fot. Barry haynes,, licencja: CC BY-SA 3.0

Unusual buildings: the former headquarters of the Longaberger company

Its form still surprises today. Longaberger’s office building was built in 1997 in Newark, Ohio. The architects gave it the shape of a basket, which for years was a popular product sold by the company. Today, the building is abandoned. Plans to open a hotel inside are still waiting to be realised.

The basket-shaped building was designed by architects from NBBJ and Korda/Nemeth Engineering. The edifice was built as an office building where the Longaberger company had its headquarters. Longaberger specialised in the production of baskets and kitchen utensils, and instead of constructing a ‘boring’ office building, the architects decided to directly refer to the company’s heritage and proposed the shape of a basket that had been sold by the company over the years.

The office building has a bright façade, the shape of which is designed to resemble woven wicker. The layout was broken up with window openings arranged symmetrically. The architects even designed handles that float above the roof and connect together. Just like in a shopping basket. A gold plaque with the company’s name on the top floor also alludes to the real basket. In total, the building has seven storeys.

The original form of the building evoked mixed feelings. Ridiculous to some, ugly to others and iconic to others, the building served as an office for several years. Its renovation was carried out almost ten years ago. During the work, all dilapidated elements were renovated both outside and inside. Inside, the atmosphere is still that of the 1990s, with marble floors, wood-panelled columns and a grand staircase. The central part is a spacious atrium, around which the offices are arranged.

photo by DogsRNice,, licence: CC BY-SA 4.0

Longaberger used the building until 2016 and closed two years later. The giant bin has stood empty for more than seven years. Back in 2019, the building was put up for sale. The real estate agency NAI Ohio River Corridor suggested that the bin could be converted into a hotel, which would be an attendance success – after all, the building’s unique form could attract tourists. A total of 150 rooms would be built inside.

The plan to convert the building into a hotel was halted by the coronavirus pandemic and, for the time being, the vision to reactivate the former office building has not been realised.

source: The Architect’s Newspaper

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