September 2013 – Minneapolis, MN – Having outgrown the leased office space they had occupied since 2001, Great Clips, Inc., set out in search of a new spot and found what they were looking for two parking lots away on the unfinished 7th floor of the Two MarketPointe building. GCI chose to capitalize on the long-term relationship with Krech, O’Brien, Mueller and Associates (KOMA) by retaining them to provide full scope design service for the tenant improvement build out. Great Clips wanted to leave behind their sea of beige and was looking for a forward-thinking design built upon their recently launched branding and graphics campaign. KOMA designers Cindy Nagel and Alisha Osten sought inspiration from the floor to ceiling glass and the 360° panoramic views as well as the vibrant color palette of the GCI brand and the Relax design salon prototype.
Distilling the brand color palette down to five main colors, the design came to life; actual sails, graphics and the use of angles for the floorcovering and lighting were borrowed from the salons. “The five-color palette was key in the creation of a lively space; our objective was to have color visible from any view in the office,” explained Osten. “It not only added visual interest, it was functional as well – creating zones to help with way-finding.” Curves lead gently through the space creating a tour of historical elements – a floor-to-ceiling, larger-than-life enlarged photo depicting the waiting line at the opening of the first franchised Great Clips salon, and framed pieces from the mural created during the 30th anniversary convention held in 2012.
The design also incorporated a fitness and wellness plan; each workspace received an electronic adjustable-height work surface. Conferencing and collaborating spaces equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual systems were centralized, encouraging staff to get up from their work area and walk. Visibly central is the Great Day Café, large enough to host all-staff meetings and the central gathering destination for all things food-related; a vital component of the Great Clips corporate culture.
“Most any architectural or design firm could create an office design that would be innovative, modern and ergonomically correct. You could even bypass the entire professional involvement and just use the furniture vendors to create a design. However, if you want to create a space that truly reflects the essence of the organization, not just the brand, but something that ties everything together, then you have to have an entity that knows your organization inside and out. Some may say that relationships are no longer important in the business world but when it comes to understanding something as complex as most any corporate entity can be, I think they are a critical factor,” explains Tom Schuenke of Great Clips. “Our project would not have had the success it did if it weren’t for the relationship we have enjoyed with KOMA for the past 15 to 20 years. Their understanding of us was reflected in the structural design, adjacencies, process, finishes and most importantly the kitchen.”