Deconstructed candy bars and iconic characters inject energy and whimsy into Mars’ corporate headquarters.
Brightly colored M&M candies inspired the design of MARS US Snackfood’s national headquarters. Bergmeyer imagined M&Ms in section and organized the space according to the candy’s layers. Saturated color washes the walls; rooms are curved to suggest their ubiquitous shapes, and rich chocolaty hues line semi-enclosed spaces. The main conference room makes subtle reference to a Snickers bar: wrapped on the outside in deep brown molded rubber, its interior walls are bathed in amber light from nut-shaped pendants. Witty references continue in the lobby, where curvaceous furniture in candy colors invites guests to relax and a dark chocolate-toned wall emblazoned with the ‘D’ of a giant Dove Bar offers a built-in seat inside its loop. The energetic, 100,000-sf office environment reinforces MARS global brand, reflects the company’s playful culture, and serves to attract and retain employees at the company’s rural New Jersey location.
Bergmeyer incorporated new skylights and floor openings in the existing building to bring natural light deep into its central space, helping the project to attain LEED Gold certification. Low walled workstations are grouped along the glassed perimeter and surround the brand-abstracted social and meeting spaces, which are loosely organized around highly visible “Main Streets” providing clear circulation paths and visual connections on both levels.
In designing this project, Bergmeyer’s team worked on-site with representatives from MARS at three or four-day stretches throughout the project to become immersed in their brand and to observe employees’ work patterns. Through full immersion in the brand experience and day-to-day operations, we created a whimsical yet highly functional space.