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Manufacturing Campus Showcases Future-Proof Design

New Colorado facility is designed to attract and retain top millennial talent.

To preview the workplace of the future, a good place to visit is the Lincoln Avenue Campus of Woodward Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo.

Every aspect of the $250 million, 363,320-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility is designed to facilitate collaboration and communication. The open space design welcomes daylight and banishes walls. Staff are encouraged to roam and interact in an environment that “opens up the campus both internally and externally,” says Joe Gonzalez, FAIA, global director of design for Ghafari Associates, a Chicago-based international architectural and engineering firm and project architect.

Open Environment

The Lincoln Avenue Campus, which opened last June, is ambitious in scale and intent. The goal of Woodward’s senior leadership is to rebrand the $2 billion industrial-controls manufacturer with a millennial-friendly work environment. The Fort Collins campus workforce will ultimately total about 1,700.

“From the outset we wanted to develop an exterior palette that reflected Woodward’s thinking moving forward,” Gonzalez explains. “The idea of metal, translucent materials, and transparency were important in creating a more open quality. The idea of natural daylight was important too.”

Signature Look

The sleek, engineered metal took root not only for the external aesthetic but also throughout the interior. Metal cladding became a signature style that tied “the Woodward look” together inside and out.

“As you can see from the exteriors in various forms and textures, the use of metal was repeated not only in the manufacturing areas but also the office areas and common areas, like the cafeteria and conference spaces,” Gonzalez says. “It brought everyone together.

“The metals we used, particularly striated panels, offer a pleasing texture. We preferred multiple shades of silver. Silver reflects light well. Sometimes the metal is a medium silver. Sometimes a very light, almost white effect,” the award-winning designer adds.

Refined Aesthetic

To achieve the aesthetic, the Ghafari team specified nearly 100,000 square feet of CENTRIA insulated metal panels for exterior cladding, chiefly Formawall® Dimension Series® panels with a 3-inch polyisocyanurate foam-insulated core, rated as R-22. The Formawall panels were ordered in silver, pewter, and dark bronze colors combining striated and smooth finishes with a Fluorofinish® coating system (highly resistant to weathering, chalking, fading, dirt, stains, and chemical degradation).

“CENTRIA was the most competitive from a cost perspective and also very competitive from a quality, engineering, and sustainability standpoint,” Gonzalez reports. “We were looking for an air of refinement. CENTRIA brings a good product to the table.”

Adding to a spirit of refinement was sustainability. The campus is a showcase for green features such as locally-sourced wood, low-wattage LED lighting, daylight harvesting, occupancy-sensing lighting, high-efficiency glazing, a rooftop solar energy array, low-water fixtures, and landscaping. “We did not seek LEED® certification at the owner’s request. But the energy codes of Colorado, especially Fort Collins, are very stringent,” Gonzalez says.

One of Three

Gonzalez is pleased with the result. The Lincoln Avenue Campus is one of three Woodward facilities Ghafari designers have concurrently shepherded to delivery within the last several years.

“We’ve done three Woodward campuses more or less simultaneously over the course of four years,” Gonzalez says. “It’s been a great challenge to our firm and a good test of the excellent relationship.”

Woodward Lincoln Avenue Campus

Fort Collins, CO
Building Owner: Woodward, Inc.
Architect: Ghafari Associates
General Contractor: Mortenson
Dealer/Installer: Gen3 Construction

CENTRIA Products:

Formawall Dimension Series 3”-T; Silver; Striated; 52,221 square feet
Formawall Dimension Series 3”-T; Pewter; Smooth; 31,642 square feet
Formawall Dimension Series 3”-T; Dark Bronze; Smooth; 7,026 square feet
Formawall Dimension Series 3”-T; Pewter; Striated; 5,571 square feet
Formawall Dimension Series 3”-T; Silver; Smooth; 2,479 square feet
EcoScreen® Econolap; Silver; 2,174 square feet

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