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Walmart Announces Design Dream Team

Plans for sustainably inspired home office are underway
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart shared a project update this week on its new home office, including the team of experts enlisted to design it.

“We want our new campus to create an environment that helps associates move the company forward, is in line with our sustainability goals (to be powered by 100% renewable energy and create zero waste) and stays true to our roots in northwest Arkansas,” wrote Dan Bartlett, EVP of corporate affairs for the Bentonville, Ark.,-based retailer, on its corporate website.

The goal is to create a “modern, connected campus that is uniquely Walmart,” Bartlett said, adding that the design team represents a combination of talent based in Arkansas and around the world.

“We believe this blend of the best global players and the best local team will result in a new home office that positions us for the future,” he said.

San Francisco-based Gensler has been selected as the executive architect to oversee the new home office project from start to finish. “Gensler is a global architecture firm with a proven track record of designing and building corporate campuses that reflect the culture, values and business needs of their clients,” wrote Bartlett.

“The new Walmart campus will embody the DNA attributes for a connected and successful workplace with the latest advances in technology and sustainability, while reflecting the Walmart culture and seamlessly integrating into the fabric of the community,” said Douglas C. Gensler, principal and managing director of Gensler.

Local players include Fayetteville, Ark.-based Miller Boskus Lack Architects, which will lead design teams for the amenity buildings around campus, including the fitness center, auditorium and food hall; Sasaki of downtown Bentonville will focus on urban design; and CEI Engineering Associates, also of Bentonville, is part of the engineering team.

Landscape architecture firm SWA Group, which collaborated on the Google headquarters award-winning design, will lead campus beautification efforts in a way that aligns with the natural features of the region. Its plan will preserve many trees and native species, as well as provide the public with connectivity to the Razorback Regional Greenway, a 37.6-mile trail.

Walter P. Moore, based in Houston, will bring the experience of engineering forward-thinking projects of this size and scope. Together with CEI Engineering, Walter P. Moore will “ensure the work is executed efficiently and stays true to Walmart’s ‘Every Day Low Cost’ culture.”

In May, Bartlett described the mega-retailer’s approach to a new home office as “imaging what Walmart’s ‘dream home’ might be.” Ample natural light, expanded food offerings, convenient parking, fitness options and a child care facility topped the list of elements that make up a desirable work environment.

“We expect [our new modern and connected campus] will accelerate Walmart’s digital transformation and help attract the next generation of talent with state-of-the-art technology and contemporary conveniences,” Bartlett wrote in May.

Initial demolition is underway, and work has begun on utilities. Walmart has said it will continue to provide updates throughout the project’s various phases.

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