Specializing in the construction and maintenance of power lines, electrical substations, cellular towers, natural gas utilities and telecommunications infrastructure, Kent Power provides inside electrical services for commercial and industrial customers.
Wanting a new headquarters that reflects their mission and contributes to the development of their employees, Kent Power consulted with Via Design for the architecture and interior design of a new office space. A major goal of the project was to shift from private offices to a collaborative environment, promoting an open and transparent new corporate culture.
The first change to be made to the Kent Power headquarters was location. Needing a space that allowed expansion and privacy, the team chose a beautiful property in Rockford on the Rogue River.
“Rockford was a natural fit for Kent Power given where employees are traveling from, the proximity to the highway, and just 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. The natural beauty was the key to drawing Kent Power to the area. It offers expansion for the building and parking lot, trees, privacy, and fantastic views," says Nathan Funk, project manager, designer & LEED AP with Via Design.
The Via team of Brian Barkwell, AIA, Nathan Funk, and Justin Stone developed the architecture, interior design, and master plan for the site. Via partnered with Custer and CLEO for furniture and technology. The collaborative design team provided furniture options that would allow for expansion and flexibility for future change and growth.
The architectural concept centered around creating a structure that is simple, yet tells a story about who Kent Power is and what they do. The design capitalizes on the views and natural beauty of the site.
Bringing elements of nature indoors was important to Kent Power and this was accomplished with substantial glass windows and the materials incorporated into the design. Via created an interesting contrast between the structural steel, concrete, and the warm wood slats and wood poles carried throughout the open spaces.
Private “touchdown” and enclave spaces were incorporated so that the Kent Power staff would have plenty of options depending on their task and acoustical privacy requirements. The break room, restrooms, and ancillary work areas were fitted with CLEO furniture for its aesthetic and mobility.
Wanting to enforce Kent Power’s branding, specific design selections were chosen; linear recessed lighting fixtures and carpet tiles featuring a red “surge” were selected to symbolize power; a wood cloud above the reception desk and feature walls using wood slats were installed. The wood was ripped from power poles Kent Power owned, and similar poles were utilized as a colonnade along the elevated bridge connecting the parking lot with the main entrance.
For more photos of this project, check out the project's installation page.