News

New Headquarters for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

November 26, 2018

It’s fitting that Alabama’s only statewide private economic development organization relocated its headquarters to the center of downtown Birmingham, an area that has been described as “ground zero of Birmingham’s modern renaissance.”

Designed by Birmingham’s KPS Group, the new EDPA new headquarters is in Baker’s Row, an office complex in the former 1930s Merita bread factory at the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street. Bakers Row has kept its industrial feel with concrete floors, exposed ductwork and beams, and expansive industrial windows, making it an ideal creative workspace.

The architecture and interiors for this new 13,200 square foot office space were custom-designed as part of the Bakers Row adaptive re-use development adjacent to Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham.

According to KPS Group, the articulation and massing of the building exterior was re-constructed to provide expansive windows and a prominent dedicated entry on the street side. The industrial vibe of this contemporary space was achieved by letting its architecture be the focal point.

In addition, a feeling of openness was created with glazed modular architectural walls “dropped” into the high bay interior. Individual work areas supported by multiple types of conference and interactive spaces encourage collaboration and offer employees several ways to work. A panorama of Alabama success stories plays continuously on a 34-foot-long digital video wall that is visible from the street.

CEO Steve Spencer of the EDPA has said that the move downtown was “as much about image as it is about anything” in this part of Birmingham that serves as a hub of activity. “One of our biggest challenges was to design for program elements that are unpredictable and continuously evolving from week to week,” observes Donna Dowling, IIDA, Senior Vice President and Director of Interior Design at KPS.

“In the end, we allowed for a significant amount of open space – essentially a blank canvas with multimedia capabilities that comes to life when it’s in use for one of EDPA’s numerous programs, from hosting a small trade delegation to being the epicenter of their annual “imerge” festival celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in Alabama.”

 

Image 1 – The new headquarters for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama is in Baker’s Row, an office complex in the former 1930s Merita bread factory at the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street in downtown Birmingham. Designed by KPS Group, the articulation and massing of the building’s exterior was reconstructed to provide expansive windows and a prominent dedicated entry on the street side.

Image 2 – Individual work areas supported by multiple types of conference and interactive spaces encourage collaboration and offer employees several ways to work. A panorama of Alabama economic and development success stories plays continuously on a 34-foot-long digital video wall that is visible from the street.

Image 3 – Interiors for this new 13,200 square foot office space were custom-designed as part of the Bakers Row adaptive re-use development adjacent to Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. The industrial feeling of this contemporary space was achieved by letting the architecture be the dominant feature.

Image 4 – Many elements were incorporated in the design to encourage collaboration. In addition, a feeling of openness was created with glazed modular architectural walls “dropped” into the high bay interior.

*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of KPS Group, Inc.