The new global headquarters for Sherwin-Williams is poised to change the landscape of downtown Cleveland, balancing exterior aesthetics with a comfortable workspace for its employees. Slated for completion in late 2024, the project will add a 36-story skyscraper to the western part of Cleveland’s skyline. Two additional buildings will connect to the main office skyscraper via glass-enclosed skywalks. The space will also have a four-story parking garage and two-story Public Square-facing pavilion called the Center for Excellence that serves as a welcome center, complete with displays detailing its company history, along with a space for employee training.
In 2015, it became clear the company had outgrown its space in the Landmark Office Towers in the Tower City Complex, and it began planning for a new, modern headquarters. With its 155-year history in Cleveland, it was crucial to the paint company that the headquarters remain downtown.
“We’ve seen other companies that have fled to the suburbs,” says Tim Muckley, director of corporate real estate for Sherwin-Williams. “But we wanted to show our commitment to the city by actually locating right in its epicenter.”
After considering 12 downtown sites, they settled on a spot just west of Public Square. The hope is that the complex and its 3,500 employees will inject much-needed energy into an area currently relegated for parking lots.
David Brown, an architect with Pickard Chilton, the firm working on the design alongside Cleveland-based firm Vocon, cites the Devon Energy Tower in Oklahoma City as an example of a similar project that did just that. With that in mind, space was left on the north and west sides of the new Sherwin headquarters for future development.
“We were trying to build in that future expansion as well,” says Brown. “Further revitalization of the Warehouse District was part of the overall vision of the project.”
For the physical design of the building, an “inside-out” approach was taken, prioritizing the needs of employees while taking community feedback into account. The result is a glass skyscraper that lets in plenty of light, with offices centralized in the middle.
This attention to detail extends outside. The top of the building will form a V-shape that intentionally points to Public Square on one side and the Warehouse District and lake on the other. However, it’s the public-facing pavilion that has Heisey and the rest of the team most excited.
“The Center for Excellence is the space in the building that is really at the front door,” he says. “As a visitor to Cleveland on a Saturday afternoon, you can walk around the pavilion and be able to see into the building and learn the history and the vision and the mission of Sherwin-Williams.”