Target Corporation Northern Campus
RBC Tiles & Stone
In November 2005 the American organized distribution giant Target Corporation discussed with Brooklyn Park City Council and Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority an ambitious project to expand its Northern Campus located in Brooklyn Park, near Minneapolis, Minnesota. The project stemmed from the need to build new offices to accompany the growth of Target Corporation and the considerable difficulty in expanding its Headquarters in central Minneapolis beyond a certain point. The envisaged building of a tower here would have taken at least three years and in any case would not have met future space requirements. But the expansion of the Target Northern Campus not only costs less but also allows Target Corporation to build in a new urban development area with services and infrastructures that would increase the quality of life of its employees. The Target Corporation project will see the construction of 743,200 square metres of office facilities for 26,000 employees, 185,800 square metres of shop facilities and 3,000 homes within the space of 10-15 years (faster or slower according to actual requirements). The project also includes the creation of a public park, an aqueduct, a public library, a police station and two hotels. The construction of the new « Building D » of the Target Northern Campus, completed last autumn, marks the first step in the general project described above. The new 23,230-square-metre office complex consists of two separate buildings of 9,300 and 13,940 square metres, connected by a large central atrium which houses approximately 1,000 new employees. To boost staff well-being, natural light is used, harnessed by means of giant glass curtain walls at the north and south ends of the atrium and also a skylight that runs along the entire length of the roof. The team of architects and designers at Ellerbe Becket (one of the largest architectural, interior design and construction management companies in the USA), who were instructed by Target Corporation to recreate in the Northern Campus an environment whose quality would foster a sense of belonging on the part of the employees (as with « Target’s Headquarters » in Minneapolis) focused particular attention on the atrium’s interior finishings to underscore its pivotal role and aesthetic and psychological importance. For the flooring they looked for a material that would guarantee the density, endurance and appeal of natural stone when viewed up close, as well as offer the elements necessary to create a subtle overall pattern that would nonetheless have a strong impact when viewed from the upper levels of the atrium. Ceramiche Caesar’s fine porcelain tiles were chosen for their ability to evoke the monolithic surface effect sought by the Ellerbe Becket team, which they could then adapt by adding some interesting detail using the colour red (characteristic of Target Corporation’s brand) by cutting a 3 mm line into the tile and filling it with red grout. The originality of the overall design stems from the laying pattern of the tiles, which is based on shape, colour combinations and finishes, as well as on the offset geometry between the two components of « Building D ». The tiles were laid in line with one of the wings of the complex, whereas the red line runs in the direction of the other, emphasizing the concept behind the design of leading the side buildings back towards the centre. This project was joint winner in the Commercial category of the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition 2007.