Green is Gold
Meaghan O'Neill -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Jasper, Indiana, would not be a major landmark on the furniture-industry map—if it weren't for Kimball International. For more than half a century, this billion-dollar furniture and electronics company has been firmly rooted there, in a headquarters that directs operations in five countries on three continents.
The one-story 30,000-square-foot headquarters was dark and outdated before TVS Interiors took charge. "The nondescript exterior failed to reveal the facility's purpose as the nerve center of a dynamic company," principal Steve Clem says. So he replaced the facade's stucco and bronze-tinted glass with aluminum-composite panels and transparent glazing. He also tore down the existing porte cochere and built a monumental new one with a glass roof.
The mazelike interior had been "ineffective in communicating the Kimball brands and history," he continues. His new holistic approach "expresses Kimball in its entirety, including its high-tech side." In addition, the redesign reflects the company's diverse past, making TV cabinets in the 1950's and pianos up until 1996.
The bright entry features a curved, floating logo wall veneered in makoré, and the curve theme continues with the main corridor, which connects the entry, welcome center, and central lounge to showrooms. Along the wall of this serpentine route, a company time line unfolds in lenticular images.
As a manufacturer of several Greenguard-certified products, Kimball was keen to earn LEED commercial-interiors gold status. Clem achieved that goal by diverting an astonishing 99 percent of waste from landfills, adding skylights, specifying low-VOC and recycled materials, and optimizing energy performance. The next chapter in Kimball's time line will also be written in green: TVS is working on prospective LEED-certified showrooms in Chicago and New York.