Irvington, New York
We designed Weleda’s North American headquarters within the shell of a 19th-century factory along the Hudson River. The design intention was to expose and highlight the raw beauty of the original heavy timber structure, notably its brick walls and large windows. Our interventions respect the character of the original building, while clearly registering a new use.
Adaptive reuse made perfect sense for Weleda, a world leader in promoting personal health and environmental stewardship. Desks, workstations, display shelving, and wall cladding are made of wood recycled from other factory buildings that used to surround the Weleda building. Several woodworkers were employed as part of a local job-training program. Plant-growing areas were built into the space, allowing staff and visitors direct interaction with the materials from which Weleda’s products are made.
“In an inversion of a typical office layout, the glass-fronted private executive offices are placed at the center of the workspace, and open workstations are arranged at the perimeter, closest to the light and air of the windows.”
– Scott Specht, Principle
The space features not only offices and workstations, but an operating compounding pharmacy from which Weleda ships custom products to purchasers worldwide.
Architect: Specht Harpman
Photography: Taggart Sorenson