Rapidly expanding Olson, the largest advertising agency in Minneapolis, enlisted Gensler to design their 125,000 sq. ft. offices within Minneapolis’s historic Ford Center building, while maintaining the industrial character of the space. All elements were considered: from work flow to brand rooms to client-focused food and beverage service system. However, it is the treatment of the environmental graphics that I am focusing on here. They support and further the architectural concept, becoming an essential part of the design. Innovative use of super graphics enliven the building’s public spaces, yet continue to respect the building’s original character. The type treatment is bold, fun, and super creative, with giant floor numbers made out of colored string and nails, as just one example. The firm’s name is boldly and amorphously displayed on the ceiling of the top four floors creating an optical illusion, clearly read from the street looking up. The staircases and bathrooms continue with large painted signage and even the wall graphics and colorful furniture scream bold, assertive, and fun.
Photos by Pete Sieger