Darden Restaurants Headquarters

Orlando, Florida
Unifying a Team

Eight brands. One parent company. And one singularly focused CEO. His vision? To create a headquarters that unified all brand teams under one roof.

We had 60 acres to work with, but kept the design to a single building of only three stories. This served two purposes: to encourage employees to take the stairs and to create a restrained design that the company’s customers could identify with.

The building itself is 469,000 square feet of glass and steel. Its massive floor-to-ceiling window wall lets Florida’s warm light in while those looking outside have unobstructed views of our landscape design featuring native trees, manicured lawns, and a sprawling lake.

Office spaces are open to encourage collaboration and impromptu meetings. For managers, a few thoughtful enclosures address the occasional need for privacy.

The design is a glass and steel encased building with a window wall that lets in natural light and offers sweeping views of the landscape.
Uniquely positioned to deliver Darden’s multiple brands under one roof, a place of pride for employees unified under one roof from their 13 previous locations.
Learning Environments

How does a restaurant chain company foster shared learnings across a myriad of brands? And how does culinary innovation happen in an office building? You build test kitchens that run together along a shared space on a single floor. And you make sure to place tables and chairs by each for sampling. As people move around, even chefs can share their learnings.

The building massing is comprised of three main office components on three levels each organized around the main interior public space, “Main Street.”
The idea of the design was to create a more open work environment that encourages employees with the company’s halfdozen restaurant brands to collaborate with one another.
Fun Fact
The new corporate headquarters allows Darden to consolidate offices under one roof for the first time in four decades.

Project Team

Manuel Cadrecha
Bruce McEvoy
Leo Alvarez