Toll Brothers HQ: A New Home for the Home Maker

  • Date 02.24.2021

  • Author Lauren Coughlin

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After occupying the same building for almost 40 years, the time came for Toll Brothers to let go of their multi-level, segmented, and bleakly conventional office space. An organization with family at its center and a product offering with a high-end reputation, Toll Brothers wanted their new workplace to exemplify both principles.

The company had built an impressive portfolio of homes in California and New York City which were to serve as inspiration for the new HQ’s vibe – a good dose of urban with the natural airiness of the west coast. A traditionally corporate space – like the one they were leaving – would be no good for a business rooted in residential development; the infusion of a ‘just-like-home’ feel was a design prerequisite.

When 150,000 SF became available on a single-floor building that once housed a convention center, the Toll team seized the opportunity while sympathetic to the reality that it was too small for their 175,000 SF need. It became D2’s challenge to find additional square footage and, in a cold and empty frame, build in warmth, intimacy, and character to parallel the diverse and distinct Toll Brothers personality.

An additional 25,000 square feet was created by raising the existing roof structure to a soaring 30’ deck height to incorporate a mezzanine level. A series of clerestory windows & skylights were added within the new roof to bring more natural light to the center of the deep floor plate. Key exterior elements – the corner seen from the adjacent road, the main visitor entrance, and the employee entrance – were redesigned for a stronger presence and to incorporate some of the interior materials on the outside.

an additional 25,000 square feet was created by raising the existing roof structure to a soaring 30’ deck height to incorporate a mezzanine level

The master plan features two boulevards which define shared space and symbolize the company’s refrain – “building at the intersection of Main and Main”. Like the thoroughfare of a small town, Main + Main are lined with shared destinations including two stairs to the mezzanine level, a bistro, a series of small cafés, conference rooms, training facilities, and diverse collaboration and lounge spaces that act as patios and living rooms. With a two-sided, 12’ high green wall as a backdrop, an 8’ diameter gas fireplace grounds the intersection of the two boulevards.

Architectural blocks are a consistent element throughout, mimicking the material shifts and built landscape of an urban environment. Raw building materials like concrete, plaster, blackened steel, and wood lumber acknowledge the Toll industry. These are paired with refined woods, decorative lighting, and playful wallcoverings, contributing to both a natural, west coast vibe and a high-end residential environment.

Workspaces are situated in districts, defined by the new mezzanine and the crossing of Main + Main. Architectural conference room blocks further subdivide the open zones and delineate neighborhoods. The blocks sit below the building structure with open space above creating a feeling of connection between departments while offering them privacy.  Wall heights vary, as would the built environment in a city. Ceilings, while primarily exposed, contain a variety of textured planes and lighting to add visual interest and a varied spatial experience. A raised floor allowed for minimal slab disruption during construction and offers the continued benefit of long-term flexibility. 

A drastic shift in workplace strategy – from an office-heavy, formal environment to one that’s primarily open and casual – required careful attention to privacy, confidentiality, and acoustics. Meeting spaces are heavily varied and dispersed maximizing choice between open conversation zones, technology-rich glass conference rooms, and tucked away, private retreats. Noise is captured by a wide assortment of acoustic materials which also enhance the architectural design – fabric wrapped wall panels, felt panels, acoustic wood walls, acoustic drywall, and a variety of sound absorptive flooring materials. of sound absorptive flooring materials. 

this new space is thickly woven with the Toll Brothers story

The lofty workspaces, hospitality-infused common spaces, and defined productivity zones create a fully immersive experience that is both inspirational and full of comfort. These strategically designed architectural elements provide a refined backdrop for custom installations that highlight Toll’s culture. No installation is without meaning. A sculptural wall of antique door knobs and knockers, a wall of homes drawn by the children of Toll employees, whimsical and bold wallcoverings, and custom artwork throughout are just a small selection of the many ways this new space is thickly woven with the Toll Brothers story.