Grande Cheese Home Office and Research Center
Fond du Lac, WI
Grande Cheese Company
Overland Partners | Architects
© Ryan Gobuty, Gensler; © Dror Baldinger, AIA
Transparency is a key design feature of the home office and research center for the Grande Cheese Company. Situated on 40 acres of pastoral countryside in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, this 70,000-square-foot facility includes office space and research labs, plus industrial kitchens, dining spaces, a health clinic, wellness facility, library, café, reenergizing rooms, and various support areas. The glass walls of each area visually dissolve barriers between visitors and daily operations in cheese-making, and promote interaction between employees of various departments. Views to the exterior landscape and inner courtyard are key, so the electric lighting was designed to unobtrusively support natural lighting during daylight hour and promote transparency during early evening. Lighting hardware, mostly invisible and concealed in architectural details, indirectly wash ceilings and walls. Carefully selected decorative adds visual sparkle to the soft washes of electric lighting and daylighting. Each string of crisscrossing catenary lighting in the courtyard was individually programmed to highlight plantings and objects with different intensities. In addition to the changing ‘natural’ art in the courtyard, wall washes and accent lighting highlight an extensive art program throughout the building. The lighting is LED and dimmable, based on function, or automatically controlled, based on daylight availability or occupancy.