By Marc Bellamy
Many of PDRs clients play a strong role in their community. Murphy Oil Corp is no exception. They have called El Dorado, Arkansas home for many years. You can even trace the history of Charles Haywood Murphy, Sr’s arrival in El Dorado, Arkansas to 1904 and the company’s roots go back to a lumber and banking business in South Arkansas. In 2014, Murphy Oil spun-off its downstream operations to form Murphy USA. Due to Federal regulations, the two companies had a 24 month window during which they could continue to share services and office space. Based on the success of the 180,000sf buildout of Murphy Exploration and Production in Houston, Murphy Oil immediately turned to PDR to begin the planning process for a new headquarters building.
One of the first questions that was asked was, "Is rural Arkansas the right place to rebuild the Murphy Oil Headquarters?" Over the years, Murphy Oil has grown into one of the most prominent energy companies in the world. Was it time to move the executive operations to a larger energy hub, like Houston? The answer from the Murphy Oil board of directors was a resounding NO! Murphy Oil Corp and El Dorado, Arkansas are inextricably linked by time, family and even the earth underfoot.
The basis of the design concept was to create a headquarters building for an international energy company that reinforces Murphy Oil's commitment to El Dorado. To do this, PDR worked closely with Polk Stanley Wilcox, the building designer, to craft a building that meets the needs of the business, respects the scale of the neighborhood and embraces the community as a whole. The way the building was sited, the massing, the interior light well, the town hall meeting room and the "HUB" visitor center were all designed to reinforce ties to the community.
Murphy Oil Corp supports the future of El Dorado through a program called The El Dorado Promise. This program guarantees all graduates of El Dorado High School four years of free college tuition. Promise scholarships have been awarded to 1,797 students since it began in 2007, but the Program has impacted many more people, making El Dorado a leader in education for the state of Arkansas.
The new headquarters building was completed and occupied in January 2016. Much more modern than the surrounding buildings, the building embraces the notion that El Dorado, Arkansas remains at the center of Murphy Oil's future.
Marc is an Associate Principal and Partner at PDR with over 15 years of experience in corporate interiors, base building design and real estate development. Throughout his time with PDR, Marc has worked on numerous projects for ExxonMobil, Murphy Oil, Vitol, and many other varied clients, coordinating ongoing work and delivering high-performance workplace solutions. As a Project Manager, Marc has overseen in-house teams as well as numerous consultants and contractors - ensuring that communication about the progress of a project flows between all parties involved.