Select a firm to design a new entrance and lobby for Lipton’s existing world headquarters. A competition was held among five prestigious interior design firms. The winner would be awarded the commission for the design development and construction documents for the entire space and other major areas in the building.
Lipton’s headquarters had to represent Lipton’s premier position in the tea industry; represent the yachting interests of their founder, Sir Thomas J. Lipton; welcome their visitors and provide building security.
The new entrance had to bring visitors immediately into the building to keep them out of the winter wind and cold.
Visitor parking was quite a distance from the building. The entrance doors of the existing building brought visitors into a long, narrow lobby where they sat out of sight behind the receptionist. Visitors had access to the elevators and freedom to wander the building – a serious security risk.
The history of Sir Thomas J. Lipton was brought to life by using clipper ship materials of teak and brass; a model clipper ship and museum quality oil paintings of America’s Cup Races. A nautical ramp leads to a display of Sir Thomas’ antique sterling silver tea service collection, which is protected by bulletproof glass and alarmed pedestals.
The lobby was expanded one column bay wide in order to eliminate the bowling alley effect and locate visitors’ seating within the receptionist's sight. The space was contained by placing custom panels of teak and glass between the lobby and the elevators so that visitors could not wander. The building was secured.
Arriving visitors are protected from the elements by the building’s new enclosed foyer. Oriental gardens within feature herbs used in Lipton’s Cup-a-Soup and salad dressings. The receptionist welcomes guests immediately with a cup of “the tea lovers’ tea”.