office components such as executive offices, private offices, open office space, conferencing, training as well as some common staff amenity spaces such as café, lounge. The facility also included some not so typical components that are indicative of the culture of this company including a fully stocked speak easy with a hidden door entry, indoor putting green, full fitness facility with lockers and showers, bike storage, gamming area, podcast room, and an area where they screen print their own swag.
Upon entry you are greeted by a two story atrium with details that draw your eyes up: large arched windows, a fluttering chandelier, and glass railings that allow you to see through to the custom-built reception desk on the second floor. Level 1 serves as a place where leisure and amusement can be found. It is a host to gym goers, in the colorful and energetic fitness center. The employee café area is crafted with a unique and industrial lighting installation through exposed beams that coordinate with ceiling details continued through level 2. The urban finishes feel as if you are in an urban loft and sets the tone for the café’s leisurely atmosphere.
The second floor is composed of private offices, open offices, meeting rooms, and a hidden speakeasy. As a company with several entities, it was important that their workplace had departmentalized private offices. Carroll Bradford’s marketing team is the creative branch of the firm in respects to branding and personality. The marketing open office showcases their personalized graphic, created by one of their very own employees.
To be a team member at Carroll Bradford, means you work hard, and play hard! You value camaraderie and teamwork. To physically connect the two principals through a design element an interconnecting feature staircase was added in the employee café and opens up to the second-floor open offices. “Let’s do what we love, and do a lot of it,” are the words mounted on the edgy brick wall in neon letters, as a reminder that work doesn’t have to feel like work when you are a team member at Carroll Bradford.
The new Carroll Bradford headquarters has proven to be a unifying element in this diverse corporation allowing this once detached group of employees to become a community.