- Associate Architect: Arch 11 | Boulder, CO
- Project Management, Structural, Mechanical And Electrical: Buro Happold
- Civil: Creative Civil Solutions | Longmont, CO
- Owner’s Representative: Mascarenaz and Associates
- Exclusive Buyer’s Agent/Site Selection Consultant For Owner: ITRA MacLaurin Williams, Boulder
- City: Louisville
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. Expressing the dynamic and elegant simplicity of a modern design “barn,” the new Pearl Izumi North American Corporate Headquarters respects the company’s Japanese heritage, celebrates the natural beauty of Colorado through the seasons, and exemplifies its employees’ passion for outdoor sports.
The headquarters showcases a commitment to the company’s product line. A flexible, and intentionally raw canvas offers a subtle background to the vibrant, high-performance product and innovative process taking place within. A minimal palette of concrete, glass, wood, and naturally weathering steel combines with a highly visual architectural form to create a low-impact, sustainable development at the base of the Rocky Mountain Flatirons.
Site: True to its brand, the new Pearl Izumi headquarters sits on an eight-acre site at the foot of the dramatic Flatirons; strategically located along the well-loved Coal Creek running/riding trail, connecting the communities of Boulder County. This location provides quick and easy year-round access for testing the company’s clothing and equipment on a harsh but beautiful terrain, and a year-round playground of inspiration for Pearl Izumi’s precision-driven and sport-enthusiast designers.
Workplace and Sustainable Design: Product design and development are at the core of the flexible open workspace, and are visually connected to a mezzanine loft, collaboration spaces, conference rooms, and through the working courtyard to the Shimano Experience Center. High ceilings, abundant natural lighting, ideal solar orientation, and natural ventilation, invite the vast Colorado outdoors in—creating a sustainable, comfortable, and inspiring work environment.
Design and development are supported by labs for material, dynamics, laundry, and human performance testing. There is a speed and sewing shop, printers and press, sample and prototype storage, shoe fitting and model shop. Collaborative spaces of varying sizes and environments allow designers to choose spaces based on design subject and current weather conditions.
Building Design: The building’s form echoes the dramatic backdrop of the Flatirons and the naturally weathering exterior offers the appearance that it has been there a long time, shaped by the natural forces of wind, sun, and snow.
The form burrows into the landscape, angled to reflect the Flatirons’ sharp lines, protect the inhabitants from the elements, and afford unobstructed views. Triplicate clerestories on the south side, representing Pearl Izumi’s “Ride-Tri-Run” motto, lift and tilt the roof, creating crests and valleys which allow daylight and natural ventilation to reach far into the workspace year-round. Another set of triplicate north-facing, floor-to-roof windows soft northern light into the space.
The weathered steel, raw concrete, wood, and glass exterior represents the company’s unpretentious, outdoor-loving culture—while sitting comfortably against the backdrop of prairie grasses and deep blue Colorado sky. The interior plays into the project’s understated yet sophisticated form. Exposed steel and insulated concrete walls support structurally insulated panels (SIPs) that also provide the final OSB wood finish.
Every surface is pinup-ready for design ideas and material samples. These big gestures of raw wood and steel complement the building’s form and provide a clean canvas for the intensive research and development of a brand that takes the outdoors very seriously.