Unilever's North American Headquarters

Unilever North American Headquarters

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
A Bold Move

When global consumer goods company Unilever decided to consolidate the North American offices of its 1,000-plus brands into a modern-day headquarters, the stakes were high. Not only did the company need to transform five 1960s office buildings into a single, state-of-the-art workplace, but also, it needed to achieve a staggering 50-percent reduction in carbon emissions.

We creatively repositioned Unilever’s corporate campus by consolidating the buildings into a highly flexible, collaborative environment. At its core is The Marketplace—a vibrant, light-filled community hub bursting with the colors, flavors, and personalities of Unilever North America brands. Whimsical interior branding creates a memorable experience for a millennial workforce. And advanced wellness-based design strategies combined with superior environmental engineering ensure ultra-high performance.

The result? One of the healthiest, most sustainable, and most technologically advanced redevelopments in the New York metropolitan area.

Waste treatment
At least 75 percent of waste generated during construction was diverted from the landfill. This inspired us to creatively repurpose old materials, like salvaged wood, which we used to create Unilever’s reception desk.

Integrated smart technologies record energy data and automate energy use, enabling the building to learn from employee behaviors and remember their preferences. Rooms, even entire floors, can turn themselves off during periods of infrequent use, and Unilever staff can customize their personal lighting and audiovisual systems with custom apps.

What Makes It Cool
Creative consolidation of four drab 1960s office buildings into an ultra-sustainable, high-tech U.S. workplace.

An array of spaces supports Unilever employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health. These include a full-service fitness center, a café serving healthy foods, dedicated lactation rooms for nursing mothers, gender-neutral bathrooms, and agile work spaces. We even designed a convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off area for Unilever’s free employee shuttle, which reduces travel stress. And of course, we used only nontoxic building products and materials.

Agile workplace
Employees choose where and how they wish to work, thereby boosting their productivity. It’s an approach that allows Unilever to increase efficiency, break down silos, and attract and retain millennial talent from nearby New York City.
What It Is
A unified workplace for hundreds of diverse Unilever brands, designed for maximum flexibility and collaboration.
Workplace Strategy

Employees that work across Unilever’s brand verticals from brands as diverse as Lipton Tea, Q-Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, and Vaseline now share common space, interact, and collaborate with one another. This was facilitated by our workplace planners and strategists and is the first time in Unilever’s history to consolidate these teams for the purpose of collaboration and innovation.

Every amenity in The Marketplace—from the employee hair salon and fitness center to smoothie shop and café—features Unilever products. This builds and strengthens brand loyalty not only among staff, but also among clients who visit.
Experiential Design

By enclosing the outdoor courtyard that had originally separated the five buildings across the campus, our design team created a vast atrium-like space in which Unilever employees can meet, work, dine, play, or simply unwind – all while being immersed in the brands and stories of the organization they represent.

Project Team

Joan Blumenfeld
Brad Rogers
Mariana Giraldo