It’s something that most of us take for granted despite the fact that it’s an integral part of our daily lives and a critical tool to allow us to do most of the things we do. What is it? Lighting.
Designers may be the exception, but most of us don’t pay much attention to the lighting elements in our workplaces. And yet, studies have shown that the right lighting choices can boost both mood and productivity. As Miriam Delacy writes in an article for Commercial Real Estate, “many interior designers agree that light is critical for keeping performance high throughout the day.” She adds: “Having a well-lit space is also essential for health and safety.”
At Bellacor, we wholeheartedly agree with Delacy’s professional perspective. Plus—call us biased—but we believe that lighting should be a focal point in any space. So when we recently moved our offices to the top floor of the McKesson Building in the Minneapolis Warehouse District, we knew that our lighting choices had to be top-of-the-line in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. We partnered with Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects to bring our ambitious vision to life while taking full advantage of our own lighting fixtures that we make available online to companies, consumers and professionals throughout the United States.
A Setting to be Proud Of
The relocation project was deemed successful by all accounts. In fact, Snow Kreilich features the installation on their home page. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal also highlighted our new headquarters in their “Cool Offices” feature. And few people enter the Bellacor office without a nod or word of appreciation about the industrial vibe it alludes.
The wide range of innovative products and trend-forward lighting solutions are a source of pride for the company. All of the lighting fixtures in the office were sourced from some of our favorite vendors and are available on bellacor.com.
Tear-shaped mini pendants from Tech Lighting hang from exposed ceiling beams throughout the open office space.
A pair of configurable SONNEMAN LED Stix Pendants hangs in Bellacor’s main conference room where larger internal or vendor meetings are held.
The team that selected lighting applications chose fixtures that could work in both commercial and residential settings. Other brands that were incorporated into the space include Quorum International, EGLO, ET2, Access Lighting.
The lighting choices provide flexibility for people to come together to work on projects while ensuring access to proper lighting to allow for maximum productivity. For instance, pendants on the track system can easily be moved where more light is needed.
“The team appreciates being able to choose the level of illumination that is most comfortable for them,” says Sarah Worzala, senior manager of human resources. “We have large, bright pendants in the kitchen, while softer lighting is used in some of the chill-out zones.”
A Big Improvement
“This office was a huge improvement from our old office,” says MaryAnn Boedeker, senior buyer with Bellacor. “It had terrible, outdated fluorescent troffer lighting.”
According to Boedeker, the fixtures were selected very intentionally. “We wanted to use all LED for energy savings and we wanted to feature products from the vendors we sell on our site,” says Boedeker. Because Bellacor is located in a historic warehouse-like building, the intent was to maintain that feeling. Accordingly, a track system was selected for lighting so the exposed ceilings would be visible.
While much of the focus in the newly designed space was on the ability for potential customers to actually see the innovative and varied lighting options the company provides, there was another important area of focus—the employees.
“We wanted anyone—both employees and visitors—who walks into this office to be inspired by the lighting choices and know that a space can be created and defined by how it’s put together,” says Worzala. Beautiful lighting, she says, “is at the core of what we sell, and ensuring our office space reflected that was important to us.”
A Focus on Productivity
Creating a productive workspace for employees was also important. “It certainly helps employees to be productive and efficient when they can see what they’re doing!,” she says. “That’s why we also have portable lights at each of the cubes to provide additional and adjustable lighting for everyone.” Worzala acknowledged that proper lighting is essential for employees to not only perform their tasks, but to also reduce eye strain.
Although the company is focused on lighting solutions, that doesn’t mean the natural light isn’t a priority. “We chose to add very few internal walls to maximize the light,” says Worzala. “The offices have exceptionally tall doors and windows to make them feel bright and open.”
As new lighting trends are introduced and technology improves, the Bellacor office space will continue to evolve. “It’s a great opportunity for us to have fun updating the look,” says Worzala.
It’s a space that the entire team at Bellacor—now 68 strong—call home. The combination of both natural lighting and carefully selected light features and fixtures from some top vendors, it’s a space designed to spur productivity, creativity and growth.