Louisville, Colorado USA – Conceived under a crystal blue Rocky Mountain sky, Pearl Izumi’s 55,000 SF “Modern Design Barn” was built only after Lee Plenty Wolf and Lakota Sioux Nation tribesmen had smudged the site and blessed it with sage smoke during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The results have been spectacular because World Architecture News in the United Kingdom voted our Client’s HQ as the #1 Completed Project in the World.
“We are very proud to see this building recognized for its merits,” noted Cache Mundy, Pearl Izumi’s Vice President Product Merchandising and Development, “as it reflects the passion for outdoor performance products and the athletic lifestyle Pearl Izumi champions. It truly serves as a purpose-built space for our employees to craft and deliver our products while reflecting our Colorado roots with access to the outdoor sports we love.”
The 55,000 SF world headquarters office and design/development center, designed by Randy McGee’s team at highly respected ZGF Architects in Portland, Oregon, also won six (6) prestigious awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA):
- AIA Colorado Honor Award
- AIA Denver Merit Award
- AIA Portland Citation Award
- ENR Mountain States, Best of Office, Merit Award
- AIA Colorado North Chapter, Honor Award for Commercial Design
- AIA Western Mountain Region (CO, NM, AZ, UT, WY & MT), Honor Award for Distinguished Building
As a company, Pearl Izumi designs, makes, markets and distributes clothing and shoe products for outdoor sports, including cross-country skiing, triathlon, duathlon and running, but primarily cycling. The name Pearl Izumi is derived from the gem “pearl” and an area of Japan known for its clear water, “Izumi.” Translated literally, its name means “fountain of pearls.”
Shimano, founded in Japan in 1921, is the parent company of Pearl Izumi. It develops, produces and distributes world-class bicycle components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment.
To kick off Pearl Izumi’s project, William Gary at MacLaurin Williams Worldwide’s office in Denver/Boulder performed as the Site Selection Consultant and exclusive Buyer’s Agent. He successfully negotiated the purchase of an 8-acre property in the Colorado Tech Center from Etkin Johnson, a very successful, regional Industrial Developer and Landlord.
Pearl Izumi then retained Bill Mascarenaz of Mascarenaz & Associates as its experienced, savvy Project Manager to oversee the complicated design and construction processes.
The 55,000 SF hillside office building at 101 South Taylor Avenue has spectacular Front Range mountain views, including the Boulder Flatirons. Pearl Izumi houses its management, finance, accounting, marketing, sales and product design groups in the Modern Design Barn.
With the Coal Creek hike & bike path wandering across the property, Pearl Izumi employees regularly test the company’s shoes and outdoor clothing during lunchtime training runs. The cyclists, triathletes and duathletes ride out from the secure bike storage room to demo Pearl Izumi’s cycling shoes and clothing in all sorts of Colorado weather conditions.
Energy-wise, the Modern Design Barn is very efficient, thanks to the MEP engineering design by Steve Chucovich’s smart, experienced team at Buro Happold’s office in Los Angeles.
MacLaurin Williams’ Gary also helped Pearl Izumi to obtain $154,000 in economic development incentives from the City of Louisville and assisted with selecting the Project Manager and Project Architect. Importantly, he also recommended that Pearl Izumi would save significant money by not involving a developer and instead hiring a strong Project Manager + Architect team.
Pearl Izumi’s Management Team agreed and Gary selected several highly qualified Project Managers and guided the company through the interview process, with Mascarenaz & Associates being selected. Mascarenaz was responsible to choose the candidates for Project Architect, ultimately resulting in hiring ZGF, supported locally by Boulder’s Arch11. Mascarenaz also guided Pearl Izumi’s interview and competitive process to choose a General Contractor, won by Haselden Construction. Bringing the 22-month total project cost in at $10,000,000 ($181.82/SF), Bill added, “It was a challenging task, which saw all of the design, construction and ownership teams work together to accomplish this unique building at an extremely economical cost.”
ZGF’s Randy McGee commented on the unusual design concept, “A minimal palette of concrete, glass, wood and naturally weathering steel forms an intentionally rawbackground to the vibrant and innovative outdoor sports products being developed within Pearl Izumi’s new world headquarters.”
“Burrowing into the hillside, the building’s intuitive angles and triplicate clerestories, representing Pearl Izumi’s “Ride-Tri-Run” motto, reflect the sharp, jagged presence of the Boulder Flatirons, and bring daylight and natural ventilation (from operable windows) far into the workspace year-round, while providing unobstructed views to the outdoors.”
William Gary remembers a foretelling groundbreaking, “With the Lakota Sioux tribesmen respectfully waving their eagle feathers and sage smoke, the Modern Design Barn was born under promising omens. It sounds unbelievable, but amazingly, a giant, feather-shaped cloud hung low over the Rockies during the sage smudging ceremony.”
I give major credit to Lily Flores, now Vice President Human Resources at Shimano American Corporation. She was the primary driving force and patient catalyst within Pearl Izumi that kept the project moving forward with all of the outside professionals. I still can’t quite believe that the outcome resulted in the award for #1 Completed Project in the World. That’s astounding!