Located in Hunt Valley, MD, just 18 miles from downtown Baltimore, 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 from initial concept to completion. Designed from the inside out, the 350,000-square-foot site was repurposed and reimagined by IA Interior Architects, following extensive visioning, planning, and strategy sessions with McCormick.
Designed for flexibility and collaboration, the new headquarters connects employees across the globe, enables product development and flavor innovation, and brings the company’s mission to life. It represents McCormick’s next chapter.
Research and development facilities are at the core of the new design. With eight stations for recipe and product development, the McCormick test kitchen includes both residential cooking equipment and commercial food-service equipment, catering to both the consumer market and customers, which include many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies.
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, engage, and taste. When divided by partitions, the kitchen can simultaneously host both meetings and tastings. The Culinary Kitchen, focused on products for use in residential settings, includes a dining room and facilities for filming and photography, as well as an editing studio for post-production.
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.
Workstations, designed for maximum ergonomic comfort, offer sit-to-stand options and integrated plug-and-play technology, allowing employees to easily adapt their space according to their individual preferences.
A variety of think tanks, huddle rooms, and collaboration areas complement the workstations. Rethinking the need for private offices, rooms can be reserved for an entire day or longer. In modular groupings, the workstations and complementary spaces create communities and neighborhoods. 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. The main conference room features a nearly 50-foot-long conference table and video conferencing capabilities that combine 15 screens. The suite is equipped with advanced technology that supports innovation and represents McCormick’s growth trajectory. 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 some flooring. Wayfinding skillfully maintains the suite’s privacy while also allowing employees to access the adjacent roof garden.
The new headquarters provides employees with a plethora of state-of-the-art amenities, including a full service café that showcases McCormick’s global brands and culinary innovations, a new company store, and a technology bar. An onsite health and wellness center, with doctors’ offices and exam rooms offers medical care, including check-ups and inoculations.
The company offers regular exercise classes in the campus’ fitness center. 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.
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 alike. 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. Opposite, a 60-foot-tall, 20-foot-wide display screen projects videos and images celebrating McCormick’s innovation, global supply chain, and sustainability journey. Within the atrium, at the third floor, a partial roof with living greenery adds a biophilic touch.
McCormick’s deep Baltimore roots are a source of local pride. With a nod to history, portions of the McCormick Tea Room—originally constructed at McCormick’s Light Street Headquarters in the 1930s and reconstructed at the company’s 18 Loveton Circle headquarters in the 1980s—are incorporated into the company’s new space. In counterpoint, on the first floor, a modern gourmet coffee bar wafts its aroma into the reception area.