Contract - January/February 2015 - 72

interiors awards

adaptive reuse

Lowe Campbell Ewald

Client
Lowe Campbell Ewald

Location
Detroit

Neumann/Smith Architecture

L
In choosing
to retain the
found state of the
existing structure,
the design team
created a vibrant
dialogue between
new and old,
reinforcing the grit
and decay of this
building's urban
location. This
project is emblematic
of a city that is
embracing adaptive
reuse as a means
to reinvent itself.
jury

By Jean Nayar
Photography by
Justin Maconochie
72

owe Campbell Ewald, a 103-year-old global
advertising agency and a pivotal player in Detroit's
recent resurgence, opted to move its headquarters
from a 25-year-old suburban office building to a
downtown warehouse last year, joining a broader-based
influx of startups and creative firms in a revival of older
buildings near the city's core. In doing so, the company
not only elevated and transformed the way its 500
employees do business, but it also reinforced the creative
sector's role as a powerful economic engine for the city.
And its new headquarters, designed by Detroit-based
Neumann/Smith Architecture, stands as a vibrant
emblem of Detroit's emerging urban revolution.
Located in the former J.L. Hudson Co. building,
a 1920s structure connected to Ford Field-home of
the Detroit Lions football team-Lowe Campbell Ewald's
new 122,000-square-foot headquarters is stellar on
multiple levels. Its energetic spaces superbly reflect
the creative nature of the company's business.
Additionally, the new headquarters sets a precedent
for repurposing long-vacant buildings in Detroit by
highlighting more current notions of adaptive reuse
and sustainability-embracing the raw, gritty nature
of the city and the structure.
After thoroughly exploring designs of other
contemporary workplace interiors, Lowe Campbell
Ewald's firm leaders had a clear view of the kind of space
they wanted. "They knew they wanted open offices with
character," says Jaimelyn Neher, a project architect
with Neumann/Smith. Upon seeing the old warehouse
building for the first time, she says the Lowe Campbell
Ewald team fell in love with the exposed bones of the
structure, as well as a central atrium space that had
been carved out of the building during a thwarted
attempt to redevelop it as a hotel. The building also
featured expansive floor plates and raw qualities that
the ad agency desired for its new office. So, with the aid
of various city tax incentives and grants, Lowe Campbell
Ewald took the leap and invested $15 million on its own
to turn five floors of the eight-story building into a
modern urban workspace.

To establish the aesthetic foundation for the
design, the architects started by exposing even more
of the building's structural systems including clay tile,
board-formed concrete, and steel deck ceilings. The
original concrete floors were ground, polished, and largely
left exposed. With the shell exposed, the designers
creatively integrated recycled materials such as wooden
pallets, electrical conduits, and 500 locally salvaged
wood doors to add rich texture and help define both open
office areas and various meeting spaces.
Lowe Campbell Ewald wanted an office that would
encourage the cross-pollination of ideas between teams
in open workspaces. To achieve this, the architects
specified flexible benching systems in the open work
areas, and introduced more than 100 hospitalityinspired conference spaces, which range from small
breakout areas with comfortable seating to more
expansive pitch rooms with sophisticated high-tech
equipment and plenty of pinnable and writable surfaces
for presentations. Around the atrium, bleacher platform
seating equipped with outlets offers a place for casual
work conversations, while two unique "treehouse"
spaces-suspended in corners from the ceiling and
accessed via ship ladders-offer tucked-away zones
for focused ideation sessions.
Jari Auger, who is both chief financial officer and
chief operating officer at Lowe Campbell Ewald, says the
efficiency of the new headquarters has also yielded an
extra payback. After the firm moved into the new space
in 2014, she says the company reduced its footprint by
a third and electricity by two thirds. "We've realized
significant savings with lower real estate costs and
LED lighting," Auger says, adding that clients are also
"wowed" by the new space. "They'd rather have
meetings at our building than theirs." c

contractdesign.com 	

january | february 2015


http://www.contractdesign.com

Contract - January/February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January/February 2015

Contents
Editorial
Industry News
Columnist: Moving Practice Beyond Analog
Product Focus: A Family Affair
Product Briefs: Flooring, Seating, Textiles, and Wallcoverings
Designer of the Year
Legend Award
Annual Interiors Awards
Adaptive Reuse
Education
Entertainment
Healthcare
Historic Restoration
Hotel
Office: Large
Office: Small
Public/Civic
Restaurant
Retail
Sports
Student
Designers Select: Lighting
Sources
Ad Index
Installation: A Journey Through Austria Depicted on Screens
Contract - January/February 2015 - Intro
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Contract - January/February 2015 - 1
Contract - January/February 2015 - 2
Contract - January/February 2015 - 3
Contract - January/February 2015 - Contents
Contract - January/February 2015 - 5
Contract - January/February 2015 - 6
Contract - January/February 2015 - 7
Contract - January/February 2015 - 8
Contract - January/February 2015 - 9
Contract - January/February 2015 - 10
Contract - January/February 2015 - 11
Contract - January/February 2015 - 12
Contract - January/February 2015 - 13
Contract - January/February 2015 - 14
Contract - January/February 2015 - 15
Contract - January/February 2015 - 16
Contract - January/February 2015 - 17
Contract - January/February 2015 - Editorial
Contract - January/February 2015 - 19
Contract - January/February 2015 - 20
Contract - January/February 2015 - 21
Contract - January/February 2015 - Industry News
Contract - January/February 2015 - 23
Contract - January/February 2015 - 24
Contract - January/February 2015 - 25
Contract - January/February 2015 - 26
Contract - January/February 2015 - 27
Contract - January/February 2015 - Columnist: Moving Practice Beyond Analog
Contract - January/February 2015 - 29
Contract - January/February 2015 - 30
Contract - January/February 2015 - 31
Contract - January/February 2015 - Product Focus: A Family Affair
Contract - January/February 2015 - 33
Contract - January/February 2015 - Product Briefs: Flooring, Seating, Textiles, and Wallcoverings
Contract - January/February 2015 - 35
Contract - January/February 2015 - 36
Contract - January/February 2015 - 37
Contract - January/February 2015 - 38
Contract - January/February 2015 - 39
Contract - January/February 2015 - Designer of the Year
Contract - January/February 2015 - 41
Contract - January/February 2015 - 42
Contract - January/February 2015 - 43
Contract - January/February 2015 - 44
Contract - January/February 2015 - 45
Contract - January/February 2015 - 46
Contract - January/February 2015 - 47
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Contract - January/February 2015 - 49
Contract - January/February 2015 - 50
Contract - January/February 2015 - 51
Contract - January/February 2015 - 52
Contract - January/February 2015 - 53
Contract - January/February 2015 - Legend Award
Contract - January/February 2015 - 55
Contract - January/February 2015 - 56
Contract - January/February 2015 - 57
Contract - January/February 2015 - 58
Contract - January/February 2015 - 59
Contract - January/February 2015 - 60
Contract - January/February 2015 - 61
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Contract - January/February 2015 - 67
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Contract - January/February 2015 - 69
Contract - January/February 2015 - Annual Interiors Awards
Contract - January/February 2015 - 71
Contract - January/February 2015 - Adaptive Reuse
Contract - January/February 2015 - 73
Contract - January/February 2015 - 74
Contract - January/February 2015 - 75
Contract - January/February 2015 - Education
Contract - January/February 2015 - 77
Contract - January/February 2015 - 78
Contract - January/February 2015 - 79
Contract - January/February 2015 - Entertainment
Contract - January/February 2015 - 81
Contract - January/February 2015 - 82
Contract - January/February 2015 - 83
Contract - January/February 2015 - Healthcare
Contract - January/February 2015 - 85
Contract - January/February 2015 - 86
Contract - January/February 2015 - 87
Contract - January/February 2015 - Historic Restoration
Contract - January/February 2015 - 89
Contract - January/February 2015 - 90
Contract - January/February 2015 - 91
Contract - January/February 2015 - Hotel
Contract - January/February 2015 - 93
Contract - January/February 2015 - 94
Contract - January/February 2015 - 95
Contract - January/February 2015 - Office: Large
Contract - January/February 2015 - 97
Contract - January/February 2015 - 98
Contract - January/February 2015 - 99
Contract - January/February 2015 - Office: Small
Contract - January/February 2015 - 101
Contract - January/February 2015 - 102
Contract - January/February 2015 - 103
Contract - January/February 2015 - Public/Civic
Contract - January/February 2015 - 105
Contract - January/February 2015 - 106
Contract - January/February 2015 - 107
Contract - January/February 2015 - Restaurant
Contract - January/February 2015 - 109
Contract - January/February 2015 - 110
Contract - January/February 2015 - 111
Contract - January/February 2015 - Retail
Contract - January/February 2015 - 113
Contract - January/February 2015 - 114
Contract - January/February 2015 - 115
Contract - January/February 2015 - Sports
Contract - January/February 2015 - 117
Contract - January/February 2015 - 118
Contract - January/February 2015 - 119
Contract - January/February 2015 - Student
Contract - January/February 2015 - 121
Contract - January/February 2015 - 122
Contract - January/February 2015 - 123
Contract - January/February 2015 - Designers Select: Lighting
Contract - January/February 2015 - 125
Contract - January/February 2015 - 126
Contract - January/February 2015 - 127
Contract - January/February 2015 - Sources
Contract - January/February 2015 - 129
Contract - January/February 2015 - 130
Contract - January/February 2015 - 131
Contract - January/February 2015 - 132
Contract - January/February 2015 - 133
Contract - January/February 2015 - 134
Contract - January/February 2015 - Ad Index
Contract - January/February 2015 - Installation: A Journey Through Austria Depicted on Screens
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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