Baton Rouge, Louisiana

When the Baton Rouge, Louisiana'based billboard company Lamar Advertising outgrew its headquarters, finding another traditional office building would have been the natural next step. But a 1970s data center across the street hit the market, and management decided to make the leap—despite the building's closed-off precast-concrete facade and stingy allotment of windows. “You can imagine staff saying, 'What, we're going to move into that?' ” recalls architect Steve Dumez of the New Orleans'based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR). “It took a tremendous amount of vision to look at that building and say, 'This is going to be our new headquarters.'”

Choosing a frumpy building may seem like a puzzling move for a graphics company, but for CEO Sean Reilly, it was the interior that mattered. “It's not important for us to brag, but rather to create a space that makes our employees feel welcome,” Reilly says. The three-story, 115,000-square-foot building, which opened in March 2012, includes a large training room, open-plan workstations, a ground-floor cafeteria, and an outdoor patio shaded by oak trees.

To boost employee collaboration, EDR sought to unify the steel-and-precast-concrete structure's three levels into one light-filled space. The architects removed a central portion of the roof and upper floors and inserted a glazed open-air courtyard above a ground-level training room. To encourage chance encounters, they made taking the stairs an appealing option. A set of ip'-wood bleachers, with a stair linking the first and second floors, serves as a gathering spot and makes moving around the office inherently social. Glass rails preserve sightlines between departments.

The EDR team jazzed up the interiors by hanging items from Lamar's trove of vintage billboards, including early painted canvas specimens. For a mural on the ground floor, they screen-printed an image of a 1950s-era roadside scene onto aluminum signage panels.

By renovating the existing building instead of demolishing it and building new, Lamar saved 30 percent on construction costs. Since the move-in, the company estimates, employee collaboration has jumped 25 percent. “It gets us together more often and in different ways, and you never know where the conversation will go,” says Reilly.

Architect: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple — Steve Dumez, principal in charge

Size: 115,000 square feet

Cost: $13.8 million

Completion Date: March 2012


Formal name of building:
Lamar Advertising Corporate Headquarters

Baton Rouge LA

Completion Date:
March 2012

Gross square footage:
115,000 square feet

Total construction cost:

Lamar Advertising Company

365 Canal Street, Ste 3150
New Orleans LA 70130
504.561.8686 studio
504.522.2253 fax

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: Architect of record: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Interior designer:

MEP Engineer: Henderson Engineers, Inc.

Structural/Civil Engineer: Fox-Nesbit Engineering, LLC.

Structural Engineer: Dean C. McKee, LLC.

Civil/Site Engineer: ABMB Engineers, Inc.

Landscape Architect: Spackman, Mossop+Michaels

General contractor: Buquet-LeBlanc, Inc.

Timothy Hursley



Window Covering
Roller shades (throughout): MechoShade

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings (private offices, corridors): Armstrong

Acoustic ceiling (training room): Hunter Douglas

Paints and stains (interior paints): Benjamin Moore

Custom digital wallcoverings (throughout): Media DPI

Wrapped panel fabric (media room, 2nd floor reception): Knoll Textiles

Plastic laminate (coffee bar, restrooms, mailroom): Formica

Board room pantry: Wilsonart

Solid surfacing countertops (throughout): Corian by DuPont

Special surfacing wood sealer (throughout): Penofin

Floor and wall tile (restrooms): Daltile

Wall tile (restrooms): Crossville

Resilient flooring rubber flooring (media room): Flexco

Carpet tile (throughout): J&J Invision

Broadloom carpet (board room): Tandus

Office furniture - workstations (open offices), desking (private offices, manager offices), credenzas (executive offices): Knoll

Office Specialty: lateral files

Custom desk (lobby): Architectural Glass & Metal

Reception furniture (reception areas lounge seating): Bernhardt Design

Chairs --guest seating (executive offices, caf' chairs (lunchroom, patio), barstools (casual meeting areas), lounge seating (casual meeting area), guest seating (manager offices), lounge seating (manager offices, executive offices, nursing room): Knoll

Seating (conference rooms, board room, nursing room rocking chair): Herman Miller

Open office, private offices task seating: Allsteel

Private offices guest seating, media room seating: KI Banquette seating (lobby, lunchroom): Quinze & Milan

Sofa (executive office): Modernica

Meeting and side table (casual meeting area): Tom Dixon

Executive offices table desks, reception areas side tables: Knoll

Mobile tables (media room): KI

Café tables (lunchroom, patio), community center lounge tables): Emeco

Side tables (lobby, casual meeting areas drop-leaf tables, board room conference table): Custom

Side table (nursing room): Harter

Coffee table (nursing room): Design Within Reach

Seating upholstery (private offices, media room, reception areas, executive office sofa upholstery): Maharam

Upholstery leather (board room, executive offices): Spinneybeck

Other furniture - mailroom cabinetry (mailroom): Hamilton Sorter

Task lighting - floor lamps (executive offices, nursing room): Artemide