For almost a decade the atrium in the 400 building of Kimberly Clark’s corporate campus in Roswell had been empty. Behaving more like a corporate canyon than a functional space, the atrium did little to promote the creative energy within this, Kimberly Clark’s R&D building, and for Kimberly Clark, creativity is critical. As the leading consumer products manufacturer, people all over the world count on Kimberly Clark for new ideas and better products.
As Kimberly Clark considered its neglected atrium, company leaders were inspired to do more than recarpet and add greenery. They decided, instead, to start over, to create a space that would ignite energy and cultivate a sense of community. Seeking a partner that had experience outside the world of corporate design and a partner with proven imagination, they reached out to ai3.
During the vision session with ai3, the notion of communal creativity evolved. Kimberly Clark needed a space that would inspire creative brilliance and allow folks to simply blow off steam. In fact, they didn’t really need an atrium; they needed a clubhouse. True to form, ai3 delivered a clubhouse and so much more.
Once an empty three-story cavern, the B400 atrium is now a modern-day camp with space to gather, retreat, or recharge the imagination. The space is equal parts clubhouse and hive, functioning as both a playful wilderness and a nerve center for the surrounding campus. The three stories are connected by a series of wood “ribs” from which green theatrical fabric is draped. Like the filtered light beneath a tree or the shelter of a screened porch, these whimsical structures diffuse light and provide privacy.
Elsewhere, along the back wall of the atrium is the working part of the hive, where clusters of work studios divide the space while allowing light to flow through. The “lodge” is cozy with deep reds and rich woods. ai3 designed this state-of-the-art war room to transform easily between communal and private work sessions. Above the lodge is the light and airy “Nest.” Set with playful furniture and weightless light fixtures, the loft is a bright and energetic space.
Outside these hive-like rooms, the atrium is more open and wild with green and brown carpet tiles reminiscent of a forest floor. And, as if this space was not enough like a Red Woods campground, a vintage Airstream trailer is part of the scene. Customized as a conference room, the Airstream is a playful reminder of the manufacturing heritage for which Kimberly Clark is known.
ai3’s design promotes working collaboration and collegial sharing. Amidst the simulated forest floor is a hearty firepit surrounded by colorful modern rocking chairs that encourage employees to gather and inspire light-hearted work sessions. Likewise, on the upper floors, existing landings have been restyled with a range of small and large tables to accommodate impromptu meetings, coffee breaks or casual chats. State of the art soda and coffee machines on the ground floor keep the activity level high.