Darden Restaurants Corporate Headquarters

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The new 470,000-square-foot Darden Restaurants headquarters was designed to provide a more open work environment that would encourage employees with the company’s half-dozen restaurant brands to interact and collaborate. The “culture of culinary”, among brand drivers such as hospitality, community, sustainability, transparency and comfort, were used to unite the company’s brands and staff under one roof for the first time in four decades and ultimately shape the design solution.

The building’s chassis-based central core arrangement that envelops both enclosed office and program areas, allowing for an open environment easily accessible to daylight and views at the perimeter. The main interior public space—“Main Street”—provides ample opportunities to express the brand platform (“to nourish and delight”). Informational wall displays express the company’s history, staff, diversity and involvement in community outreach programs, further encouraging a cohesive “Darden” mentality, versus separate brand identities. Vibrant, large-scale environmental graphics on the Culinary Stair and other key areas incorporate a variety of artists’ work and express the brand personality. Throughout the space, the branded “red” creates a focal point of collaboration in the interiors.

Associate Architect
General contractor
Hardin Construction Company
Orlando, Florida