Seeking to create a better synergy between its research, design and business units, Commonwealth Architects, in association with Perkins+Will, assisted MeadWestvaco* as it relocated its Center for Packaging Innovation (CPI) from Raleigh, NC to its new headquarters in downtown Richmond.
After opening its new headquarters in 2009, MeadWestvaco, a Fortune 500 packaging company, wished to consolidate their CPI into the new building. As a result, the entire second floor, which was previously unoccupied, was retrofitted into a new, 18,000 square-foot wet laboratory, while the third floor became home to MeadWestvaco’s design and intellectual property departments. The new research labs, in particular, were designed to be open and flexible so research teams could ebb and flow with the needs of experiments and future requirements.
Used to test different packaging materials and coatings that MWV develops, a TAPPI lab was created that maintains strict humidity and temperature controls. Three different humidity chambers occupy the floor for specific humidity and temperature testing over long periods of time. In addition to the labs, office spaces were designed adjacent for the lab technicians and researchers.
*MeadWestvaco is now referred to as WestRock.