As the days grow shorter and colder, work on the outside of our Franklinton, Ohio campus is winding down — that is for our first building, at least (activity, both inside and out, on our second building is still roaring). While it’s partially because the seasons are transitioning from fall into winter, it’s also because we’ve achieved remarkable progress on the exterior of this special place we’ll call home in 2021.
In this campus update, we celebrate the progression of our campus development from the perspective of where it all started — the outside. Get up to speed on the work done so far while learning what inspired the timing, location and design of our project.
Walls of glass now cover the exterior of our first campus building. The glazing, in its dark green and blue hue, was painstakingly selected. Sun studies were conducted to make sure just the right amount of natural light enters the building. Together, these factors ease our reliance on artificial light inside the building and contribute to our sustainability and wellbeing goals.
Beyond allowing light into the space, we chose to use glass throughout our campus as a nod to our culture and the relationship we intend to have with our community. Glass is a signal of transparency, a key component of our culture. It also serves as an invitation to our staff and our community — and helps the building come alive by allowing individuals to see inside.
The four-story, 218,000-square-foot, mid-rise structure tapers in height from the tallest point on the west end of the first building to a lower height on the east. Its position was chosen in part by the unique dimensions of the plot of land that borders I-670 on the north, McKinley Avenue to the south and our neighbors at the easily recognizable Orange Barrel Media building on the east.
Immediately to the south of building one, its counterpart is beginning to rise. The two-building composition was initially chosen to allow our campus to expand along with our company. But, our rapid growth accelerated our investment in building two, scheduled to open in the summer of 2022.
The second building will also be four stories tall, but with an oppositely sloped roofline. The space in between the two buildings will eventually become an outdoor terrace and workspace with two skybridges that connect our buildings and our staff. Staircases on the exterior of both buildings will filter down to this space, offering our employees quick access to the outdoors (and some incredible views of the downtown Columbus skyline).
“A big driver for the design and placement of our campus was being able to access the outdoors. The plot of land in Franklinton offered us that ability and is what made the location so attractive to us.” - Lars Johansson, director of campus operations
“A big driver for the design and placement of our campus was being able to access the outdoors,” said Lars Johansson, director of campus operations. “The plot of land in Franklinton offered us that ability and is what made the location so attractive to us.”
Each detail of our campus was intentionally designed. Easy access to the outdoors at the site of our 12-acre Franklinton facility helps us achieve our wellness goals and gives our employees even more flexibility with their work environment. All of our outdoor space is wi-fi enabled, meaning our employees can work or host a team meeting just about anywhere.
If our employees need a quick screen break to clear their mind — hey, that works too. That’s what our fitness trail is all about. The five-eighths of a mile circuit, which will open at the time our second building is complete, meanders around the perimeter of our campus and through our backyard. A short jaunt leads down to the banks of the Scioto River where our staff can grab a kayak and go for a paddle toward downtown for a unique vantage of the city.
In the backyard, a half-basketball court is taking shape, walking paths are laid out and space reserved for a dog park. A plot that will become our produce garden will be sown in the spring.
Landscaping is also going in. Crews are beginning to plant a few hardy specimens over the next few weeks. The remainder of the flora is on the schedule to be planted next spring.
Native species, including sycamore, oak, maple and locust trees, are featured throughout the greenspace. Lower to the ground, carpet-like Japanese forest grass forms borders while juniper, switch grass and lilyturf make up the understory planting. These plants thrive in shady environments under the canopies of tall trees.
“We were intentional in selecting plants that support sustainability and are appropriate for our Midwest climate, while also considering species that speak to heritage and history,” said Chrissy Hand, vice president of marketing, communications and operations. “Sycamores and oaks are two species of trees with incredible longevity, and we’re building in a historic and resilient part of the city. We intend to grow and thrive with the Franklinton community, just like the trees we’re planting. We were also specific in selecting evergreen plantings for some areas of campus to add year-round interest and to help soften the sound from nearby I-670.”
During the summer months, perennials, including hydrangeas, coneflower and sweet spire add visual interest. In the winter, red twig dogwoods provide a pop of color while arborvitaes, spruce and pine trees maintain greenery and help define spaces.
Our campus is still an active construction site — and will be until our second building is complete in the summer of 2022. But a few finishing touches, such as grass, planting of sensitive plants and mulch, will come in the spring. After the last frost, we’ll also install another major “green” element of our campus — our rooftop solar array. Situated on the roof of building one, it’ll provide 500 KW of renewable energy to our campus.
In just a few weeks, we’ll reach another milestone. Proudly putting our company letters on the west facade. At five feet, five inches tall, each letter will be visible as people drive by — day or night. To make sure of that, special LEDs tucked away inside precisely match the orange and magenta of our logo.
We can’t wait to call Franklinton home and share our campus with the community. Learn more about the intentionality of the design and how our staff and our neighbors influenced our campus by exploring our interactive website.