Reebok, like the South African antelope it’s named after, moves quickly. When looking to rethink its global headquarters, Reebok decided to shift from its isolated, singular building in Canton, MA to Boston’s bustling Innovation District. With a project schedule cut by 66%, designers at Gensler worked at a breakneck speed to develop a 220,000 SF home for one of the most recognizable apparel brands in the world. Acentech’s team of acousticians worked with the architect and Reebok itself to develop a new space to call home.
At this new headquarters, one will not find cubicles or even a single office. Reebok’s embrace of a truly collaborative office experience required thoughtful acoustical design—and mental preparation for staff moving into this radically different approach to work. Sound isolation for meeting spaces and the mitigation of sound-build up in this open office design played a key role in designing an acoustically comfortable environment for employees. Acentech also developed a 3DListening® auralization for Reebok’s key decision makers. This predictive listening model allowed designers and end users to hear how the office will sound before installing a single inch of sound absorptive treatment in the actual space. Acentech’s 3DL program helped individuals to prepare themselves for the shift from a closed to open office setup, and to make the right decision in terms of selecting the amount of acoustical treatments to fit their needs.
Reebok’s fitness program, CrossFit, has its flagship gym on the first floor of the building. The high intensity workouts championed by this approach to exercise involves Olympic-style lifting with barbell weights. Typically, the only safe way to lift these weights is to let the barbell drop to the ground. The nature of these workouts posed a unique challenge to designers—just a single lifter alone can cause structural vibration issues, let alone when the drops are done simultaneously by several people. Acentech’s team of vibration control experts worked with designers to develop a customized lifting platform floor covering a large portion of the facility to absorb impact noise from dropped weights. This customized solution minimizes disturbances to neighbors throughout the building and also lets CrossFit classes operate successfully in a group setting with many athletes completing a workout simultaneously.