Research and Development Center
The Bath & Body Works Research and Development Center houses a logistical wing of a major international beauty company. Pairing lab and office spaces with an experiential, new-wave café aligns design and business goals, but the cherry on top is a connecting, communicating stair that literally takes it to the next level.
To conceptualize a new workplace to accommodate research efforts, including laboratory spaces where products are formulated and administrative offices where programs are managed.
Through stakeholder engagement, surveys, and assessment, our design team determined that the highest priority for the project was to design an environment where all groups could be located close to each other with few barriers and increased connectivity. And to relocate this integrated effort away from the corporate home office thanks to its unique needs of the research and laboratory processes.
The new workplace is situated in a remote location from the home office but uses the same “kit of parts” that the parent organization uses for their typical workplace. This allows the environment to feel like an extension of the home office, with the same quality and accommodations.
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The relocation of this business unit has advanced wellness within the organization by breaking down the larger business units into manageable, smaller neighborhoods where there is more focus, less stress and more job satisfaction.
In surveys, individual contributors have cited this workplace as a marked improvement over their previous configuration because they have a place of their own and they are able to focus, collaborate, and quickly implement innovative initiatives.
This design was recognized with an AIA Ohio Honor Award in 2020. The jury noted the successful design elements that elevate the experience of the space.
“WSA is an extension of our facilities team. We love that about you guys!”
DAMIAN PETRESCU, AIA
A minimal glass partition connects the open office area to the testing laboratories, the distribution center, and beyond.
Layers of furniture options support the cross-functional teams' need for quick touch bases.
Large exterior windows were carved into the existing distribution center. The natural light transforms the laboratory experience and blends the roles of associates.
The café is organized around access. It is open and accessible throughout the day and is centralized within the work environment.
Refined detailing within the dining and break room elevates the overall experience.
Custom shelving acts as a privacy screen while displaying new products in development.
Casual break out spaces allow teams to find a private moment or space for small teams to gather and recharge.
Communicating stairs throughout the workspace easily connect teams and departments.
AIA OHIO HONOR AWARD WINNER