Hooper Corporation

DeForest, Wisconsin

Hooper Corporation, a Madison based full-service electric power and mechanical contractor founded in 1913, hired Kahler Slater to design its new campus in DeForest, WI. Hooper had a collection of buildings constructed over time and needed a new streamlined fabrication facility and a modern corporate office space where the team could collaborate in one location. The new campus positions Hooper Corporation for future growth by centralizing operations in an efficient, attractive and flexible development. The project positively changes the culture, reinforces the brand, and showcases the company’s legacy while making it attractive to the next generation workforce.

Centralizing operations between General Heating and Hooper will allow for increased performance and efficiencies between the two companies.

The innovative campus is positioned within a new business park which features rolling topography and some dense woodland areas. The office building is nestled within a grove of trees on the higher part of the site while the fabrication facility took advantage of the lower and flatter part of the site. The fabrication facility is designed from the inside-out to maximize efficient operations and to manage the flow of raw materials and finished goods.

The office building is organized as an east-west offset bar scheme to take advantage of the views of the woodland setting and maximize daylighting and connection to nature, while minimizing solar heat gain. The south half of the office bar is capped with a sloping roof which is framed with exposed timber decking, painted steel and natural glue-laminated wood structure. The building is clad in a light gray brick, black aluminum panels, and high-performance solar control low-e glazing.

The interior office planning features zones for private offices, open workstations, and support spaces over two floors. Conference, focus, and support rooms are strategically placed to maximize workplace productivity and efficiency. The first floor has an impressive two-story lobby with an open stair that encourages movement through the space, with overlooking conference rooms that support collaboration. Opposite the main entry on the first floor is a large amenity zone for staff which includes a lounge with fireplace, kitchen area, and access to an outdoor terrace which offers views of the wooded site. The exterior materials carry into the interior, creating a cohesive, warm palette. The legacy, values, and the company’s emphasis on safety are present throughout the space and on display in both details and larger installations.

BUILD Wisconsin 2022 Award Winner: Commercial Projects - New Construction