Renovation of Akron Operations Center
- Name: Renovation of Akron Operations Center
- Location: Akron, OH
- sector: Corporate,
- service: Architecture, Interior Design,
- status: Complete
- Size: 100,000 sq. ft.
To meet unprecedented growth and the needs of an evolving workforce, FirstMerit Bank first approached Domokur Architects to help them renovate and refresh the interior spaces of their Operations Center in Akron, Ohio. Three years later, Huntington Bank acquired the building through a merger with FirstMerit, and again asked us to make some changes to better reflect the company brand and their progressive working culture.
The companies had two main aspirations: to modernize the interior of the building to create a contemporary work environment, and to rebrand the space with the Huntington Bank identity. Huntington Bank was a truly design-aware client, and we enjoyed working with them on all aspects of the project including the layout, design, and material and finish selections. We also worked closely with Huntington to identify several key areas of the building that could be used more efficiently and purposefully, such as a renovated staff cafeteria and new fitness center.
The main task was to provide a more innovative and energetic space. We proposed a new open-plan, flexible workspace layout with clear circulation routes and collaboration spaces. The spaces were brightened with new color and lighting to inspire employees and promote their general wellbeing. The Huntington Bank brand was also strategically incorporated into the interior color palette through a careful finish and materials selection process. These products and colors helped define a more navigable, legible and inspirational interior space while simultaneously redefining the space as notably Huntington.
The floorplan layouts were redesigned to reduce the number of solid internal partitions and help brighten the building’s interior with more natural light. By using glazed, demountable partitions between office spaces we were able to achieve even lighter, more open-plan workspaces. Two complementary carpet tiles were integrated into the design, using color to differentiate office areas and circulation routes. In the cafeteria, we used a resilient flooring tile that was custom cut to match and transition into hexagonally shaped carpet tiles. Linear ceiling tile clouds were then aligned to the circulation carpet tiles, further helping users navigate the space more easily. The former data center was converted into a new fitness center and locker room facility while the underused staff cafeteria and conference spaces on the lower level were updated to feel more integrated into the design of the main level office areas. To improve the sustainability of the building’s operations, advanced mechanical and electrical controls were integrated throughout, and upgraded plumbing fixtures helped reduce overall water consumption. After multiple design projects and working across multiple phases with different contractors, we successfully delivered the renovated Operations Center to a very happy Huntington Bank in 2018.