Design Achievement - Cochlear, a company that has brought the gift of sound via hearing implants to thousands around the world, was in need of an updated North American Headquarters. They wanted a place reflective of their brand and culture, a place employees are proud to come to work, and a place recipients and visitors would be impressed with. After exploring multiple site options, Cochlear decided to renovate a five-floor, stand-alone building from 2001 south of downtown Denver. DLR Group’s design weaves the threads of everyone who walks into Cochlear’s doors – employees, recipients, scientists, investors, families – into one unique space for everyone to come together and thrive. Enlarged photographs of recipients hang on the walls of the open office corridors; reminding employees of the purpose behind their work. Going from an older, cubicle-heavy building with minimal amenities to this modern, open environment was a concern going into this project; employee happiness was a key metric for Cochlear in this renovation. Thus, several furniture pilots were pursued with a blend of various elements being chosen, and change management has been of paramount importance to ensure employees that their voices were heard.
Scope Summary - This 160,000-SF building is built for about 450 employees on day one, with room to grow up to 600 strong. Starting on the ground floor, a bright and branded lobby greets those who enter with a tasteful balance of wood for warmth with digital signage. An experience center – which includes a hologram of Cochlear’s Australia-based CEO – is to the left, while conference rooms, training rooms, sound booths, and laboratories are to the right. Further back on the first floor are the café, outdoor seating area, and fitness areas for employees. These are meant to encourage those working on floors above to come down and be part of their internal community. Each floor above contains open office seating with pops of Cochlear’s brand colors. The "woven" concept is highlighted vertically and horizontally on each floor via slat ceilings, colored stairwells, and seating layouts. DLR Group provided architecture, interior design, and engineering services, as well as landscape architecture, experiential graphic design, acoustics, and lighting design assistance.