CHUBB CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS, Warren Township, N.J.
Consolidate all New Jersey branches into one new 500,000 square foot corporate headquarters and provide lifestyle amenities to attract new employees as the site was miles from the nearest town.
Find an interior design firm to take complete charge of the entire project already in the initial architectural stage. The president of Chubb’s construction company told the frustrated Chubb Executive VP responsible for the project: “There is only one firm for you. Call Carol Franklin.”
CFA was awarded the interior planning and design and also put in charge of coordinating the architectural and construction teams. As the new kid on the block and defacto team leader, CFA had the Herculean task of blending the various organizations into a unified working team.
CFA focused on the business and personal needs of the employees. The corporate headquarters consisted of five 100,000 square foot interconnecting buildings.
The distances meant that CFA’s space-planning of the departmental adjacencies was critical in order to maximize productivity.
CFA gained the support and enthusiasm of the employees by having them vote their preference on an ergonomically correct workstation competition between five manufacturers. Their winning system was purchased and installed.
CFA created a small town mini-mall where employees could complete their daily errands in a bank, library, video rental store,
florist, dry cleaner, hair salon/barber shop, shoe repair shop, stationery-gift shop and fitness center. In the 600 seat cafeteria, which was divided into varied intimate areas, they could gather, dine, socialize and refresh their energies.
At a huge cost savings for Chubb, CFA blended an enormous inventory of existing furniture with new and gave old colors an entirely new look.
The project has been published all over the country many times.
HENSCHEL-STEINAU, INC Englewood, N.J.
Find a firm that could design the interior of the new building. Three previous designers failed to fulfill the client’s requirements.
The client required a gigantic art studio used to design and fabricate point-of-purchase advertising displays, the heartbeat of the company. There was not enough space within the existing footprint of the building. A primary concern was the corridors which had to be very wide to accommodate the transfer of huge rigid displays.
An alternative to expanding the building had to be found. CFA’s space planning met that challenge by eliminating the outer corridor wall and a huge file room. The files were relocated along the corridor. The corridor, which provided circulation throughout the building for people and product, was designed as an open figure 8 path. This added aesthetics and efficiency to the workspace. The wide corridor provides plenty of space for the transfer of huge displays and opening the file drawers. The ceiling houses a light-well that mirrors the walkway and provides light for reading the files. The file cabinets act as a breakaway corridor wall, providing privacy for the workstations behind. The file cabinets are capped with ivy-filled planters that bring the warmth of foliage to the space without taking up any floor space.
All needs were met and 3 extra work areas were squeezed out as well.
LIPTON UNILEVER US, Englewood Cliffs N.J.
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”.
MBM – LONZA BUILDING, Fairlawn, NJ
They wanted CFA to design a dramatic atrium lobby and adjust the initial rustic architectural finish specifications to more luxurious materials that would create an elegant interior ambience.
During construction a new traffic light required by the town at the owner’s expense resulted in major site work modifications. The money required for this reconstruction drastically reduced the budget for the interiors.
The original materials of brick and oak were changed to burgundy veined marble, polished stainless steel and glass. The staircase was revised to have a floating effect. The atrium houses huge, unique marble planters filled with flowers, plants and 23 foot high trees. Exposed beams between the floors, originally specified as black iron, were to be covered with polished stainless steel. To save money, the polished steel specification was changed to unbreakable mirror. The mirrored beams reflect the foliage filling the lobby from top to bottom with a warm dramatic landscape.
Substitutions did not impact the design. All was done within the new reduced budget. The building now features the name Lonza, a Swiss chemical and biotechnology company.
SANDOZ-NOVARTIS – Tri-State Real Estate Journal Article
Narrow eight-foot corridor yields to artistic solution
That was the unusual challenge given to Carol Franklin, a space planner and interior designer, when Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp. retained her to design the interior of their new research laboratories here. The facility is considered one of the most technologically advanced in the entire worldwide pharmaceutical industry.
Because the budget was allocated primarily for the research laboratories and equipment, the public spaces of the new facility were minimized. From the main entrance, one entered a space facing a wall – eight feet away, 40 feet wide – nine feet high.
In order to dramatize this space while making a dramatic statement, Franklin, president of Leonia, NJ based Carol Franklin Associates Inc. decided that incorporating an original work of art, a large bas-relief – a wall mounted sculpture – was the best solution.
She searched the world for artists whose work would offer the timeless quality of fine art and communicate the message that Sandoz is committed to research and development for the betterment of humanity through healing and that the facility incorporates the most advanced technology available to achieve these goals.
Franklin arranged a competition, and Mel Fisher, a Philadelphia based artist, was selected because his art directly relates to the research taking place in the building.
The work, named “Creation,” consists of a main sculpture seven feet high by 40 feet wide and three more 8 foot by 10 foot pieces that articulate further down 60 feet of the corridor. The art suggests the story of creation starting with chaos and developing into order.
The piece consists of intricate patterns drawn from nature and science: cylindrical patterns of crystals, the cubic lattice of a diamond and snowflake hexagons – 17 panels of undulating patterns representing the balance of opposites found in nature all delicately “painted” with lighting of red, blue and yellow, the primary colors used throughout the building. The center panel represents DNA – the double helix pattern, the geometry of life.
“The importance of this major research facility is introduced in the lobby with the statement made by this major work of art,” says Franklin. “It visually expands the space, is aesthetically and emotionally overwhelming and communicates the building’s scientific significance as well as the Sandoz commitment to mankind.”
UNILEVER U.S. INC. Edgewater, NJ
Lever Brothers Laboratories
CFA was retained to design a new state-of–the art laboratory facility for research and development of new products in Lever Brother’s various divisions: Food, Personal Care and Home Care. The building would be designed by the selected engineering firm and Carol Franklin Associates Inc.
Earmark most of the money for the best quality laboratory equipment and have easy access to gas and water shut off valves.
Create a space that met all technical requirements but also met a bare bones budget.
- Products surrounding the actual laboratory equipment were selected to meet toxicity and flammability codes while conforming to that bare bones budget:
- Granite was rejected in favor of acid-resistant laminate for lab bench counters.
- Washable, non-toxic paint was used only 8 feet high in labs which had 12 foot high walls: less expensive paint was used above. No hung ceilings were installed; ducts were exposed.
- Pendant mounted fluorescent light fixtures were hung from slab.
In the corridors outside of the laboratories, lightweight removable wall panels provided easy access to the faucets and valves that control the flow of gas to the laboratory benches.
Notes of Interest:
CFA was invited to redesign the same facility every ten years. The firm was also invited to redesign the interiors of Unilever’s corporate headquarters, the famous Lever House on New York’s Park Avenue. CFA also developed corporate standards for Unilever facilities throughout the entire nation.