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05/01/2010

Healthy ‘Workstyle’

HOK Los Angeles created a visual tribute to Herbalife’s healthy lifestyle products, culture and brand in a breathtaking executive center that’s a mecca for independent distributors from around the world.

By Carol Tisch | Photography by Benny Chan/Fotoworks

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork1.jpg

    The dramatic two-story reception area features colored LED lights that illuminate the leaf-shaped conference tower. View larger

  • A custom glass logo affixed to a wall of line chiseled stone tile from Stone Source is a major focal point in the reception-level elevator lobby.

    A custom glass logo affixed to a wall of line chiseled stone tile from Stone Source is a major focal point in the reception-level elevator lobby.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork2.jpg

    A custom glass logo affixed to a wall of line chiseled stone tile from Stone Source is a major focal point in the reception-level elevator lobby. View larger

    A custom glass logo affixed to a wall of line chiseled stone tile from Stone Source is a major focal point in the reception-level elevator lobby.
  • A custom, backlit lacquered MDF ceiling logo crowns the stainless steel and glass staircase.

    A custom, backlit lacquered MDF ceiling logo crowns the stainless steel and glass staircase.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork3.jpg

    A custom, backlit lacquered MDF ceiling logo crowns the stainless steel and glass staircase. View larger

    A custom, backlit lacquered MDF ceiling logo crowns the stainless steel and glass staircase.
  • HOK designed all freestanding product displays and achievement wall displays with fabricator John Bishop 3D Studio.

    HOK designed all freestanding product displays and achievement wall displays with fabricator John Bishop 3D Studio.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork4.jpg

    HOK designed all freestanding product displays and achievement wall displays with fabricator John Bishop 3D Studio. View larger

    HOK designed all freestanding product displays and achievement wall displays with fabricator John Bishop 3D Studio.
  • The CEO office suite is divided into work, lounge and dressing areas.

    The CEO office suite is divided into work, lounge and dressing areas.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork5.jpg

    The CEO office suite is divided into work, lounge and dressing areas. View larger

    The CEO office suite is divided into work, lounge and dressing areas.
  • A custom marble table and Haworth conference chairs are supplemented with banquettes covered in Knoll and Luna fabrics.

    A custom marble table and Haworth conference chairs are supplemented with banquettes covered in Knoll and Luna fabrics.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork6.jpg

    A custom marble table and Haworth conference chairs are supplemented with banquettes covered in Knoll and Luna fabrics. View larger

    A custom marble table and Haworth conference chairs are supplemented with banquettes covered in Knoll and Luna fabrics.
  • Herbalife’s wholesome visual identity extends to the white laminate, stainless steel and glass lunchroom.

    Herbalife’s wholesome visual identity extends to the white laminate, stainless steel and glass lunchroom.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork7.jpg

    Herbalife’s wholesome visual identity extends to the white laminate, stainless steel and glass lunchroom. View larger

    Herbalife’s wholesome visual identity extends to the white laminate, stainless steel and glass lunchroom.
  • The informal conference room has custom Martin Brattrud banquettes curved along the leaf tower wall.

    The informal conference room has custom Martin Brattrud banquettes curved along the leaf tower wall.

    /Portals/3/images/magazine/0510/I_0510_HealthyWork8.jpg

    The informal conference room has custom Martin Brattrud banquettes curved along the leaf tower wall. View larger

    The informal conference room has custom Martin Brattrud banquettes curved along the leaf tower wall.

SOURCES | CONTACT

Decades before the concept of a mobile workforce became mainstream 21st century reality, Herbalife designed its business model around a sales team of self-employed, self-motivated entrepreneurs. Thirty years later, with annual sales of $2.3 billion and a network of 1.9 million independent distributors worldwide, the company welcomes its telecommuting road warriors to an awe-inspiring “office” that isn’t virtual at all.

Herbalife’s new 65,000-square-foot executive headquarters in downtown Los Angeles is a dynamic LEED®-CI showplace specifically built to articulate the company’s culture and vision. “The offices were designed as a destination for our distributors around the world. Many come from small towns, and think of L.A. as one of the world’s most exciting cities, so the prospect of a trip to our main office is thrilling,” explains George Fischer, VP, worldwide corporate communications for Herbalife Ltd.

A big attraction for distributors is the headquarters’ location in the epicenter of L.A. Live, a 4 million-square-foot downtown revitalization project replete with the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre, Ritz-Carlton hotel and residences, hip restaurants, television and radio studios, and even the Grammy Museum. “Our distributors come to L.A. Live, which is awesome in itself, and then they walk into our offices and see what they are a part of: a global company in a beautifully-designed headquarters—it’s a terrific feeling,” says Fischer.

With fitness and sports culture embedded in its DNA, Herbalife is a world nutrition leader whose vast assortment of products offers healthy alternatives to weight loss, energy enhancement, muscle building, and more. “Their mission is to make the dream of a healthy, prosperous lifestyle come true,” says Clay Pendergrast, senior vice president of HOK, and interior design director for the firm’s Los Angeles office, which handled interior architecture, design and LEED stewardship for the project.

“Herbalife wants to change people’s lives in two aspects: they want to improve people’s health with their products; and they want to offer successful distributors very financially rewarding careers,” explains Pendergrast. Indeed, the company’s two-fold mission inspired HOK’s “dream catcher” design theme for the two-story space. Everything about the design is meant to encourage visitors to achieve their personal goals of health and financial independence.

The size and scope of the company is driven home as soon as visitors enter the lobby. The reception desk is faced with a backlit glass world map marking each distribution point in Herbalife’s global network. A sweeping curved steel and glass staircase leads to the upper executive level, visually representing “The Steps to Success,” Herbalife’s distributor rewards program. Directly above the staircase is an ethereal-looking rendition of the company’s logo, fabricated in lacquered white MDF and encircled with concealed lighting to create a halo effect.

Another jaw-dropper is the 5,000-foot, two-story conference tower smack in the center of the space. Literally constructed in an extruded leaf shape inspired by Herbalife’s three-leaf logo, it houses casual meeting rooms on the lower level and formal conference rooms as well as executive offices on the second story. The structure is enclosed on one side with clear glass for access to urban views and natural daylight. The opposite side is comprised of frosted white glass ramped up with color-changing LED lights for a bit of Hollywood drama.

“We are really trying to completely inculcate the visitor in the spirit, the mission and the accomplishments of Herbalife, so this unconventionally shaped tower adds to the overall impact and impressiveness,” notes Pendergrast. While corporate branding is deftly integrated throughout the offices, nowhere is it as symbolic than in HOK’s interpretation of a Native American dream catcher, which is carved into the gypsum board ceiling around the upper level of the conference tower.

“The ceiling design reinforces the concept that Herbalife is a dream catcher for its distributors and customers,” adds Pendergrast. And just like the Native American icon’s classic web within a circle design, with trinkets attached at strategic points, HOK’s “web” is an abstraction of the leaf motif repeated in a circular pattern. Here, the “trinkets” are Louis Poulsen light fixtures, highlighting points where the leaves meet the outer circle.

Fischer states that the headquarters is as much a marketing tool as it is a showplace. “The first floor of the reception area tells the Herbalife story, with displays describing our company history, distributor sales rankings and awards. As soon as our distributors walk in, they realize the design is all about them—there’s a lot of recognition built in. The displays also show what they earn as they move up the marketing plan, so it’s aspirational as well,” he explains.

HOK’s assignment was to create a veritable Herbalife museum, in effect curating the company’s products, sports endorsements, reward structure and charitable and social programs in a compelling way. The challenge, says Pendergrast, was to organize Herbalife’s hundreds of products and diverse story with flexibility built into the displays. The beautiful Italian fixtures specified and custom presentation designs meet the client’s need to change out and expand exhibits.

“If ever there were a question as to whether design can help increase business, this is a good example. A lot of people think of design as just overhead. Sure we want to convey a certain measure of success with our offices. But this was really about inspiring people and telling a story, because if we can inspire the distributors who are already members of the Herbalife team, and inspire visitors—such as recent college graduates—that Herbalife is a very viable business to get into, then our design does help increase the client’s business,” says Pendergrast.

One glimpse of HOK’s custom-designed furniture for chairman and CEO Michael O. Johnson’s office suite leaves no doubt about the viability of Herbalife’s business. The design epitomizes Johnson’s vision, with light maple veneer wall panels, and dark Brazilian cherry floors with Karastan carpet insets, setting off classic modern furniture. “In describing his ideal office, he said he wanted one surprising red object, so we did the large [red] ottoman/coffee table from Martin Brattrud in Edelman leather,” notes Pendergrast.

Herbalife at L.A. Live—HOK’s 50th project to be LEED certified—was designed to minimize the company’s carbon footprint by incorporating sustainable finishes, energy-efficient lighting, and access to natural light throughout. “We have a Live Green program, and LEED certification was part of the company’s commitment to the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” explains Fischer. “It’s a big honor for us to achieve LEED-CI in keeping with the corporation’s mission of promoting sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. And it makes our distributors proud to see that we’ve done our part—that we’re not just talking and we actually took the extra effort to achieve this.”

Carol Tisch is a freelance writer, editor and marketing consultant based in Sarasota, FL. She was formerly editor-in-chief of Shelter Interiors magazine and Home Furnishings News (HFN), and has developed communications programs for commercial and residential design industry clients. She can be reached at tischcomm@aol.com.

 

SOURCES:
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FLOORING

CARPET
Constantine | 8
(800) 308-4344


RUG INSETS
Karastan
(800) 234-1120


SHEET VINYL
Lonseal | 10
(800) 832-7111


TERRAZZO
Corradini Corp.
(800) 782-9252


WOOD
LV Wood Floors | 5

(800) 381-9534


FURNITURE

Herman Miller
(616) 654-3000

Knoll | 9
(800) 343-5665


CUSTOM STONE TABLES
ARK
(888) 241-7100


SEATING
Allermuir | 12

Bernhardt Design | 11
(828) 758-9811

Haworth
(616) 393-3000

Martin Brattrud | 7
(323) 770-4171


LIGHTING

CEILING ACCENTS
Louis Poulsen Lighting
(954) 349-2525

SELUX


TABLE LAMPS Holly Hunt
(800) 320-3145


SURFACING

ACOUSTICAL CEILING TILE
USG | 4
(800) 950-3839


ACRYLIC SCREEN
Knoll
(866) 565-5858


COUNTERTOPS
DuPont Corian
(800) 436-6072

TriStone & Tile | 6
(818) 997-9200


GLASS/GLASS STUDIO PANELS
Pulp Studio | 1
(310) 815-4999

Rountree Glass Co.
(818) 246-1785


LOBBY STAIR FABRICATION & MATERIALS
Washington Iron Works | 3
(310) 327-8660


MILLWORK/ CABINETRY AM Cabinets | 2
(310) 532-1919


PLASTIC LAMINATE
ABET LAMINATI
(800) 228-2238


TILE
Ann Sacks
(800) 278-8453

Stone Source


TEXTILES

UPHOLSTERY
Edelman Leather
(860) 350-9600

KnollTextiles
(866) 565-5858


WALL PANELS
Designtex
(800) 221-1540

Luna Textiles
(415) 252-7125

Maharam
(800) 645-3943


CONTACT:
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CLIENT

HERBALIFE INTERNATIONAL OF AMERICA INC.
P.O. Box 80210
Los Angeles, CA 90080-0210

PROJECT TEAM

ARCHITECTURE + INTERIOR DESIGN
HOK-Los Angeles
9530 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 838-9555

Susan Grossinger, LEED AP, senior vice president, principal-in-charge

Brett Shwery, CID, LEED AP, senior vice president, project manager

Pam Light, FIIDA, LEED AP, senior vice president, design principal/sr. programmer

Clay Pendergrast, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, senior vice president, senior designer

Pam Juba, CID, IIDA, LEED AP, associate, project designer

Lori Selcer, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, senior associate, LEED expert

 

CLIENT PROJECT REPRESENTATIVE
Debbie Lengele, LEED AP
Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.

IT DESIGN SPECIALIST
Jean Kennedy, Genetrix, Inc.

LIGHTING DESIGNER
Kaplan Ghering McCarroll

GENERAL CONTRCTOR Environmental Contracting Corporation

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING
John A. Martin and Associates

MEP ENGINEERING
ARC

SIGNAGE
John Bishop 3D Studio

PHOTOGRAPHER
Benny Chan/Fotoworks

 

 

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