McCormick Headquarters – Hunt Valley

A space that embodies the spirit of McCormick, the design of the company's new headquarters in Hunt Valley draws inspiration from the natural elements of the spices they produce.

  • Client McCormick,
  • size 350,000 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States,
  • Industry Food / Beverage,
  • IA Interior Architects were engaged by iconic spice brand, McCormick, to design their headquarters located in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

    Every inch of McCormick’s new global headquarters is infused with the company’s spirit: from the architecture and design details to the colors chosen to represent the natural tones of spices, and the indoor green roof, which includes native Maryland plantings that celebrate the company’s living roots.

    Located outside Baltimore, MD, the facility brings together nearly 1,000 employees from four separate locations at a seven-story vertical campus that represents over four years of planning. Designed from the inside out, the 350,000-square-foot site was repurposed and reimagined by IA Interior Architects, following extensive visioning and strategy sessions with McCormick.

    Research and development facilities are at the core of the new design. With eight stations for recipe and product development, McCormick’s Culinary Education Center features a commercial demonstration kitchen, as well as a 50-person auditorium that can be televised into the lobby, and smaller islands where course attendees can participate and taste. In addition, an isolated black box testing room with color changing light fixtures aids McCormick’s flavor forecasting and research, and ensures that participants focus only on flavor, as cameras monitor their expressions.

    Employees can choose from a variety of work settings to best suit their preferences. Workstations offer sit-to-stand options and integrated plug-and-play technology. A variety of think tanks and collaboration areas complement the workstations. Wayfinding is highlighted by the use of color that references spices and a consistent layout on floors two through six.

    In the executive suite, custom private offices are co-located and provide a high degree of transparency for integration and accessibility. IA-designed custom carpets inspired by spices (for example, anise, cinnamon, and vanilla) resonate with graphics, branding, and pride of place elements throughout the facility. Sleek millwork and custom, sustainable furniture with clean lines create a high-end, understated elegance; carefully selected marble is used for the reception desk and flooring.

    The new headquarters provides employees with state-of-the-art amenities, including a full service café, a new company store, and a technology bar. An onsite health and wellness center, with doctors’ offices and exam rooms offers medical care. An emphasis on active design further supports the building’s focus on wellness. IA researched and carefully planned the distances from work areas to resources, central amenities, and interconnecting stairs to invite movement.

    The headquarters is slated for LEED Gold certification. Design elements incorporate reclaimed and locally-sourced wood as well as materials with significant recycled or low VOC content. All furniture is non-toxic and chemical-free. An advanced, energy efficient waste management system is used throughout the facility, and lighting and design configurations maximize daylight, thereby reducing energy use.

    During the buildout, a seven-story atrium with skylight was added, bringing natural light into the facility and creating a stunning design feature and first-floor gathering space for staff and visitors. On one side of the atrium, a pantry is positioned at the same location on each floor visibly overlooking the lobby, heightening the sense of community. Within the atrium, at the third floor, a partial roof with living greenery adds a biophilic touch.

    Design: IA Interior Architects
    Design Team: Holly Briggs, Grzegorz Kosmal, Shannon O’Toole, Marian Danowski, Julia Dane, Livi Pejo, Emma Wilkinson, Kristen Streeter, Chris Connor
    Photography: Eric Laignel