Bike to and at work!

21 Apr 2016
  • posted by Veerle Pieters

The story of today takes place in Chicago, more specifically in a former cold storage warehouse in the historical Fulton Market district. In that 72,000-square-foot facility the second largest manufacturer of bicycle components SRAM, has opened its new headquarters last Summer.

The Power of Bicycles

The new headquarters are designed by global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. The SRAM executives wanted the new place to be a fun and exciting place to work, but also one that would reflect the ethos of the company as a leader in the bicycle industry.

We believe in the power of bicycles to transform lives, and, in this new space, our culture celebrates that.

 — David Zimberoff, vice president of marketing for SRAM

Everything is built around biking culture as you’ll notice from all the details in the photos. Details such as bike-taped door pulls, drawer pulls made from components that SRAM manufactures. The crown jewel however is a 200m cycling track around the office painted with the same graphics that Chicago uses on its bike lanes. That track is an essential part in testing new gear coming out of SRAM’s labs.

Cycling Culture

Speaking about cycling, most of SRAM's 150 Chicago employees bike to work so there’s a large storage space in the buildings basement with 200 bike racks. Employees also have a locker room with showers and a bike washing station to keep their pride & joy clean after a rainy commute. The employees also led a contest to design 200 more custom racks situated near their workstations upstairs, each of which display the bike like a trophy.

Most of the workstations are all situated in an open-plan space, and each employee has a sit/stand desk. There are only four private offices in SRAM's 72,000-square-foot HQ. The rest are several types of open and enclosed meeting spaces that provide multiple options for collaboration. The SRAM café functions as an all-day work space used for casual meetings or to facilitate larger gatherings like the viewing of a stage in the Tour de France. There’s also an outdoor terrace that spans around the office that could be used for informal meetings.

There was a lot of time spent really trying to figure out how to accommodate the unique requirements from the finance to graphic design departments.

 — Joe Connell, design principal at Perkins+Will

Upstairs, the office space includes workspaces for product development and on-site machining and engineering of parts. The interior also carries SRAM’s signature red in architectural components, brand imagery, and furniture textiles. It’s needed to have such a big ‘lifestyle of bikes’ attraction as the competition for employees is tough.

We compete these days with companies like Google—which actually occupies the five floors above us—and the amenities and perks they offer.

 — David Zimberoff, vice president of marketing for SRAM

Sounds like a really cool place to work and I wouldn’t mind using the latest SRAM eTap if I worked there :)

Photos by Michelle Litvin Studio