Kurita America — Brooklyn Park, MN
Formed from legacy firms Fremont Industries, U.S. Water Services, and Tonka Water, Kurita America is the North American arm of Kurita, a global, customer-focused water treatment solutions company. After combining the three companies, Kurita America’s Director of Integration, Thys Coetzee, hired PlanForce to design a new, central headquarters building that would:
- Improve operational efficiencies
- Help Kurita become a sought-after employer
- Promote collaboration throughout the staff
Working with developer Ryan Companies, PlanForce completed the interior architecture and design for the 156,000 square foot ground-up office and manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, MN. The new space design represents a deliberate attempt by Kurita to define a new company culture that balances the Japan-based parent company with the distinctly American workforce. That meant a relatively open office plan with an egalitarian design that all employees can enjoy. The space also had to be attractive enough to help Kurita recruit and retain the high-caliber talent that makes the company so successful.
Designed to Promote Company Culture
The new building provides everything Kurita America needs to achieve their long-term business goals. This includes a welcoming reception area with two environmental graphics walls, a dramatic open staircase leading up to the mezzanine, and large, collaboration-focused workspaces that manage, in Coetzee’s words, to “not feel like a football field.”
The office also includes a dynamic training room, breakroom, and outdoor patio that are all connected together — perfect for company-wide events and celebrations. Moreover, the new space, including the lab and manufacturing floor, have been designed to look great when giving sales tours to visiting customers.
The project was not without its challenges, however. “Right out of the gate,” says Coetzee, “we got our budget cut.” A change in company operations meant the building needed to be smaller than initially planned — and that meant a smaller than expected budget. He explains that PlanForce designers Ryan Schroeder, AIA, and Elizabeth Lari, CID, provided great guidance on doing the cuts that were easy vs. those that would hurt too much later, once the building was being used.
A Productive Partnership
To make the new Kurita headquarters a reality, PlanForce worked extensively with developer Ryan Companies, who managed the project, designed the shell building, and did the construction. “Ryan and Elizabeth were amazing to work with,” says Ryan Companies’ Matt Smith. “It’s really nice [on a project like this] to have a relationship with an interior firm like PlanForce.”
Jamie Walter, the Project Design Manager, agrees. “Collaboration between the three companies worked really well.”