Local Flavor

McCormick, the spice giant founded in Baltimore in 1889, has embraced collaboration and sustainability in its new global headquarters. Located in Baltimore’s Hunt Valley, the seven-story, 350,000-square-foot campus consolidates more than 1,000 employees from four locations into one light-filled, modern environment combining next-generation workspaces with facilities for research and development.

The $170 million project began as a renovation of an existing office building, spearheaded by the DC-based office of STUDIOS Architecture, which stripped the structure down to concrete and steel, enclosing it in aluminum and nearly 85,000 square feet of high-performance glass. IA Interior Architects’ DC office masterminded the interiors, which received a 2019 AIA Northern Virginia award. A soaring atrium and skylight channel light into the building’s core; a 60-by-20-foot display screen anchors one end. The first floor incorporates test, demonstration and culinary kitchens for recipe and product development, flavor forecasting, presentations and filming—including a demonstration kitchen facing a 50-seat auditorium. The upper floors hold flexible workstations and collaboration areas while executive suites and a rooftop terrace occupy the top floor. Custom carpets sport company branding, in colors inspired by spices (think anise, cinnamon and vanilla).

An indoor green roof above the atrium blooms with native Maryland plants.
Furnishings are made with locally sourced wood and recycled, low-VOC materials. The waste-management system reduces energy use. Insulated glass and a horizontal sunshade system on the south-facing elevation bathe the interiors in light while shielding unwanted solar gain. The building is slated for LEED Gold certification.

Architecture: STUDIOS Architecture, Washington, DC. Interior Architecture: IA Interior Architects, Washington, DC. Contractor: Gilbane Building Company, Washington, DC. Photography: Eric Laignel.