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As many brand designers can tell you, the importance of creating a memorable, unique environment that reinforces brand character to external (consumers, clients, vendors) and internal (employees) audiences can not be overstated, especially for a global leader in digital media like Adobe. So, it was not surprising to learn from Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio, that after interviewing a number of design firms for design of their new Lehi, Utah campus Adobe tapped Rapt Studio, the award winning design studio behind projects for companies such as The North Face, Salesforce.com and SAP for the job.

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel
Architect: WRNS Studio
Interior Architect: Rapt Studio
Associate Architect: GSBS Architects
Landscape Architect: Wallace Roberts & Todd

Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio described the selection process and how the project evolved to encompass other components, “Rapt was one of the contenders competing for the Interior Architecture scope of the project and was selected for this role. Rapt then worked with Adobe to assist in the selection of the base building architect, assuring that the team was one that would work collaboratively together, developing a design that would hinge on the connection of Adobe’s brand to each and everyone that came into the building. The scope grew to include all environmental graphics, internal brand strategy, signage and way finding etc.”

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Still, tackling design of a 280,000 square foot space seems like quite an undertaking, but as Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio told us the real challenge was capturing the brand’s multifaceted, explaining “The main challenge was to generate a design that expressed the 30 year old tech giant’s brand and culture in a way that could easily be experienced by the staff—in a way that was more meaningful than the framing of the latest CS version’s artwork.”

Coming up with a concept beyond the obvious can sometimes be difficult even for seasoned pros. We asked Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio if they could tell us a bit about their concept and how it came about, “The concept for the design of the building is “Connection”. Adobe develops software and services that allows the creative community to explore and deliver content that is unparalleled and to measure and analyze how their clients are connecting to that content. Rapt Studio set out to develop a design for the space that reminded the inhabitants that innovation and creativity might just require rules to be broken, that innovation comes in many forms and many fields and that design surrounds us where ever we go.”

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Features like murals by world-renowned street artist El Mac and tattoo artist Mike Giant, an employee café, full NBA-sized indoor basketball court, a game room named “The Bunker,” a fully equipped gym, and interactive artwork inspired by Adobe’s products support the concept of connection while lending an aura of excitement, playfulness and creative promise to the space, which is captured in this highlight video in addition to the images included in this article. Open spaces are punctuated with more intimate areas for meeting and collaboration while floor to ceiling glass walls fill the space with warm light. Personal favorite touches are the Pantone swatch cubicle walls, the constellation of data adorning a wall in the employee café and typography murals.

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Describing the resulting design Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio said “The result is a space that is an immersive experience, allowing conference room names and imagery to highlight famous innovators, affording moments throughout the building expressing the beauty that is fostered by the use of Adobe software, featuring the kinds of illustrative moments that were typically kept behind closed doors for customer eyes only throughout the building for each of the staff to see and understand. The building has become a primer in Adobe brand and culture, connecting the staff to the brand and ultimately to the customer in a deep and meaningful way.”

Weston Colton and Eric Laignel

Asked how similar the Adobe project was to projects Rapt has done in the past. Cory Sistrunk, Principal at Rapt Studio described how Rapt drew on their extensive experience on projects of similar scale and scope for comparable clients, saying “Rapt has developed a practice over the years that has delivered fully immersive environments for many clients such as VANS, The North Face, Google, Apple and Sony PlayStation—environments that stingily hinge on the deep expression of brand and culture. This project is truly a textbook case for the power of Rapt’s connective design methodology—providing the measurement and analysis of the alignment between an organization’s culture and it’s brand, allowing Rapt to design deep and meaningful connections between the employee and the culture and the brand and their customer—this ultimately allows the employee to be connected to the customer and for all to know why the brand matters and why they should be a part of it.”

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