The New Corporate Campus as featured in Work Design Magazine

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The New Corporate Campus, by PDR Chairman Drew Patton, is featured in Work Design Magazine.  In the article, Drew discusses the key reasons why suburban campuses are appealing to corporations and how that results in a competitive advantage. Focusing on what corporate campuses are offering today that is different from what we saw in the past. Today’s campus is also investing more in work-life balance, showing employees value through their workplace amenities like wellness centers, collegiate clubs, or childcare options.   

There are three realms of work that a well-designed campus amplifies: the urban vibe, the collegiate atmosphere, and the walk in the woods. The urban vibe can be understood as the energy and the urgency of working in an urban setting in close proximity to colleagues. A lot of people have to get their work done today or in the next 10 minutes. A sense of urgency is achieved with density; even if you can see the trees and the skyline or walk outside, you are located nearby your peers  The urban vibe is the highest impact realm of work for researchers and companies with long-term goals in mind.

The second realm is the collegiate atmosphere: a walkable, pedestrian-friendly campus. Today’s leading corporate campuses have their employees park their cars outside the campus. The campus is pedestrian-oriented — inside or outside, elevated or on the ground, and builds the sense of a college. The collegiate atmosphere is also achieved using scale: 90 feet across from building to building, with buildings six and seven stories tall so that employees can identify the person they see across the way. Visibility is key to the collegiate scale — all views are short enough that you can actually identify someone walking toward you.

The third realm is the walk in the woods: truly, woods to walk in, a soccer field, or a swimming pool. Outdoor spaces nurture the authentic roots of a company and support the people. All of this is not about the architecture: it’s about the people who work in the architecture.

The corporate campus and work place is not about the architecture — it’s about the people who work in the architecture. 

Click here to see the full article in Work Design Magazine. 


Drew Patton

Drew Patton is Chairman and Chief Business Strategist at PDR. In his 34 years with the organization, he has played a critical role in developing the firm into one of the world’s leading workplace consulting design firms. Drew also advises senior executives on the value of workplace design and is responsible for strategic relationships with organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, Andersen, Accenture, AIM, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Coventry Development.

 

PDR wins American Marketing Association's Crystal Award!

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PDR takes home an American Marketing Awards Crystal Award in the “Branding – Corporate Identity” category for Eight Row Flint. The Visual Communications team brought the owners’ vision to fruition for the restaurant’s fall 2015 launch, and patrons have been flocking to the “revisionist ice-house” at the corner of Yale and East 11th Street ever since.

The inventive minds behind Eight Row Flint are restauranteurs Morgan Weber and Chef Ryan Pera of Revival Market and Coltivare fame. For this, their third venture in the Houston Heights neighborhood, they wanted to engage similar themes found in their other two restaurants, but with a distinctive stylistic twist. While Eight Row Flint carries the Weber/Pera torch of revering locally sourced, high quality, and heritage ingredients the establishment makes a point to do so with zero pretense or fuss: it’s a repurposed gas station where you can relax, enjoy some vintage country tunes, and fill up on great whiskey drinks and street-fair inspired tacos. 

PDR joined the project when the gas station was freshly-gutted—a well-worn, but nonetheless, clean slate. They were charged with creating a visual identity to reinforce the brand Weber and Pera were beginning to shape. The collaboration with PDR manifested in a hand drawn logo mark, exterior signage, a vehicle wrap, menu design, website and additional consultation on aspects of the interior design like furniture, lighting, and color choice.

There were several opportunities the PDR team noted when developing the Eight Row Flint identity:

Embrace “Food Geek” Origins while Playing it Cool

The visual identity needed to evoke an easy-going sensibility while offering insight into the story of the restaurant’s namesake. The Eight Row Flint is an heirloom variety of corn that has been revived on a small scale due to its superior flavor to typical corn. It was farmed before Europeans even set foot on what would become the Americas, its fermented mash may have been used to create an alcoholic ancestor to our modern-day whiskeys, and it undoubtedly found its way into tortillas. Eight Row Flint fell out of favor with industrialized farming because of its low yield compared to other varieties of corn, but it is making its way back into smaller markets and restaurants because of the slow food movement and efforts from foodie entrepreneurs like Weber and Pera.

The story of the Eight Row Flint variety of corn is central to the establishment’s identity and what drives its two main menu offerings, whiskey and tacos — but not all patrons really want a history lesson with their cocktail. To maintain the relaxing, fun, uniquely “Houston” atmosphere, the logo needed to work on a simple “come-as-you-are” level, but also have a deeper read for those who wanted to learn more.

Balance Grit with Gloss

The designs needed to riff on the stylistic interior design choices that placed fresh modern fixtures against sixty years of gas station patina. The establishment’s identity needed to feel new and contemporary but also draw its strength from age-old traditions associated with farming, distilling spirits, and enjoying open-air marketplaces.

Create an Authentic Destination, a Place to Refuel, a Place to Belong

The PDR team designed the Eight Row Flint identity from a very holistic point of view. The visual identity is one component of the overall atmosphere of the establishment and it needed to be executed at a pitch-perfect level to achieve authenticity and avoid a “franchise feel”. The building, a former gas station, once serviced cars. In its new incarnation the building offers services to people — with the hope that they will be returning for regular “maintenance.”

In an area of Houston where restaurant patrons are spoiled for choice, PDR is proud to have taken home the award for creating a tailored yet easy-going identity for the new “revisionist ice-house”.  

PDR’s Picasso-Inspired Design Turns Heads at IIDA Product Runway

PDR’s Product Runway design team stole the spotlight at Friday night’s 8th Annual Product Runway fashion show with their couture adaptation of Pablo Picasso’s painting, Weeping Woman.  The garment, composed of architectural finish materials from Horizon Italian Tile and Milliken pays tribute to the original cubist artwork with a somber color palette and flattened, angular shapes that reflect Picasso’s representation of the Weeping Woman’s tears. PDR’s design was a crowd favorite and received the award for 2nd Place out of 19 entries.

This year’s Product Runway theme, Avant Art, required each of the competing teams, comprised of interior design and architecture professionals and interior design students, to design and construct a garment representing an assigned art movement and correlating artist.  PDR’s team had the privilege of creating a design based on Cubism and the work of Picasso. 

Product Runway is an annual charitable event hosted by the Texas Oklahoma Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) benefitting the Houston Furniture Bank,  a local non-profit that makes houses into homes by providing furniture for families in need.  In addition to designing and constructing their award-winning entry to the fashion show, PDR’s design team raised over $900 in support of the event. Each year, PDR participates in Product Runway for the opportunity to cultivate our Inside Out mindset by leveraging our design talent to support and improve our Houston community.

Photography by: Scott DeWoody

WIN Awards 2016

PDR’s submission to World Interior News (WIN) Awards 2016 in the Workspace Interiors Greater Than 10,000SQM category, made the long list. 

Rapid growth spurred our client to consider an office expansion while newly vacated space higher up within the same building provided the opportunity for contiguous floors. The challenge was to take their workplace to the next level in terms of efficiency, collaboration and aesthetics. The nearly 200k sqft buildout, completed in January 2015, needed to build on their existing culture, move the workplace toward a more open and connected arrangement, and support a very agile workforce.

Addressing the need for a more open, connected arrangement, we developed a “Collaborative Core” on every floor incorporating a break room, phone rooms, two huddle rooms, a copy-print center, and a new open stair connecting all eight floors. The “Collaborative Core” brings together a variety of functions that draw employees together, fostering impromptu conversations and community. This space is the heart of the office, and reflects the corporate culture.

Offices are oriented toward workstations, allowing everyone access to natural daylight. Neighborhoods, created through a rhythm of open and closed work areas, connect teams. Automated roller shades maximize the daylight, opening up the workplace. Existing building geometry and column grids created the opportunity for all corners to become meeting spaces, producing consistency on each floor.

The color palette and materials were selected to create a timeless, minimal aesthetic. With limited flexibility in the ceiling height, finishes and materials move from floor to wall and onto the ceiling, pushing and pulling in shallow planes to form the illusion of expanded spaces. Stainless steel, matte back-painted glass, and dark gray-stained walnut paneling on the walls and ceiling in the elevator lobbies set the tone of the space. This tone, joined with the efficiency and connectivity of the space, creates a dynamic workplace that reflects the client’s culture and goals. 

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