Photo Credit: Mason Halkin Photography

Newell Hoboken

Located on the Hudson River overlooking sweeping views from middle to lower Manhattan is the headquarters to one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, Newell Brands. While growth of business and answering to the stockholders are the reason for the space, the relaxed comfortable space provides for open teamwork and a collaborative spirit.

Upon exiting the elevator at the top floor, one is immediately surrounded in the brand. Utilizing sheet zinc (one in Newell Brands’ portfolio of products), the design team created a pattern of icons representing the many product types the client produces and created a multi-faceted back-lit wall. This wall is balanced on the opposite side of the space with warm wood panels describing the many ways the company brands touch their customer’s lives. Topping the space is a wood paneled ceiling shaped to represent the “house of brands” imagery in the company logo.

In the reception space, both visitors and employees are immediately part of the office place. Lounge seating and a gathering counter allow for easy exchange and energy. A double glazed meeting room allows for views to the river from this entry space. Walking to the left or right of the entry doors, one experiences a glowing wall of over 9,400 water bottles, creating a unique and engaging experience with another Newell Brands product.

At the South side of the plan on both of the floors are large open break areas with plenty of space for work and exchange of ideas. Open shelving allows for more product display, presented in an artful way. With amenities like a full-time barista and plenty of alternate work settings, employees are encouraged to be in the office and engaged with each other.

The West side of the top floor plan is reserved for the Boardroom and a comfortable Pre-Function Lounge to accommodate the users. The Boardroom was purposely not located with the “best” river view as it is not as often used as the office spaces where most employees are. Glass-fronted Executive offices line the remainder of the West and East walls with the balance of the floor offering open office workstations and ample Meeting and Huddle space to support a modern workforce.

Continuing the concept of presenting the client’s many brands and products, the team worked with Newell Brands to choose products that represented their broad range of consumer goods and themed each of the Conference Rooms. Zinc and copper “coins” are used to create the company logo in one room; 7,200 fishing lures attached to felt-wrapped panels creating an amazing and colorful texture throughout another suite of rooms; and more than 56,000 pencils create a three-dimensional pointillist artwork in the PrismaColor Room.

Design Challenge

In an effort to expand their growing portfolio of consumer products, the client relocated its Global Headquarters to Hoboken, New Jersey. This new facility serves as an important business hub for the company’s Executive Team, Corporate Functions, and Transformation Office. Shortly before the transition to New Jersey was orchestrated, the joining of the client and Jarden Industries was completed creating a $16 billion Global Consumer Goods Company with a strong portfolio of nearly 50 leading brands and countless consumer products. The focus of the new Global Headquarters is the company’s ‘House of Brands.’ The Design Team was tasked with creating a multi-dimensional space fit for accommodating high-level investors, attracting the best talent, inspiring innovative design, and supporting a unified yet diverse corporate culture. Programmatic requirements included top-tier Executive Offices, an Executive Boardroom, Open Workspace with access to Collaboration and Conferencing Areas, and Amenity Spaces for Employees and Visitors. The project will become a beacon for the ever-growing company. The 13th Floor’s design supports the Executive Team and their visitors and the 11th Floor’s energetic open office is supported with brand elements throughout. The interior layouts for the spaces focus on deliberate spatial organization that balance private offices, conferencing, and open office with equal access to the breathtaking views. The palettes support the branding that is infused throughout the spaces, whether it is through the use of accent colors or use of product as feature.

Physical Context

In order to accommodate many different user groups and functions, each of the areas of the Headquarters was designed for specific user groups. This strategy created a sense of identity on each floor that allows them to stand alone but also compliment the whole of the project. The inventive product display and branding throughout mirrors the Brands’ drive towards innovation. The client’s request for a multi-faceted workspace was achieved not only through the built environment, but through the FF&E package as well. Each space was carefully populated with flexible furniture solutions that supported the ever-growing company. Adjustable height furniture, collaboration areas, and touchdown / hoteling spaces were planned throughout to support the company’s goal of mobility in the workplace. The integration of technology and smart furniture provides the innovative and inspiring space that the client desired to promote state-of-the-art product design as well as to attract and retain talent. The overall design supports the CEO’s request to have a space for the new to be visualized.