Putting their stamp on the former Kraft campus in Northfield, Illinois, Medline Industries recognized the unique challenges of moving into such an expansive space, and enlisted Partners by Design to tailor the project to meet their specific design needs. Coming from a very traditional office concept with high paneled workstations and private perimeter offices, the multi-phased move from their previous location in Mundelein was master planned for 1200 people, and prioritized an organizational culture shift to an open, collaborative working environment. An extensive workspace analysis and programming effort was done to study departmental adjacencies and identify concrete needs for more conferencing options, smarter storage solutions, and improved wayfinding methods.
With over 380,000 square feet of usable office space, the team at PBD brought rhythm and consistency to the building’s irregular and chaotic layout, with runs of interior offices, workstations at the windows, and open teaming space in the middle of each wing. Glass-front private offices and free circulation among workstations allow for a lighter and brighter office environment, and every department now has dedicated storage to keep the space organized and functional. Larger communal areas like the cafeteria, atrium, and coffee bar were centralized to maximize the influx of natural light and create a sense of neighborhood centers, and thanks to significant upgrades to the audio/visual components of the structure, mobile working options were enhanced by the ability to connect digitally from anywhere within the building. Featuring a product showroom on the first floor and a well-appointed customer experience center and executive offices on the fourth floor, the headquarters also houses a full-size demonstration lab with a doctor’s office and surgical facilities currently under construction.
Corporate identity branding was critical to this project, and in conjunction with Medline’s internal marketing team, PBD’s brand group cleverly created new branded elements that were thoughtfully infused throughout the campus. Custom details like light fixtures patterned in hospital gown material, a string art logo piece crafted out of sutures, entryway portals clad in medical tubing, and wall installations artfully composed from healthcare equipment were created as a celebration of their product, and to show the staff’s commitment to their clients while adding a whimsical air to the experience of being in the space. Identifying each of the three wings of the building by color and implementing those colors strategically aided wayfinding efforts, and specific graphics and on-brand imagery work to let visitors and employees alike know that Medline is now truly established in their new space, thanks to their collaboration with Partners by Design.
Environmental Branding by Spark / Photography by Tom Harris