Ferrero, the world’s second-largest chocolate and confectionery company, charged LJC with designing its first United States Innovation Center for their marketing and research and development (R&D) teams. This new office space fosters collaboration, creativity, and culture and creates greater team synergy. Ferrero’s offices and R&D lab now occupy the eighth and ninth floors of the historic 24 East Washington building, bringing together approximately 170 cross-functional team members.
The R&D labs are on the ninth floor, which features a large skylight from its original use as part of the Marshall Field’s department store. To meet sensitive temperature and humidity requirements for the R&D lab, a secondary lower skylight, known as a laylight, was added. The laylight acts as a thermal buffer from the exterior, allowing the R&D teams to maintain strict temperature requirements for their equipment and processes.
On the eighth floor, the workspace has been designed to be flexible, supporting different departments and workstyles. There is a variety of open and enclosed meeting spaces available, as well as focus and phone rooms for employees to choose how and where they work. Additionally, a central café on the eighth floor offers more collaborative space with integrated technology.
Both floors are located in the oldest portion of the building, requiring a deft touch to accommodate a state-of-the-art innovation center. The design team built upon the previous work done by Clayco and LJC when we transformed the top floors of the building from its department store roots to innovative office space.