Welcome to another exciting episode of our YouTube series AEC All-Stars. This time, we're thrilled to bring you an exclusive tour of Jellycat's North American office in the TractorWorks building of downtown Minneapolis. Join us as Jessica LeGare, the Founder and CEO of JL Commercial Services, as our guide.
The Back Story
Founded in 2011, Jellycat began its venture in a space of just under 3,000 square feet. Since then, Jellycat has experienced a rapid expansion, now occupying over 21,000 square feet. This growth can be attributed to a surge in sales and organic growth, captivating a wider audience with their products.
The company's success called for a significant renovation to accommodate this expansion. The primary objective was to create a workspace that not only catered to the growing number of employees but also foster an open and collaborative environment.
Through this renovation, Jellycat has successfully created an environment that not only meets the functional requirements of Jellycat's diverse team but also reflects the playful and innovative spirit of the brand.
This renovation is a testament to thoughtful design and creative expression. Jellycat's office not only showcases the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the space but creates an environment that's both inspiring and welcoming. Here's a glimpse into some of the most remarkable features of this vibrant space:
Graphic Lights: The tour starts with a visually captivating light graphic, comprising hundreds of light beads set behind glass, overlaid with graphic art. This impressive display strikes a delicate balance between film opacity and light transmission.
Plushie Showcases: As you enter the office, you're greeted by displays of Jellycat's plush products, bursting with color and character. These dynamic showcases allow for the regular rotation of products to reflect new lines and special editions, creating a boutique-like atmosphere.
Musical Alley: A standout feature is the round conference table, complemented by pink chairs and a matching pink carpet. This area is further enhanced by custom wall paneling, creating a harmonious and vibrant meeting space.
The Jellycat Way: Designed for collaborative meetings and global presentations, this area facilitates interaction with Jellycat's London and Shanghai offices, reflecting the company's inclusive and global culture.
Breakaway Spaces: Scattered throughout the office are various spaces for employees to step away from their desks, enjoy lunch, socialize, or engage in relaxing activities like puzzles, offering a much-needed respite in a creative setting.
Overcoming obstacles is a fundamental part of any renovation. For this project, one of the significant challenges encountered was a large rain leader, not indicated in the original as-built drawings. This unexpected element was precisely where the planned workspace furniture pack was intended to be placed. The discovery necessitated a swift and creative response. The project team reworked some of the furniture arrangements, incorporating custom modifications to effectively bridge the gap, ensuring that the space remained functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Another challenge lay in aligning the design elements, particularly the displays, with the vision of both Jellycat and HGA. These displays were crucial in reflecting the brand's identity and needed to be executed to perfection. The process involved meticulous coordination and a deep understanding of Jellycat's brand to ensure that every aspect of the design resonated with their unique style and character.
These challenges, though demanding, were met with resourcefulness and collaboration, ultimately contributing to the project's success. They highlight the importance of adaptability and problem-solving in bringing a vision to life, even in the face of unforeseen obstacles.
Leading the Jellycat office renovation project was a diverse and talented group of specialists. Each partner's contribution was vital in transforming Jellycat's office space:
Architectural and Design: HGA, steered by David Little and his team, provided expert support in architectural and design elements, crucial for aligning the space with Jellycat's unique brand identity.
Construction: Gardner Builders, with the leadership of Bert Westerman and Mitch Migler, played a key role in actualizing the vision, ensuring transparency and precision in the construction process.
Furniture: iSpace brought their expertise in furniture design, creating customized, functional, and aesthetically pleasing solutions.
Brand and Design Integration: Art Partners were instrumental in merging Jellycat's branding and vision with the physical space, adding vibrant and creative touches to the office environment.
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