Design Excellence Awards
Large Corporate Design Excellence Award
Presented to Gensler
Hilti North America Headquarters
The design of Hilti North America’s corporate headquarters is driven by a comprehensive and innovative integration of Hilti’s products. Not only was the entire office, comprised of floors 9 through 11, built exclusively with Hilti construction tools, modified Hilti products were woven into the architecture of the space. Over 26,000 products were used in the design and build of the space – all intended to generate and showcase a pride in the product and the people who design, create, and market it. In the CEO’s words, “Our new North America Corporate Headquarters puts strong emphasis on two things we believe consistently sets Hilti apart – our people and our products.”
Transcending superficial branding elements, this project embeds Hilti’s products within the architecture and boldly weaves the signature red as a connective element through circulation routes and collaboration zones. It was integral to the project that the space reflect employee pride and experiential brand messaging. Due to the nature of Hilti’s business, there was a rare opportunity to incorporate and tangibly celebrate the client’s products within the architectural and environmental graphic design.
One of the most notable features includes the use of 488 Hilti concrete cutting saw blades in a Hilti red gradient wall that slowly reveals the logo as the wall is experienced from side to side. Located in the Innovation Gallery, an exhibition space on the tenth floor, the wall defines the area and uses two different angles to play with shadows and reflection – it is both a backdrop and an interactive feature. The Innovation Gallery showcases individual pieces as well as arrays of Hilti products on custom designed, reconfigurable display platforms. The dynamic lines of the abstract platforms illustrate the versatility of the company and its tools. Connecting the Innovation Gallery to the barista bar and café below, a signature staircase features a striking screen of 27’ long Hilti hammer drill bits.
The concept of a signature staircase is echoed in connecting the reception/café floor to the developers’ floor below. A screen composed of 179 Hilti diamond core bits forms a backdrop to an intimate enclosure and wood seating element, called the Pit. The developers’ floor, home to the R&D and tech department, is distinctly looser and more whimsical, befitting the more playful creative energy of the employees occupying it. The Garage, a breakroom featuring a slat wall, quirky and colorful seating, and semi-private booths, creates a space for informal gathering and socializing. Separating the Garage from the elevator lobby is a Gallery Corridor; designed and built by a collaborative team of 20 Hilti and Design Team employees, the feature showcases Hilti products as an art installation.
Additionally, key walls throughout the entire workplace reinforce the passion of the brand in artistic, memorable ways. Punchy red walls are bold backdrops to graphics of various rotating tool parts. The rotational aspect of the graphics symbolize the specific part’s breadth of movement and capability, and ties to an inspirational Hilti quote that reinforces an internal feeling of pride and community. Furthering this sense of communal connection, a signature wall features a mass graphic composed of 196 employee signatures, and illustrates Hilti’s sense of unity. One of the most creative elements includes the History Wall, in which the unique frequency of Hilti tools was used to map a dimensional sound wave. The feature both provides a framework of Hilti’s history, and presents another clever way to showcase Hilti’s innovations over time.