Howard Building Corporation our-work

Fox Head Global Headquarters

Fox Head, Inc.
Project Team
Shubin Nadal Realty Advisors
Travers Realty
81,000 Square Feet
Clive Wilkinson

Project Description

Fox Head, Inc., one of the largest creators in the world of performance and lifestyle clothes for action sports, brought an exceptional project team together to build their global headquarters in Irvine, California. Renowned architect, Clive Wilkinson, lead the design of the facility, and Howard Building Corporation executed the build, but before the project could be realized, a substantial amount of work had to be completed on the 81,600 square foot building and surrounding six acre property.

The single story, concrete tilt-up building required structural and seismic upgrades that included shorcrete reinforcements at perimeter walls and fortification of the panelized roof system. The building and surrounding grounds also required extensive interior and exterior demolition and hazardous material abatement. The amazing vision of the project team, however, overcame these challenges and never lost sight of the potential for a great facility. The result is an industry recognized creative space that has been published in numerous design magazines and nominated for multiple design awards.

From the second one approaches the red portal entry, it's clear that something vibrant is happening inside. Based on the shape of the Fox V4 Motocross Helmet, the portal makes the first definitive statement about the Fox Head brand, and walking through the portal transports one into the Fox Head world. A showroom behind the reception area dramatically showcases all of the latest product designs with a nod to the company's history in the form of memorabilia and gear worn by some of the company's most famous team riders. Across from this entry, a set of double glass doors open into the “Zebra Hall,” a second, smaller portal representative of a turning point in the Fox Head design history when the zebra stripe pattern became an iconic Fox Head symbol. This marks the transition from the public space to the creative spaces housed inside. 

From this point the space expands upward and outward as if a small town exists within the larger envelope of the building. (Ceiling heights top out at 22 feet.) A wide, central corridor, deemed “Main Street,” is lined with apparel showrooms, state-of-the-art conference rooms, casual lounge areas, and concludes in a common area organized around stadium seating on one side of the corridor and an open kitchen on the other. The common area and kitchen look out through a two-story curtain wall to a cantilevered balcony and the back patio beyond. Off in the distance, a full BMX track, built for team riders and staff, is tucked away on the back corner of the property. 

The expansive “Main Street” space houses two other divisions of Fox Head - Ivy Optics and Shift MX - each existing in their own cubes nestled along the spine of the central corridor just before reaching the common area and kitchen. Clive Wilkinson's team took the opportunity to articulate the separate brand identity of these two entities with distinct skins, adding visual focal points to the space and punctuating the uniqueness of each within the larger Fox Head organization. An orange, prismatic shell adjacent to the common area houses visitor hotelling stations and references the color and graphic patterns seen on Fox Head motocross jerseys and gear, again reinforcing brand. 

Taking advantage of the height of the building, a mezzanine level was constructed, running the length of the showrooms and meeting areas downstairs, starting at the front of the space with the largest conference room in the building, moving through several lounge areas, and ending at the top of the stadium seating at the other end of the building. Looking down from the mezzanine, one can see the real engine of the company, the open floor plan creative spaces housed along both sides of the Main Street area. 

Pete Fox talks a lot about inspiration and changing the way his creative teams work. The concept of opening up the creative space and providing a variety of spaces and environments in which people can collaborate comes directly from his initial vision. Allowing talented people to work in ways that push the envelope in an environment that inspires them and encourages them to create the very best products was also central to his vision. Clive Wilkinson was perfectly aligned with that vision and designed what Fox describes as a truly “open, vibrant workplace” that both expresses and enhances the Fox Head identity and culture.