For Choate Construction Co., building the new corporate headquarters for the William Carter Co.—the children's clothing brand better known as Carter's—within 11 floors in Atlanta's Phipps Tower was an exercise in brand building. Perkins+Will's design for the 275,000-sq-ft space places prominence on Carter's youthful customers with custom product display cases. At the same time, the interior emphasizes quality finishes, with extensive use of glass wall systems, wood wall and ceiling systems, high-end lighting with daylight harvesting and more than 100,000 sq ft of walnut wood flooring.

Each floor features a "garage" to house what the company calls "mobile milestone units." These wheeled units contain samples, fabrics and various other materials that employees can wheel between offices and conference rooms to facilitate collaboration. Two exposed staircases between the 17th, 18th and 19th floors offer another opportunity for employee engagement. Additionally, each floor includes a library with a coffee bar and a break room. Large, open offices further encourage employee interaction.

To ensure consistent quality, the contractor employed its "10-foot rule," which holds that the first 10 sq ft, or linear ft, of any scope is constructed and then reviewed by the project superintendent, owner and architect before any specialty contractor can continue to build. If the work fails to meet quality standards, the contractor has to start its work over. That standard wasn't a problem, as the project team met its schedule goal of delivering the facility to the owner for occupancy in 20 weeks.

The office project is targeting LEED-Gold certification.

Best Interiors/Tenant Improvement Project - Carter's Inc., Atlanta

Key Players

Contractor Choate Construction Co., Atlanta

Owner Carter’s Inc., Atlanta

Architect Perkins+Will, Atlanta

Construction manager Cushman & Wakefield, Atlanta

MEP Engineer Barrett Woodyard, Norcross, Ga.