Award Winner 2012:

Clif Bar & Company Headquarters

Emeryville, California

When Clif Bar owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford began looking for the right location for a new home, they were committed to creating a space that was more than a company headquarters. It needed to reflect their culture, tell their history, and to foster creative thinking.

The 75,000 square-foot Clif Bar Headquarters transforms an original World War II valve manufacturing facility into a workplace haven for the outdoor enthusiasts at Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of organic sports nutrition foods and healthy snacks. The space celebrates the inherent natural light and volumetric space of the repurposed warehouse, while capturing the company culture and connecting employees to the outdoors through “biophilic” interior design. The project exemplifies Clif Bar’s core values, from custom door pulls made from bike frames to the solar array on the roof. Housed in the EmeryTech Building in Emeryville, California, the project has received LEED Platinum certification. The headquarters features an open office working environment, research and development kitchen, a gym, onsite childcare, theater facilities, and a cafe.

Outstanding Features

The project includes a 530-kilowatt solar installation, and nearly all the office's electricity needs will be met with this system. More than 90% of the occupied space is naturally daylit. The open floor plan encourages employee interactions, but the design also includes 16 conference rooms and six "telephone booths" to allow for privacy and small meetings. Other unique employee spaces include a research & development kitchen, gym, cafe, theater, and daycare.
For more information, view the project submittal (pdf) >>

Survey Results

The occupants of this building are exceedingly happy with the building, and the overall satisfaction survey results put them at the 92nd percentile.
View the survey results (pdf) >>

Jury Comments

"Successful project overall: use of an existing building, ample community space, incorporating the company ethos in the design, and taking advantage of building features such as daylight and exposed structure."

"They took time to understand the user group they were designing for through interviews and surveys, evident in the inclusion of a daycare, fitness center, and cafeteria. Really well done!"

"Clif Bar has created a benchmark of what it takes to make a space that people enjoy being in. They incorporated sustainability with occupant satisfaction, and did a great job capturing the unique attributes of their community."

Project Team

Architect: ZGF Architects, LLP
General Contractor: DPR Contractors
Structural Engineers: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Mechanical & Plumbing: Integral Group
Acoustics: Altermatt Associates
Security & AV: SFMI
Food Service Consultant: Cini-Little

Clif Bars Company HQ

The design team transformed an old building into an open plan, well-lit space.

Clif Bars Company HQ

The office space includes a daycare center. Images courtesy of ZGF Architects, LLP.