Greenville, South Carolina
McMillan Smith & Partners

Citation for Excellence

Only one building in this year’s collection is home to a design company. For lighting designer and manufacturer Hubbell, the first thought in planning a new corporate headquarters was lighting. The business became its building in a way that none of the other winning designs could. McMillan Smith & Partners Architects teamed with lighting design firm Visual Terrain and interior designer Storyline Studio to create a building that showcases the client’s products by integrating them into the architectural design.

Hubbell Lighting Headquarters

Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the four-story, 185,000-square-foot headquarters brings together Hubbell Lighting’s 16 distinct brands into a single building with remarkable facilities. A 25,000-square-foot lighting-solutions center is the heart of the new building, containing training rooms, an amphitheater, dining facilities, and a research and development lab. The center provides an educational facility with demonstration areas devoted to the five challenges Hubbell has identified as the most important in its industry: harvesting daylight, maximizing energy efficiency, controlling light pollution, specifying solid-state lighting products, and integrating life-safety systems. The daylight harvesting workshop, for example, traces a day from sunrise to sunset to illustrate how daylight energy is captured.

Internally illuminated movable walls, modular wiring, and interchangeable parts make the lighting solutions center a flexible space that can be reconfigured to adapt to the evolving construction industry. Backing the training rooms against the headquarters’ major storage area facilitates the process of adapting the space. The on-site testing facilities in the 3,000-square-foot research and development lab bring even more efficiency to the facility, shortening the time it takes to develop products while enabling better quality control and encouraging spontaneous communication between creative and technical staff.

The building provides a showcase for Hubbell, incorporating lighting fixtures from each of the corporation’s 16 brands throughout the interior and exterior. More than 150 types of fixtures are used, including custom-designed models such as “Starlight,” which illuminates the top of the building’s signature four-story entrance rotunda in a silvery-blue hue.

As a company that manufactures energy-consuming products, Hubbell wanted a building that represented its commitment to designing energy-efficient lighting. The LEED Silver–certified project reused furniture from the corporation’s previous offices and diverted more than half of the construction debris from landfills.

The Hubbell Lighting headquarters demonstrates the benefit of smart facility planning and design. The building’s slim, curved shape ensures that all occupants are in close proximity to support spaces and can enjoy well-managed daylight. The company was so pleased with the design that it distributed renderings to employees nationwide, encouraging people to move to South Carolina for the opportunity of working in the new facility. In Greenville, strangers have approached employees wearing Hubbell ID badges, inquiring how to get a job in the building. The corporation will benefit financially from energy savings, but it is the design of the extensive, state-of-the art lighting-solutions center that now gives Hubbell an advantage in its industry.