Wilson Center: A showcase for innovative Wilsonart products and applications

Each fixture, furnishing and finish in Wilsonart’s North Americas corporate headquarters is a unique design concept that opens the imagination to the potential of Wilsonart materials and technologies.

Wilsonart, a world leading manufacturer of technology-enhanced performance and decorative engineered surfaces, opened its new North Americas headquarters in Temple, Texas in 2015. Named in honor of company founder Ralph Wilson, Sr., the Wilson Center is a LEED® Silver building, certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as one of the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient, and high-performing buildings.

The 31,000 square feet building replaces Wilsonart’s former HQ and consolidates business units that had previously been scattered across multiple sites. The Wilson Center was designed to showcase the potential of Wilsonart products and applications. “The Wilson Center gave us an amazing opportunity to unleash our creativity while showcasing the virtually unlimited potential of Wilsonart products in a commercial environment,” said Richard Grant, Assistant Principal with STG Design, who oversaw the Wilson Center design project.

Throughout the building, visitors can explore creative applications of the company’s surfacing materials, including High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Thermally-Fused Laminate (TFL), Specialty Laminates, Solid Surface, Quartz, and Compact Laminate. The applications feature a stunning range of colors, textures, and finishes. Each room showcases original uses and innovative combinations of the company’s products, technologies and design concepts.

Upon entering the Wilson Center, visitors approach the reception desk fabricated from Wilsonart® Solid Surface (Coconut Oil) and Laminate from the Wilsonart® Virtual Design Library (VDL). The desk features rich, gleaming horizontal solid surface planes juxtaposed with vertical planes faced in Antique Tobacco Pine Woodgrain Laminate. Wilsonart’s VDL Woodgrain surfacing technique involved scanning genuine native wooden boards and using the scanned images to precisely emulate the actual grain, texture, coloring, and shading of the boards. A coffee table constructed entirely of Compact Laminate sits in the reception area and features an accent of the Coconut Oil Solid Surfacing used on the reception desk. The woodgrain laminates chosen for the table, Oiled Chestnut and Florence Walnut, give the table added dimensionality with the light and dark contrast of the two designs. Wilsonart’s Woodgrain Laminates add warmth and a touch of natural elegance to the reception room, while the solid surfaces give it a crisp, contemporary flair.

Our visitors have now arrived at the Wilsonart Center’s gallery hall, a space dedicated to featuring new and noteworthy products on a rotating basis. Here, visitors may stop and relax on benches crafted of Montana Walnut Woodgrain Laminate topped with comfy genuine leather cushions. Surrounding them, recessed shadow boxes made of Frosty White Laminate display numerous samples and sample applications of Wilsonart products.  Inside the recessed niches, interiors of Crystal Steel Decorative Metal gleam. Wilsonart’s Matte, Polished, and Satin Decorative Metals look as though they have been finely honed by expert craftsmen and aged to perfection. 

Passing a large training room and an executive conference room, visitors enter the common area of the building, which includes a coffee bar and casual seating area.  The coffee bar island juxtaposes a dark Wilsonart Solid Surface (Clouded) on the lower countertop with Old Mill Oak butcher-block laminate finished with a Crescent Edge on the standing height bar counter. Because it is seamless and non-porous, Wilsonart’s Solid Surface line is an elegant yet practical solution for this type of application. The millwork in the coffee bar features Blue Barn Laminate and Edgebanding, as well as Compact Laminate in White Barn, routed to look like planked wood. Compact Laminate is an ideal solution for high-impact surfaces such as lockers and cabinets. The rear wall of the coffee bar area also makes use of Wilsonart’s Chalkboard Laminate, a product that offers a durable, versatile and low-maintenance writing surface; and a shelf utilizing Wilsonart® SOLICOR™ (Linen), a specialty laminate created with a solid color core that eliminates the brown line characteristic of traditional laminates.

Beneath the striking Williamsburg Cherry woodgrain decorative laminate beams, sits the casual seating area adjacent to the coffee bar area, which is a social hub for employees and visitors to the building. The industrial side tables are adorned in Western Bronze and Landmark Wood laminates.

Multiple private huddle and phone rooms adjacent to the lounge area utilizes Wilsonart’s VDL Spectrum series showcasing the Crossweave series – curated colors in a cross-directional design with a woven feel.

The airy cafe features Slate Grey Laminate with the Linearity finish on the millwork lining the wall as well as the island, while the countertops feature the newest addition to Wilsonart’s surfaces portfolio: Wilsonart® Quartz (Lorraine). Quartz is engineered to be stain and scratch resistant and it is also nonporous so it never needs to be sealed, making it the perfect choice for this type of application.

With the soaring glass walls in the café the tables help to ground the space by utilizing a combination of designs. There are monochromatic laminate tables in Rustic Slate with custom Beveled Edges, and a variety of WXY and VDL Laminate tables also with decorative edges. Wilsonart’s Virtual Design Library (VDL) offers an ever-expanding collection of curated, custom laminate designs so that every space can be unique. From laminate designs that include footballs to folk art and checkerboards to cherry groves, the digital design library contains something for every style, space and imagination.

Moving from the café, visitors pass an artful bookcase which is fashioned with Wilsonart’s Coordinated Surfaces (HPL, Edgeband and TFL in Studio Teak) to the Wellness Room. Cabinets are surfaced and edge banded in Landmark Wood, countertops fabricated from Maple Harvest Solid Surface, and a side table of Windswept Bronze Laminate provides a tranquil environment.

Even a brief stop in the restrooms/locker rooms demonstrate that the Wilson Center is all about attention to every detail, with the restroom partitions and lockers faced in Crisp Linen Compact Laminate, a laminate side table in the distinctive red Tweedish, and Zen Grey Solid Surfacing atop the vanity.

STG Design’s Richard Grant summarizes the Wilson Center design experience stating, “We are very proud of this project and awed by the fact that it will be used and seen by so many of Wilsonart’s domestic and international clients. I believe it will open conversations about new technologies and products and inspire new ways of thinking about commercial surroundings, fixtures, furnishings and features in a high-functioning working environment.”

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