Design

Published on April 21st, 2016 | by UC&D Magazine

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Zig-Zagg

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Stylish new corporate headquarters and flagship retail store illustrate just how far clients and designers are willing to push the T.I. envelope.

In many ways, it’s hard to tell if ZAGG’s recent $3 million headquarters build-out in Midvale is more a tenant improvement project or amazing recruiting tool for creatively cool people.

What other conclusion can one draw when the showcase design element of the project is what CEO Randy Hales glowingly refers to as the “Mosh Pit”?

The Mosh Pit is actually a tieredseating, amphitheater-like communicating stair that bridges the fourth and fifth floors, constituting ZAGG’s headquarters, which are housed in the five-story View at 72 Office Towers in Midvale. The words Mosh Pit, of course, conjure up a vision of sweaty bodies eagerly bouncing off one another in a tribe-like collision of synergy. It turns out that description pretty accurately describes what ZAGG – which develops protective coverings for electronics and hand-held devices among many other things – and its design team metaphorically envisioned for the space. Well, minus the sweat, anyway.

“We spent a lot of time with the designers and engineers to determine how we could open it up and make it as big as structurally possible,” said Hales. “The ability to pull all of our employees together for company meetings and updates has become an important part of our culture.”

When Hales uses the word “culture,” one might freely substitute the phrase “cool factor.” Hales noted that the entire office meets in the Mosh Pit for 30-minute meetings every other Thursday. These meetings, however, are probably quite different than those at a typical company.
“The meetings always start with very loud music reminiscent of a rock concert,” Hales said, noting that there’s definitely fun and games mixed in with plenty of goal-oriented work activity as well.

But the area’s greatest value, perhaps, stems from it being a natural everyday meeting place for employees to gather – whether for casual conversation, bouncing business ideas off each other or simply eating lunch. Hales said the area – which features a state-of-the-art sound system and pull down projection screen – has also broadcast sporting events (including the recent NCAA basketball tournament) as well as hosted Make-A-Wish Foundation activities.

“Because it’s next to our break area, it often becomes overflow seating during the busy lunch hour as a great place for employees to hang out and catch up,” Hales said. “In short, the Mosh Pit is the heart of our office.”

That was the exact intention from the start, said Robert Pinon, Vice President over commercial and municipal work for MHTN Architects in Salt Lake City, which not only designed ZAGG’s 50,000 SF headquarters, but also spearheaded the tenant improvement for the company’s new retail flagship store – located just across the street, kitty corner to the northeast of headquarters.

“One thing that we believe in as we design spaces is that sometimes the best meetings are the ones that are impromptu,” said Pinon. “The space uses a lot of white that gets highlighted with different colors in terms of these unique and noteworthy design features. We were able to incorporate different wall fabrics and different colors of felt to create unique environments and really show the brandthat ZAGG is. Their primary colors are the deep red and the yellow, and so we played off of that as well as the furniture to provide a branded environment that illustrates who Zagg is.”

Another key design element is that all of the offices – 18 in total – are positioned inward. This allows for a lot of extra daylight and helps take advantage of the surrounding views.

“There are no perimeter offices, so that employees have unobstructed views,” Hales said. “The views of the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains are truly amazing.”

Okland Construction in Salt Lake handled the nuts and bolts portion of the T.I.

“This was their first large construction project…it was fun to walk them through the process and to see their excitement as the space came together,” said Okland PM Zach Lewis. “We had a short time to procure and build the project,” he said of the roughly five-month project. “We overcame this by making sure every item being installed had a known delivery date and ensuring that the date fit within our schedule. We knew where everything was. That limited surprises.”

The flagship retail store build-out involved collaboration between ZAGG, MHTN and Zwick Construction of Midvale. According to Zwick representatives, the 1,955 SF project cost just under $269,000.

“This is ZAGG’s first company-owned retail location, and they deliberately located it across the street from their new corporate headquarters,” said Ryan Earle, Zwick PM. “Being in close proximity to various corporate departments is invaluable as they look to evaluate new products, and process and define the customer experience. Plus, it puts two highly visible ZAGG buildings in this new Midvale development, so it looks cool on the skyline, too.”

The flagship is a prototype retail store for ZAGG – and was designed in a way that it could be duplicated both nationally and internationally as the company continues to grow.

“This project was designed to define a procurement and construction process that can be easily replicated by other contractors across the country,” said Chris Knoles, Zwick’s Director of Marketing. “Great ideas made it off the drawing board, but were dismissed after the team evaluated the installation process and cost. On a typical T.I., you’re just following plans to spec and trying to turn out a quality job faster than the last time. But this T.I. project was unique.”

Earl said the design team took a typical retail canvas and made it more engaging by utilizing several high-end finishes, including natural wood veneer that wraps from the floor onto the ceiling and an acoustical system with recessed panels providing a lot of texture and contrast in the ceiling cloud.


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