Case Study: Rocket Mortgage Marketing
Case Study: Rocket Mortgage Marketing
The workplace designed for the Rocket Mortgage Marketing team in the One Campus Martius building in Detroit was built on the foundation of communication to foster and fuel human connection and innovation. An understanding of this team’s culture and mission to deliver world-class marketing solutions for the mortgage lending giant, evolved into a design narrative based on three distinct pillars of communication—artisanal craft, language, and the history of marketing.
Language has been uniting humanity since its origin. Observing the impact and purpose of verbal and written communication throughout history allowed Pophouse to visually represent various forms of communication within the design to foster inclusivity and accommodate a range of workstyles in the space. By realizing the history of shared thought, the space effectively communicates ideas and beliefs through written, visual, audial, and tactile forms.
As this project’s progress was interrupted by the pandemic, the concept of human communication and connection became more important than initially imagined. Leveraging our strategic process, we were able to integrate a variety of solutions to accommodate different workstyles as well as a hybrid team member presence, allowing the space to transcend now outdated office design standards. Flexibility within the environment encourages communication with the ease of access and inclusivity to all, whether onsite or remote.
Workplace strategy is the initial step in understanding the client’s needs for their space. By gathering critical information about the existing space and culture we can recommend tactics that allow the business to prosper. This data-driven approach provides the key to building a successful workspace, allowing it to become an incubator for increased productivity, improve the team member experience, attract and retain talent, and optimize business outcomes.
A survey was issued to the team to better understand the organization’s culture and the varying facets of work tasks that needed physical accommodation. Consideration was given to any areas where the team felt their space did not provide the functionality needed to thrive.
To ensure all team members were given a platform to share their feedback, we engaged the team in the process and discussed the results in a town hall format. This created an ongoing dialogue further deepening our understanding of the objectives for the space. We met with leaders of the various sub-teams to discover critical details and walked the space to observe and understand the rituals and behaviors firsthand. This survey guided the programming and schematic phases of our process allowing us to plan for crucial team adjacencies, types of space, and aesthetic choices representative of the team’s culture.
Our team of industrial designers focus on creating custom pieces unique to each client with an emphasis on accommodating the specific objectives required for the piece. Several drafts of varying designs evolved as our industrial design team worked through the programmatic requirements and design of the reception desk. Guest visibility, ergonomic support, storage, and functionality were all considered throughout this drafting process. The reception desk, clad in walnut, stone, and brass, serves as the focal point within the space, a welcoming entry for all guests and team members. The materials selected for this piece were chosen carefully; each marble slab was inspected to ensure seamless book matching and perfect alignment with the adjacent brass and glass fluting.
Above is a 3D rendering of the space, and below, the final product. 3D rendering is a valuable tool our team uses to convey the design intent to the client prior to production.
Our Interior Design team works to seamlessly blend strategy and intention to create a space that is both innovative and purposeful. Crafting a foundational design narrative unique to the brand brings our clients’ story to life. The design narrative is woven through every curated space, material, and adjacency.
The design narrative is represented through defining architectural features within the space. Historic marketplaces were often open-air structures supported by arches that connected and supported the structure and inherently, the community. This integral architectural feature is reflected within each entry point, lighting fixture, and custom millwork detail to visually promote connection and community within the team. The variety of natural and sustainable materials specified within the interior highlight the vital tactile thread to humanity, and its resources, allowing users to feel at ease amongst authentic, hand-crafted products. Blending local materials of different tactile levels allowed the space to embody an artisanal aesthetic important to continue the representation of the narrative throughout the space.
This Marketing Team desired the flexibility to choose their environment based on the task, eliminating barriers typical in corporate office landscapes. Pophouse delivered on this human-centric approach by providing a spectrum of non-characteristic landmarks. A speakeasy lounge concealed by a hidden pivot door, a sunken conversation pit for team gatherings flanked by hearth-like millwork, a communal cafe with an inviting arched entry, a creative library built for content collaboration, and a wellness suite to provide shelter and solace for individual respite, all contribute to a landscape built on choice and balance.
Above, a hand-drawn elevation rendering of the kitchen. The varied use of tile and walnut paneling was necessary to continue emphasizing artisanal materials and craftsmanship through the space. After several sketches and then modeling the space in 3D, the material application design evolved. The stacked linear tile was positioned on the wall adjacent to the tables for ease of cleaning and the walnut frames the booths, shown in the below 3D rendering and photography.
The kitchen is a crucial space for gathering and congregation in both residential and commercial settings. The concept and layout remain open to allow for visibility, a sense of safety, and fluid conversation to occur. A variety of seating options are provided to accommodate and foster different activities amongst the team. A blend of authentic and recognizable materials such as leather, walnut, and terrazzo comprise the material palette, connecting this space with the reception look and feel.
Our workplace data indicated the team required an amenity space to comfortably host and entertain. The Speakeasy is accessed through a hidden entrance disguised as a bookshelf with subtle archways adorned in artisanal walnut trim. This unique space evokes a sense of mystery and resplendent detail the team desired for the perfect hosting space for both team members and guests.
A variety of meeting spaces were provided throughout the open office to accommodate different work styles and technology needs that became prevalent during the pandemic. Enclosed meeting spaces adjacent to the open office seamlessly open at the touch of an accordion glass door allowing an increase of capacity and opportunity for collaboration.
The team’s frequent need for content viewing, requested in the workplace survey, allowed us to plan for dedicated viewing rooms. These lounge-style meeting spaces are flanked by acoustically supportive drapery to create a theater-like setting.
Environmental Graphic Design
Custom environmental graphics crafted by local fabricators visually communicate the team’s values and purpose throughout the open office to motivate the team. Fixtures, hardware, and other patterning details with subtle alphabetic and phonetic symbolism convey the playfulness and energy of the team’s culture. The team’s cultural mission and values are descriptively displayed within custom 3-dimensional installations.
The office is a platform for communication, providing various nodes and methods for transferring information, communicating ideas, and developing content. Like the historic marketplace once brought community together, so does this workspace through the accommodation of flexible layers of programming, respect to neurodiversity, integration of hybrid technology solutions, and a variety of bespoke congregation and individual space to support a creative, powerhouse team. As people return to offices with new and different needs, a space that fosters connection and communication is more crucial than ever. We look forward to seeing how this re-imagined home for the Rocket Marketing team will propel them into the future.
Click here to view more of the finished space.