JDJ Architects showcases a vibrant brand with a contemporary workspace for Ornua Foods North America Inc.

A fresh look to reflect the brand and a contemporary, multifunctional workspace for a young, energetic staff were key to the design of the Ornua Foods North America Inc. offices by Chicago-based JDJ Architects.

The Evanston, Illinois sales and business development office is one of 11 North American offices for the dairy cooperative, which represents thousands of dairy farms in Ireland. Its largest brand, Kerrygold, is the top-selling imported butter brand and the number one brand in Specialty Cheddar in the U.S.The new office, which replaced a smaller space in the same building, was meticulously planned by Chicago-based JDJ Architects to showcase Ornua’s corporate tradition and culture and to accommodate collaboration and meetings with the regional sales teams. Prominent when entering the space is the new reception area wall, with photography by the Ornua team, which depicts the Irish countryside and brand logos. Office colors combine a lively green with a warm grey, complemented by white furnishings.

“We were looking for an earthy, yet modern vibe,” says Roisin Hennerty, President of Ornua Foods North America Inc. “And we wanted to highlight the grassroots quality of our brand.”

We wanted the space to capture the authenticity of our brand while highlighting the dynamic culture of our team and the remarkable growth we’ve experienced,” says Roisin Hennerty, President of Ornua. “JDJ invested time early in the project, gaining an understanding of our brand, the work and the people. They recognized the pivotal role that culture plays in our business and created a space that would enhance our ability to work collaboratively without compromising our authenticity.”

Also important to Ornua was a natural light-filled space that worked more efficiently than the previous offices, which had five-foot-high cubicles pushed into the center of the room. The new offices feature a partial skylight in the reception area, as well as walls of windows on two sides flooding the entire space with light, including central, but low-walled workspaces. The use of frosted glass doors and walls for perimeter offices and meeting rooms also keeps the space bright.

The offices include seven “hot desks,” laptop-sized spaces positioned against a window for a city view, to accommodate sales and business development staff visiting from other US and overseas offices.To enable both small and large group meetings and encourage collaboration, a small breakout room can hold up to six people and a large, sleek presentation room acts as a true multi-use space. “Everything in our space is very clearly thought out,” says Hennerty. Ornua has hosted 40 for formal luncheon, as well as dynamic Innovation & Ideation sessions. Tables and chairs fold and flip up quickly for receptions, and presentations look professional with a built-in flat screen. A large glass, instead of plastic, whiteboard lends a sophisticated touch. A sizable outdoor terrace allows for meetings and casual get togethers when weather is pleasant.

“We were delighted to work with the Ornua team to create a wonderful workspace,” says Wilma Rendon of JDJ Architects. “We were inspired by their commitment and care for staff members as well as the many dairy farmers they represent in Ireland.”

About JDJ Architects

JDJ Architects, Chicago, Illinois, reimagines commercial interior architecture, designing inspiring and productive work environments. The firm partners with corporations, building managers and tenant brokers and provides a full range of planning, design, documentation and code compliance services. For more information, visit jdjarch.com.