Grande Cheese Home Office and Research Center
GRANDE CHEESE HOME OFFICE AND RESEARCH CENTER
Location: 250 Camelot Drive, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
Building size: 90,000 SF
Completion: August 2016
Grande’s goals were two-fold:
1. Showcase the scientific process and rigor required to create world-class cheese.
2. Create a new workplace paradigm that holistically addresses the needs of their associates and provides all the comforts of home.
The pinwheel-shaped plan is based on a typical Wisconsin dairy farm barn, composed of four wings around a centralized courtyard with a circulation spine connecting the wings. The interior design maintains a strong connection to natural light with views to the outside. The facility’s ground level exterior walls are constructed of regional stone, paying tribute to the heritage and tradition of the area. The upper levels are composed of Brazilian Garapa wood elements that cantilever outward, signifying innovation extending into the world in every direction. The green accent in the upstairs balcony railing reflects the lush green landscape. The interior and exterior are punctuated with stone fireplaces representing the hearth of the home, while numerous floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide sweeping views of the gardens, and orchards.
Grande has a 28 percent energy reduction compared to the baseline building and a 25 percent cost savings over ASHRAE standards.
The mechanical equipment utilized refrigerants that minimize building emissions that contribute to ozone depletion and climate change. The strategic use of shading devices assists with the reduction of heat gain during the summer, and the trench heating around the building perimeter reduces the heat loss and infiltration during the winter.
Project on track for LEED Gold certification.
The design provides many opportunities for the public and employees to test and taste the cheese products, either in an informal standing setting, or in a formal dining room. The formal dining room is strategically located adjacent to the Cheese Test Lab/Kitchen and Commercial Test Lab, which allows people to observe Grande’s chefs and technicians from the gallery corridor.
The goal of science on display is achieved through the angled wood graphic signage located between the windows of the lab. These signs illustrate the science of the cheese-making process. The lab windows provide ample opportunity for passersby to view the interior, while balancing the need for privacy and ensuring the researchers never feel they are in a “fish bowl.” The wood-like ceiling, paired with the green resin umbilical panels, create an inviting open lab. The panels flow down the walls between the exterior windows and double as a writable surface, which is not visible from the gallery corridor.
OFFICES AND AMENITIES
The goal for the office area is to reduce the number of private offices and create an open environment to maximize daylight and interaction. The facility has 30 collaboration areas, a health clinic, a fitness center, a library, a break room, a café and a massage room. These spaces work together to create a holistic workplace environment that addresses the body, mind and spirit.