Training facility design leads to improved learning experiences

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

When Miller Brewing Company and Coors merged, the need for a contemporary training facility to support all of the enterprise’s training initiatives became a priority. Building 66 at the Eastern Division Headquarters was selected for the new MillerCoors University (MCU) facility. Kahler Slater worked with MillerCoors on a master plan to redesign the visitor and employee entrance experience, relocate the Great Lakes Regional Offices (GLRO) to this facility, plan for a large employee gathering space and transform the MillerCoors training experience. A Visioning Workshop revealed the importance of this project to acknowledge the beer brewing culture and heritage of this unique facility, which is located adjacent to a working brewery.

The MCU was the first phase of the master plan to be implemented. Its location at the crossroads of the employee and visitor circulation paths allowed us to create an open and transparent entry from what was previously an underutilized conversation pit. The primary circulation space doubles as informal breakout and touchdown spaces that support the more collaborative instructional model used in the primary training rooms. The Visioning Workshop and benchmarking tours inspired an evolution of the MCU training process that will be the basis for all programs delivered in the new space. This process and the rooms themselves have improved the ability to facilitate sessions for all business lines. The communal dining area anchors the breakout space and offers students a unique view of the working brewery. Storage space has been integrated into the space to conveniently hold the visiting students' luggage. Adjacent to the MillerCoors University space, the GLRO sales office relocation was designed with several impromptu meeting spaces and hoteling stations to help the group transition to a more open office and flexible work environment. The master plan for the visitor experience is designed to immediately immerse the visitor into the heritage, products and services of MillerCoors with a story wall, product and process displays and the overarching theme that this is not just an office; it's a place where beer is made by fun people that are passionate about what they do. The master plan's secondary experience shift was to integrate the employee entry path into the transformed lobby. This solution will create efficient traffic flows for both visitors and employees, while driving people towards the transformed MCU and visitor experience. The MillerCoors University and Great Lakes Regional Offices are already enjoying their new spaces. We look forward to implementing the entry experience and gathering pace in a future phase.

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