Brentwood, TN


Architecture, Experiential Design & Wayfinding, Interior Design

When Vaco, an international talent and solutions firm, signed a lease to become the anchor tenant of a brand new development in the Maryland Farms area of Brentwood, Tennessee, they called on Gresham Smith to design a new corporate headquarters that would bring their already vibrant culture into their new workplace. The two-floor open concept gives the team room to collaborate, host large events and entertain a variety of guests. Vaconians now have a space that truly reflects their brand.

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the main lobby in the Vaco Headquarters

Very Vaco

Upon entering the reception area you can’t help but notice the large moss wall and color-changing LED lights with the company ethos Free Yourself. A popular photo-op for both visitors and Vaconians, this unique feature leaves no doubt that you’re entering a space that’s distinctly Vaco.

work stations and a employee kitchen in the Vaco headquarters

Aligning Culture and Workplace

The design challenge posed to us was to align the work environment to their cherished core tenets and unique brand of company culture. Through programming and workplace strategy efforts in a several month-long process we set forth a concept that envisioned Vaco’s culture and employees supported and inspired by their surroundings.

The new office is a place for working hard and playing hard, where friends are invited in, and all good things are celebrated. We chose authentic materials in a controlled color palette and exposed the structure. Playful graphics and design features are throughout the office and comfortable unique furniture add in the layer of fun and energy.

employees gathered in a common space with a bar in the Vaco Headquarters

It’s 3’OClick Somewhere

One of Vaco’s core tenets is “work hard, stay free.” This is perhaps best embodied by the multipurpose space and entertainment bar. The area is connected to reception, interview rooms and a large training room. Used for holiday parties, firmwide trainings, 3 o’clock happy hours and client events, the gathering space exemplifies fun, celebrating and sharing.

A large connecting staircase in the Vaco Headquarters

Showcasing Vaconians

Connecting the two floors between the multipurpose space and the open workspace was imperative for Vaco. Clad in reclaimed wood from barns throughout the region and supported with exposed steel structure, the stair feature is beautifully complemented by a large tree mural designed by a Vaco employee who is also an artist. The new HQ not only embraces the talents of Vaco’s own, but also showcases the company’s unique work-life and culture to its clients, candidates and consultants alike.