There’s ample room for innovation at Marriott’s new international headquarters: Journey Weekly


BETHESDA, Md. — There’s a wall in Marriott Worldwide’s Design Lab, a part of the corporate’s brand-new international headquarters right here, emblazoned with the next Willy Wonka quote: “Invention, my pricey buddies, is 93% perspiration, 6% electrical energy, 4% evaporation, and a couple of% butterscotch ripple.”

By no means thoughts that the sum of these numbers is 105%. It is becoming inspiration for an area that Jeff Voris, Marriott’s senior vp of world design methods and a former Disney government analysis and improvement Imagineer, characterizes as “an 8,400-square-foot playground.”

“[It’s a] place for creativity and ideation and exploration,” mentioned Voris throughout a media tour of the Marriott HQ’s downtown campus in mid-August, shortly after its opening.  

A model guestroom at the Room27 space in Marriott's Design Lab.

A mannequin guestroom on the Room27 house in Marriott’s Design Lab. Picture Credit score: Christina Jelski

The Design Lab’s important house — often known as Room27 in honor of the corporate’s founding in 1927 — is vibrant and open, giving Voris and his colleagues ample house to construct out life-size room fashions and play with their measurement and proportions in addition to sort out different hands-on experiments. 

Along with creating higher building strategies and sustainability methods, the Design Lab crew is methods to raised cater to bleisure vacationers by making lodge rooms extra “transformable,” Voris mentioned.

“As a enterprise traveler, traditionally, the proposition is you’re employed in your bed room and sleep in your workplace, and that is possibly not as preferrred because it could possibly be,” he mentioned, including that the identical options used to make rooms extra versatile for bleisure company could possibly be utilized to raised accommodate households with youngsters. 

“I do not assume the business has traditionally performed a terrific job of catering to households. So it is a device we will use for that, as nicely.”

Subsequent to Room27 is the constructing’s F+B Design Studio, which homes a state-of-the-art check kitchen and bar house (the place it is probably the butterscotch ripple, amongst different culinary delights, comes into play).

The Design Lab’s purview can even lengthen to a ground of the Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ lodge, linked to the headquarters by an out of doors plaza. Dubbed Floor57 in homage to the yr Marriott opened its first lodge, the house will home room prototypes for 13 Marriott manufacturers. As soon as Floor57 opens later this yr, Marriott plans to ask precise company to remain within the rooms and check out numerous operational and design improvements. 

Jeff Voris, Marriott's senior vice president of global design strategies, in the Design Lab.

Jeff Voris, Marriott’s senior vp of world design methods, within the Design Lab. Picture Credit score: Christina Jelski

Office and hospitality innovation

Getting such a visitor suggestions would have been inconceivable at Marriott’s former headquarters, a northern Bethesda workplace park constructing that the corporate referred to as residence from 1979 till this yr. 

There, Marriott’s lab was a darkish, subterranean house with mannequin rooms that lacked requirements for in a single day stays, comparable to plumbing. 

Innovation, nonetheless, is not restricted to the Design Lab. In a approach, Marriott’s whole headquarters is an enormous experiment in how one of many world’s largest hospitality corporations will adapt to the brand new regular of hybrid work.

Like many corporations, Marriott is not mandating a full return to the workplace. As a substitute, it has prolonged a versatile work coverage, permitting company employees to come back in once they select. Because of this, the headquarters’ format is much from conventional. 

Quite than have devoted desks, workers can reserve workstations in numerous “neighborhoods,” with every neighborhood representing a distinct division. For personal conferences or calls, there are glass-walled convention areas and small, soundproof rooms out there.

The variety of workstations deliberate for the location was decreased as soon as it turned clear that distant working was prone to stay nicely past the pandemic and that folks would use the workplace in another way.

A staircase at Marriott International's headquarters incorporates bleacher-style seating in its design.

A staircase at Marriott Worldwide’s headquarters incorporates bleacher-style seating in its design. Picture Credit score: Marriott Worldwide

“We took about 25% of our workstations and as a substitute changed that with extra versatile seating,” mentioned David Marriott, the corporate’s chairman of the board. “[We did that] understanding that folks, once they come to the workplace, could also be right here much less to do heads-down work and extra for conferences.”

The brand new constructing can also be anticipated to perform as an efficient recruiting device. Along with fashionable and versatile workspaces, the headquarters affords facilities like a well being and health middle full with Peloton bikes; a wellness suite with meditation rooms, therapeutic massage chairs, treadmill desks and a lactation room; and an on-site childcare middle operated by Vibrant Horizons.

“We eradicated a major proportion of our workforce within the early days of the pandemic, so we’re really hiring and attempting to construct that workforce again up,” mentioned Marriott CEO Tony Capuano. “We expect this constructing and this work setting might be a major aggressive benefit.”



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