Award-Winning Firm Gains Top Honors for Modern, Sophisticated Workplace Interiors

Blitz’s Vibrant Design for Northland Controls Wins IIDA Northern California’s Honor Award

Northland Controls, designed by Blitz, demonstrates elegance and openness, while meeting the client’s high-level security and confidentiality obligations. Photos: Bruce Damonte Photography. Click here for high-resolution images.

SAN FRANCISCO: Blitz, an award-winning design firm known for its fresh perspective on workplace interiors with Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, and YouTube, has been honored by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northern California Honor Awards for the design of Northland Controls, a global security provider.  The design team was celebrated for its ability to successfully create an open office setting, while meeting the client’s high-level confidentiality obligations.  The 30,000-square-foot, two-story office headquarters in Milpitas, CA, awarded as winner in the “Work – Medium” category, was designed to provide a modern and sophisticated space that revealed the dynamic office culture and company brand.

The IIDA Northern California Chapter Honor Awards program aims to encourage new ideas and techniques in the design and furnishing of interior spaces.  It is among the most competitive of all IIDA chapter awards nationwide.  Winning projects were selected by the jury for suitability to the project challenge, originality of the design solution, and the successful integration of interior forms, finishes, and furnishings.

“[Blitz] was able to capture the understated elegance and modernity we were looking for to communicate our brand position effectively within the space,” says Pierre Trapanse, CEO, Northland Controls.

From the expansive, double-height main entrance to the central conference and informal meeting spaces, the office fosters unrestricted circulation in a space that is both welcoming and secure.  To break down the barriers of the previously segmented and highly enclosed office, Blitz designed a floor plan that would visually connect departments and support an open, yet acoustically sensitive, environment.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by the company logo, a large, graphically stylized bear that pays homage to the firm’s California origins.  Metal screens, overlaid with a detailed wood print finish, provide a separation between the main entry and the rest of the office, while allowing for visual connectivity and permeation of natural light.  A café, which welcomes guests upon arrival, serves as a front-facing hospitality space as well as an open meeting area for employees.  The pavilion, located adjacent to the café, serves as the office’s primary board room as well as the space’s organizational anchor, drawing users toward the interior.  This central space is elevated with an integrated presentation platform and features full-height glazing that alternates with wood and whiteboard panels.

The central assembly area utilizes an assortment of seating arrangements with floor-to-ceiling windows connecting the space to the outdoors.  Neutral tones and materials create a subtle, yet texturally layered, experience.  The workstation areas, located on the first and second floors, are separated from the main meeting space to provide visual and acoustic distinction.  Exposed existing steel and wood structural elements mitigate the volume of workspaces.  A vibrant, colorful, hand-painted mural creates a focal point and wayfinding tool.

In addition to the firm leading the interior and wayfinding signage design for Northland Controls, other project team members included Northland Controls (project manager and security systems); Novo Construction (general contractor); DLF Engineering (structural engineer); Canterbury Contractors (wayfinding signage); and KBM – Hogue (furniture dealer).

By applying a human-centered design approach across various scales and typologies, Blitz brings the personality, culture, and values of each client to life in physical form.  As an award-winning full-service architecture and design firm, Blitz specializes in creating fresh and innovative environments that disrupt the status quo.  Founded in 2009 by Melissa Hanley, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, and Seth Hanley, AIA, LEED AP, the firm offers a variety of design solutions, including architecture, interior design, graphics, and branding, for a range of typologies that comprises workplace, hospitality, retail, and education.  To heighten the human experience, Blitz engages in an investigative process that includes immersive observation to understand clients’ needs, while using technology to optimize the design delivery process.  The firm operates from offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and works with clients throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.