A Corporate Urban Oasis
Ferguson Enterprises, the largest U.S. distributor of plumbing supplies, has had roots in Virginia for more than 60 years. Facing a need to expand their headquarters in Newport News, Ferguson partnered with Clark Nexsen to create an amenities-rich, collaborative space for their associates. At the core of its design is a shift towards transparency, openness, and connectivity, and sustainability both within the company and the community at large. Making cultural strides, the facility known as HQ3 shies away from the traditional office building structure. Instead, emphasis is placed on collaboration through a progressive design that eliminates private office space in favor of an open concept with a wide variety of flex spaces. Located in City Center at Oyster Point, HQ3 is the start of a new modern campus designed to attract professionals who want to work in an urban setting.
As a corporate headquarters, HQ3 exists to be transformational – not just in design but in company culture and workflow – a fresh paradigm of “we” versus “me.” From a schematic standpoint, the building’s open concept presents a highly functional and multi-faceted combination of sleek personal workspaces, generous meeting rooms and shared, adaptable break out spaces on each floor to foster collaboration. Our Commercial team designed HQ3 to be light-filled with a multilevel glass atrium, open lobby space, and monumental staircase connecting multiple levels. Exposed ceilings along the corridors and open workspace areas emanate a modern, industrial character while many of the walls feature a writeable, white board surface.
The design of HQ3 is driven by the client’s goals to break down barriers, encourage collaboration, and foster community engagement.
The first floor consists of spaces intended for use by Ferguson associates. Further demonstrating the company’s commitment to community impact, these spaces are available for reservation and are accessible to community partners with Ferguson approval. Large, flexible training rooms with customizable functionality as well as open and back of house space offer associates and partners a creative, versatile area for assembly. A modern café and dining area functions as a social space and a purposeful one, used for meetings and events as well as casual dining. Associate space occupies floors two through eight, presenting an open office layout with various types of flex spaces – some private, and others intended for meetings, collaboration, and lounging. A sixth-floor green rooftop with a terrace is designed for special events and corporate gatherings.
In a deliberate preservation effort, HQ3 is nestled generously in City Center while retaining community access to an existing fountain located in the heart of area. Rather than walling this site off from the city, a pathway leads under the building and into the plaza allowing for employees and the public to enjoy this outdoor space. A 1,500-space parking garage from the city will offer free parking and public access and accommodate employee access via a pedestrian bridge connecting the garage to the building.
Tech Savvy to Support Employees
At the heart of HQ3’s functionality is a cutting-edge IT solution that emphasizes connectivity, information, and service to associates. Influenced by some of today’s leading technology companies, the concept equips Ferguson associates with portable technology to encourage flexible mobility and collaboration. The second floor boasts a centrally-located IT “genius bar” (a help desk) where associates can easily seek technical assistance, while the third floor houses the networks operations center and global security center. To facilitate the distribution of information and the ability to react to business conditions in real time, the facility will feature displays highlighting sales metrics, department numbers, and other relevant data.
Driven by goals of breaking down barriers, encouraging collaboration, and fostering community engagement, the new HQ3 design represents a shift in company culture. The client prioritized these factors and our expert team delivered a space representative of Ferguson culture, both past and present.
ABC Central Virginia Excellence in Construction Award (Slenderwall) – Specialty Concrete, 2020