Although EVCO Plastics might not be a household name for the average consumer in Dane County, you probably have something fabricated by EVCO in your home without knowing it. Think shelving in your refrigerator, a medical device, or even a component of your electric toothbrush. The DeForest-based company, which also has locations in Oshkosh, Georgia, Mexico, and China, is a global leader in plastic injection molding and contract manufacturing. They produce countless consumer and industrial plastic products that make up components of items we use every day.
Founded in 1964, the company always had its roots in DeForest. With massive growth in the years since, EVCO’s headquarters has grown to serve 425 employees. In 2019, the company met with Middleton-based Sketchworks Architecture to refresh and renew the first and second floors of their 20,000 square-foot headquarters. 1848 Construction was brought in as the design-build partner.
“EVCO Plastics is a multigenerational, family-owned business with international reach, but [they] place great value on local presence and meaningful relationships,” says Sam Blahnik, vice president of business development at 1849 Construction. “The newly renovated space provides modern amenities that will attract and retain employees while keeping an intentional focus on celebrating the company’s historical roots.”
Love Where You Work
When EVCO’s management team met with project manager Nick Badura of Sketchworks Architecture, there were several items on the company’s wish list: creating a secure and attractive lobby, adding more meeting areas, and making employee workstations more collaborative and open.
Post renovation, gone are the tall dividers between desks and crowded workstations. Workspaces have been transformed into bright areas with transom windows that allow light in throughout the entire second floor. Multiple casual spaces throughout both floors, such as informal seating areas and an updated breakroom, allow for on-the-spot meetings or conversations between employees—which is key for fostering a positive workplace dynamic.
Of course, this was the intention, says Badura. “The goals were to bring more staff to this location and provide more defined visitor and staff areas. Lerdahl Interiors had worked with EVCO on an earlier breakroom project in the building, and the office design was intended to continue to modernize and match up well with the newly remodeled breakroom.”
Style and design were also tantamount to the project. One of EVCO’s brand colors is blue, and the hue is woven throughout the headquarters—notably in brilliant blue walls, sleek pendant lamps, and zigzag carpet in work areas. Shades of charcoal, light grey, and beige act as a neutral, soothing backdrop. Zingy prints in carpet, wallpaper, and furnishings ensure that spaces are inspiring—unforgettable for visitors. Even the luxury vinyl tile in the brand-new lobby is laid in a decorative pattern for stylish impact.
Style and Substance
The overarching theme for the first and second floors was open. Instead of an enclosed breakroom, a common area with a kitchenette and bar seating provides a comfy reprieve during the day. Weaving in the latest trend in interiors, the grey and white quartz countertops and backsplash provide a seamless, sleek look while the space is warmed up with medium-hued, slab cabinetry with minimalist hardware. Gold-accented pendant lighting gives the space a restaurant vibe.
“Our hope going into this project was to create an inspiring space for our cross-functional teams to innovate together,” says Anna Bartz, director. “[We] completely reworked the concept of what our corporate headquarters should be as we look towards the future—[this] was no easy task, and Sketchworks was pivotal in making our vision come to life. We could not be more thrilled with the end product.”
Comingling spaces were also located throughout both floors for employee collaboration, and several conference rooms welcome visitors and employees alike. Tables can be configured in multiple ways for large or small meetings, and rooms range from small to large, depending on what type of employee gathering is occurring. One conference room is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows on one side, offering employees views of nature. In general, many of the rooms utilize a frameless system with sliding glass doors to visually connect spaces.
Even though the renovation breathed new life into the company’s headquarters, it was important to EVCO that they maintained a sense of their company history and represented the company’s global reach. Conference rooms even give a nod to the countries in which EVCO has locations. “Along with location themes, there are items (traditional vases, tables, et cetera) that have been acquired by EVCO over the years,” says Badura. “And these items were incorporated and located in the design [in the conference rooms].”
The biggest visual impact, though, is when visitors enter the building. Madison artist Tommy Sweeney worked with EVCO to showcase the company’s history in a showstopping, photographic mural in the new lobby. “The historical wall mural in the entry captures your eye and provides a snapshot of the company’s impact,” says Blahnik. “It has been great to hear from EVCO employees on their excitement to relocate to the new space and see the creative intentionality put to use!” It’s an appropriate way to capture the company’s past—renovated space that points the company firmly toward the future.
Sketchworks Architecture is a local architectural and interior design firm specializing in living, working, and entertaining environments. Our award-winning portfolio spans corporate, hospitality + retail, multifamily, government, and brewery + distillery projects.
2501 Parmenter Street
Middleton, WI 53562