Second to None
Client: Lunch Box, LLC
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Size: 7,800 sf
Built in 1970, the King-Seeley Thermos Company Headquarters and Research Building evoked a strong, authentic mid-century feel, never having been renovated until 2018. Increasing openness and daylight penetration was critical to the success of this project, as was paying homage to the mid-century aesthetic. The challenge was to integrate the new interiors with the historical building elements to remain.
Second To None’s new workspace was designed from the center-out. The combination kitchen and break area lay at the heart of the building and is the first space viewed when entering from the primary employee entrance. It was intended to serve as a space to maximize chance interactions over the course of a workday. The kitchen island runs nearly the full depth of the space, offering users a respite from their desks as well as a place for informal gathering. Veneered panels add depth to the ceiling and flow through the vestibule, inviting employees into the space, while simple glass pendants add a measure of decorative sparkle. Sculptural screen walls provide delineation and a visual stop to the break area, without diminishing the airy, open qualities of the room.