Designing the Modern Corporate Industrial Space
March 28, 2022
In recent years, INVISION has designed a growing number of cross-functional buildings that provide both educational and training areas along with separate space for vehicle, maintenance, and data storage among other uses. These projects present our team with the challenge of creating a refined and sophisticated space for a market sector with buildings that traditionally look and feel more like a factory or warehouse.
“Normally when we think of maintenance facilities and a classroom environment, we don’t think of the two being under the same roof. How do we bring together the ‘dirtiness’ of maintenance with the ‘cleanliness’ of education? It presents a fun opportunity for us,” said INVISION managing director and architect Brett Van Zee.
Northeast Iowa Community College
With student interest in industrial trades increasing at Northeast Iowa Community College, the college turned to INVISION to design a new 54,000 sq. ft. industrial technologies building. To help meet both the aesthetic and practical needs of NICC, a natural hillside within the campus landscape was incorporated into the design of the building. This allowed for the second floor of classrooms, student lounges and staff offices to face the campus and overlook an outdoor learning lab.
Utilizing the hillside allowed for the upper level to become the focal point of the building while concealing the maintenance facility below. A 12-bay automotive shop and training labs for electronics, diesel, CNC machining, welding and heating and cooling mechanical systems can be found on the ground level. The vehicle and pedestrian entrances are located on the back of the building, hidden from public view.
“To put it very simply, the ultimate goal was to create a space where teaching and learning could occur in the most appropriate way,” said former NICC President Dr. Liang Wee.
Dallas County Training Center for Excellence
Nestled in rural Iowa outside the quiet town of Adel sits the 143,000 sq. ft. Dallas County Training Center for Excellence building. Designed to make a statement for the client, the building serves as the company-wide training grounds for a wide range of electrical and gas delivery programs.
“We worked diligently with our client to produce a state-of-the-art facility. They allowed us to use our creativity to really think outside the box for this project,” said senior associate and architect Jason DeVries.
Utilization of space was a main driver throughout the design, helping to keep the project on budget while maximizing facility space. Exact dimensions were specified by the client, including a 50-foot clearance in the pole training arena for training on single-phase and three-phase overhead power lines.
The design of the Dallas County Training Center for Excellence allows for viewing portals into every lab and training arena. Corporate branding laid out throughout the building reminds employees of the company’s core values.
“These types of facilities have a lot of unique needs,” said Van Zee. “Creating a space that is both functional and beautiful can be a daunting task, but if executed correctly it can be an artistic architectural solution that serves the company for decades to come.”
We’re Ready to Deliver
As large industrial projects continue to break ground around the metro, INVISION is well-positioned to help meet the end goals of the client. With tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft now established in the area and local companies doubling down on their local roots, the future of the corporate industrial market sector is brimming with potential. Whether that’s a manufacturing facility, service center or training facility, INVISION has the talent and design process needed to make your plans become reality.
“We’re really excited about how quickly the corporate industrial market has taken off and what the future has in store,” said DeVries. “It’s possible to make these warehouses and service centers visually appealing to the public. Look what we’ve done with NICC and the Dallas County Training Center. It can be accomplished.”