Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Schreiber Foods, Inc.
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
The client is an employee-owned dairy processing company with over 7,000 global employees – an understated local company with global reach. Their business to business customers include major restaurant chains, independent restaurants and retail brands. The clients desired a building that would immerse this range of customers in a newly developing innovation and research platform while supporting the company’s rapid growth.
The 250,000 square foot space program includes customer co-creation labs, test kitchens, research labs, a pilot manufacturing plant, corporate offices and amenities for 900 employees. The project consolidates seven physical locations, and is intended to encourage collaboration and foster team driven customer solutions.The project creates a new south-facing urban square, an addition to a network squares master planned by 19th century planner James Doty. The new urban space is an invitation to the public for passive and active engagement and serves as an entry sequence for visitors, as well as the building’s foreground. The space routes pedestrians from east to west toward the river and its newly developing riverwalk. The street edge building terminates at the north in a triangular glass tower. At the scale of speeding cars on the State highway, the tower’s glowing lantern dynamically displays the bold colors of the client’s brand.
The building’s narrow shape bends to define edges on both the street and the new square. This bend forms a street corner and also announces the building entry. New streets conforming to the city’s lost grid reinforce the edge of the new square. The transparent and recessed ground floor, upper balconies and building massing contribute to rebuilding the city using timeless urban principles. A tall single-story volume containing the pilot plant & central utility plant connects the primary building to the mall’s former parking structure.
Regional limestone clads the exterior. While a reference to historical local buildings, its rainscreen detailing and large scale firmly plant the building in the future. A field of tall ribbon windows is interrupted by carefully placed, large openings that address urban conditions at the corners.
At the corner where the building bends, the plan divides into north and east wings creating small workgroup neighborhoods. This corner is anchored by two solid elements: a limestone elevator core and an amenities suite clad in sapele wood. Stone and wood are balanced by a central open stair, light in both mass and color. These elements, the center of collaborative work and social interactions, rise through the building. Washed in light, they are identifiable and visible from the street below. In the building wings, work spaces benefit from an atypically narrow building width. A 90’ building width was achieved by re-using the former mall’s foundations for 60% of the building. This narrow width coupled with internal offices and low workstations panels ensure daylight for all. The project achieved LEED Gold, version 2009.
The client’s wish to pronounce its innovation and research prowess informed the placement of these spaces on active edges in the building. On the ground floor customer co-creation spaces and research kitchens front the primary building circulation. These lively idea incubators open to the common circulation artery and the urban square beyond. Innovation labs overlook the cafeteria from the second floor and benefit from direct north daylight.
Photos: Darris Lee Harris Photography