Walmart’s new home office campus is taking shape as Gensler, a global architecture firm, was chosen to oversee the massive building project from start to finish.
In a blog post Wednesday (Aug. 21) by executive vice president of corporate affairs Dan Bartlett, Walmart said Gensler has a proven track record of designing and building corporate campuses that reflect the culture, values and business needs of its clients.
“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,” Bartlett wrote. “So, we’ve taken careful consideration to select the very best talent who have the experience to design a modern, connected campus that is uniquely Walmart.”
Bartlett, Walmart’s lead executive overseeing the new corporate campus project, said Gensler will design the future office buildings and lead a team of consultants. Those consultants include Miller Boskus Lack Architects of Fayetteville, who will be the lead design team for amenity buildings around the campus including the fitness center, auditorium and food hall.
Sasaki of Watertown, Mass., will be part of the team with a focus on urban design that will be an extension of downtown Bentonville, according to the blog post.
SWA Group, a global landscape architecture firm with headquarters in California, will work to beautify the campus that aligns with the natural features of the region. SWA’s plan will preserve many trees and native species and provide connectivity to the Razorback Regional Greenway.
Houston-based Walter P Moore group will work together with Bentonville-based CEI Engineering Associates to provide the structural engineering work around the project.
“Some of the design leaders call Arkansas home, while others bring experience from 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,” Bartlett wrote.
Walmart said initial demolition has already started, and work has also begun on utilities. The project will continue in phases with the first unit expected to open in 2020 and full campus completion by 2024.
“We are honored and humbled to be the creative partner helping shape Walmart’s future campus,” Douglas C. Gensler, managing director of the eponymous architecture firm, said in a statement. “The design is innovative, resilient, thoughtful and purpose-driven that places people at the heart of the company’s next chapter. 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.
Walmart has established a microsite that will provide construction updates and news on the home office project. Walmart said it has been imagining and planning for what a new home office might look like for the past two years. The campus will be modern, energy-efficient, tech-enabled and designed to attract and retain the best talent from around the world, the retailer said.
Walmart could have built its new corporate campus anywhere in the world, but CEO Doug McMillon said previously, “Arkansas has been good to us. There’s nowhere else we’d rather call home. When I imagine the next 60 years, I can’t help but smile at the possibilities.”
Wednesday’s announcement was the second update on the home office project since the initial announcement in September 2017. In May, Bartlett unveiled some conceptual designs for the project and said construction would begin this summer.