COWI Office Renovation

COWI office renovation

COWI Office Renovation

Global Brand Identity Strengthened Through Sophisticated Office Design

COWI is a Danish Engineering firm that employs creative engineers who design notable bridge, tunnel and marine engineering structures throughout the world. Their COWI U.S. West Coast office, however, was a dated, cube-filled office space in downtown Oakland, California. They chose HDR to design a space for them that would effectively reflect their global brand identity.

Realizing their current space was both inefficient and lacked any corporate identity, they decided to relocate to a light and airy downtown Oakland space that, in its “shell” state, provided a blank canvas in design terms. COWI began working with HDR at an early pre-leasing stage to establish which of the available spaces on the market provided the maximum level of efficiency and flexibility. The 17th floor of 555 12th Street offered not only a convenient location for staff but a newer building with on-site amenities.

Our design solution for COWI’s space introduced to the Oakland team for the first time, an entire open office environment without private offices. A mix of conference, meeting, huddle and call rooms were equally distributed around the space to ensure that staff always had a place to meet. The previous enclosed break area was replaced with a “town hall” gathering space that includes flexible dining furniture and audiovisual projection for in house seminars.

A sophisticated accent blue and a careful use of orange reflects the company’s corporate identity. The colors are incorporated into walls and furniture, down to the smallest details and are punctuated further by wall graphics of Bay Area cityscapes and bridges reflecting the offices local culture and work. All rooms are further branded with global office location names and graphics, linking the Oakland office to its larger brand identity. Furniture was sourced and specified from the same Danish firm that worked on COWIs global headquarters, to ensure a consistency in look and feel of the firm’s brand.

COWI office renovation

Oakland, CA
United States

15,000 sf (1,340 m²)