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Corporate Headquarters, Williams International
Pontiac, MI
Williams International Corporate HQ
Energy, variety and buzz.
An empty movie studio becomes the Technical Workplace for a world class leader.
Adapting former sound stages into turbine engine cells
A world leader in the development and manufacturing of small gas turbine engines, Williams International had outgrown its former facility. It would take a unique property to accommodate WI’s over 600 employees and have room for its turbine engine R&D development and advanced manufacturing.

Strangely enough, it was in an empty movie studio where Williams would find its new home. The former sound stages were converted into approximately 50,000 sf of advanced manufacturing cells for turbine engines, and the 200,000 sf office space, spread across three floors, was modernized to include premium amenities for WI’s employees, including a recreation room, fitness center, corporate store, and cafeteria as well as coffee nooks and kitchenettes on each floor. Workstations are now ergonomic and day lit, connected by an artery of collaboration spaces running the length of each floor, and a design emphasis on aluminum, white and blue creates an overall aesthetic referring back to jet engine technology.

By taking an urban planning approach to the immense office area, HED inserted strategic human-scaled features that transformed the prior movie studio into a "buzz"-worthy environment fit for a world class organization. Each design move added up to create a Technical Workplace that encourages communication and discovery to both the individual and team, providing various modes of collaboration that promote product innovation and advancement while minimizing technical errors and improving the overall speed to market.

The facility is home to all of WI’s major departments, including a global customer service and support department, design, R&D and advanced manufacturing, sales and logistics, executive offices and the CEO suite.
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Results
The new Technical Workplace provides a variety of concentration and collaboration areas that enhance creativity and innovation between both individuals and teams, while reducing technical and production errors.
The amenity-rich environment has played a vital role in the improvement of staff retention and recruitment.
An integrated branding strategy was implemented throughout the facility to promote and enhance the leadership position of Williams International in the marketplace.
Project Data
Williams International Corporate HQ 2017-02803-000
Williams International
Pontiac, Michigan
PROJECT SCOPE
Renovation
HED ROLE
Full Service A/E, Landscape Architect, Interior Design
RSF/GSF
250,000
CONSTRUCTION COST
$10.0 Million
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
HED Standard
Project Team
  • Christopher Vogelheim
    AIA, LEED AP
    Principal
    Sector Leader
  • Gerald (Jerry) Philo
    PE, LEED AP
    Associate
    Project Management
  • Arthur Smith
    FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Principal
    Architecture + Design Leader
An empty movie studio becomes the Technical Workplace for a world class leader.
Corporate Headquarters, Williams International
Pontiac, MI
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Energy, variety and buzz.