A sustainable and flexible office for Belkin International’s headquarters in El Segundo, featuring public and private zones, biophilic elements, and a skylit street connecting the space throughout. HLW struck a balance between industrial and warm for the Belkin Headquarters in El Segundo, California.
HLW designed Belkin International’s headquarters to create a transparent, open workplace where diverse settings and freedom of choice complement visual connections. The space reflects the products they create: simple, modern, and intuitive with timeless materials that are bold in intent. The office reduces Belkin’s carbon footprint and maximizes opportunities for human-centric, indoor/outdoor collaborations.
The new global headquarters is located in 555 Aviation, a former Xerox campus repositioned into a creative office, where HLW also led the 555 Aviation project previously. The renovation of the expansive single-level, 265,000-square-foot office and manufacturing building retained the architectural integrity of the original design and focused on two elements: flexibility and access to the outdoors. Belkin’s space further accentuates the architectural style of 555 Aviation.
The new office design responds directly to the needs of each Belkin team, resulting in a space that is informed by each step of the product design process. The office is divided into public and private zones. The public zone is filled with natural materials and a warm color palette, and composed of conference, training rooms, event space, and large pantry/seating area that is connected to an existing redesigned courtyard. The private zone consists of flexible workspace, labs, and secure project rooms. This zone is tied together by a wide central skylit street, known as The Circuit, with an open work, landscaped terrace at one end and the “The Grove” at the other; a light-filled collaborative space for all lab workers to connect.
Belkin’s office represents a holistic look at corporate culture and environment through design. With sustainability at the forefront, the workspace received LEED Silver certification and a Fitwel 1-Star rating. Additionally, Belkin committed to UN Goal 13, an urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. As a result, the headquarters installed a solar array for 25% renewable energy and is committed to be 100% carbon neutral in scope 2 emissions by 2025. A plan for scopes 1 & 3 emissions is also in development.
Belkin serves as a compelling case study on how to create a flexible open work environment that remains timeless while responding to current conditions. “The Grove” aspect of the project is deliberately curated to provide employees with a reprieve through connection to the outdoors. The thoughtful biophilic elements of the space further encourage employees to gather, facilitating collaboration across teams. Located in the heart of the lab space, “The Grove” is constructed around a large skylight, providing a sunlit, varied environment for employees. The redesigned office also offers a variety of meeting and work spaces to bring employees together, including a conversation pit located off The Circuit. The assortment of settings encourages a dynamic, collaborative, and exciting environment for creativity and efficiency to thrive.
Much of the design from HLW is informed by Belkin’s own design process of the products they create. For example, curved elements are present throughout the design as a nod to Belkin’s philosophy of considering how products “feel” when in use; the same thinking was applied to the design of their space. HLW also worked with vendors to create custom furniture solutions to adapt to Belkin’s specific design needs. Further, the design of the space represents and facilitates the lifecycle of product design from inception to execution. The Design Lab is where the process begins, cultivating design innovation and allowing the testing and packaging of products. An on-site studio then enables the team to photograph and create content for the product while allowing the sales team to mock up retail displays. Vendors are also welcome in the space, encouraging them to collaborate directly with the Belkin team.
Belkin’s headquarters also features the first Portal Schools location where students learn alongside Belkin employees, exposing them to authentic careers, opportunities, and networks. The unique, modern architecture creates flexibility, with open classrooms, comfortable furniture, and indoor-outdoor feel, utilizing the best technology and seamlessly integrating state of the art tools to maximize learning. Through the design, Portal students are further exposed to Belkin’s culture and innovative thinking.