Irish Titan (current tenant at Westside) decks out former Nestlé factory with 'bat pole'
Once Darin Lynch saw his first Batman movie on TV as a kid, he couldn’t shake the idea. He told his parents, “When I’m grown up, I’m gonna own my own company and I’m gonna own a bat pole.” Fifteen-plus years later, his wish came true.
A golden 'bat pole,' or fire pole, surrounded by metal guards runs the height of Irish Titan’s recently expanded, two-story headquarters. And it’s likely the only such pole in the St. Louis Park area, since its fire department doesn’t even have one.
For the less adventurous, there are metal stairs that wind between floors, but bat poles have their benefits. Sliding down the pole takes about 3.5 seconds, cutting travel time from the third to second floor by 14 seconds, Lynch estimated.
The digital agency's office is a large re-purposed former Nestlé factory with 25-foot ceilings. The main floor is located on the third level and accommodates the sales, marketing and project-management staff. The second level is reserved for digital strategists, creative designers and developers, and the first level is unused – for now.
Lynch started his company from scratch in 2004 as a digital consultant. By 2011, he added nine employees, and the company now has 41 employees with expectations of further growth in the years to come.
Its original headquarters was in Edina, and employees were working out of two different office spaces, totaling 3,000 square feet.
Its move to the factory in Minneapolis brought it closer to downtown, but Lynch was intentional not to drift too far from the suburbs, where most employees lived. The expansion boosted square footage four-fold and brought employees together to work in one office.
The move in September 2015 and its subsequent expansion in December 2016 was a chance to redesign Irish Titan's office space. Lynch threw out cubicles for private desks and included open spaces, breakout rooms and sit-stand desk options. Bold and bright orange and green colors emphasize the company's Irish theme and are incorporated into walls, furniture and details such as the chords stringing up lights on the main floor.
“We needed to balance a few factors for the design. I wanted to counter the industrial toughness,” said Lynch, pointing to exposed vents and heating ducts. To counteract these elements, the design team sought clean and bright color palates, opting for white tables rather than black to lighten the space, and looked for soft furniture materials.
It took a lot of trial and error before Lynch said he felt like the design matched the type of community and collaborative atmosphere he was seeking.
“It wasn’t until recently that we finally felt settled,” Lynch said. “We had to weigh everything out at first, test some furniture in the space and then switch it out.”
But the bat pole is there to stay. At least until Irish Titan's 10-year lease expires.
Source:Minneapolis St.Paul Business Journal