Corporate Architecture: The Guide + 5 Examples

Can you imagine a McDonald’s restaurant in blue and white colors? Or an Apple office that exclusively consists of wood and leather?

Of course not.

The keyword is corporate architecture. GALA explains how to use architecture for your brand.

Definition: What is corporate architecture?

Corporate architecture is the bricks and mortar of your brand identity. It is exterior and interior architecture that is unmistakably reminiscent of your company. Colors, materials, construction methods – everything matches your corporate identity and corporate design.

Corporate architecture should not be confused with terms such as enterprise architecture or brand architecture. They instead concern the structural and legal setup of your firm.

Corporate architecture can be found in each of your buildings, whether in stores, offices or factories. Every building pursues important corporate objectives – and the architecture helps to achieve them.

Architectural Branding: 6 Advantages and 5 Examples

Sure, you could let your employees work in a dull, gray office block.

But branded architecture has many advantages:

1. It increases the recognition value. What do you look for when hunger strikes you on the highway? Yes, the golden arches of McDonald’s.

Everyone knows the corporate architecture of McDonald’s

2. It ensures positioning at first glance. The architecture of your building helps evoke different feelings and associations in the viewer. We associate green with sustainability. And lots of glass with transparency and trust.

Those who pass the Negishi cube at Winterthur railway station immediately see what awaits them: traditional Japanese sushi to-go. Designed by GALA

3. It stands out. When you walk past an unusual shop in the city, you simply have to look inside. Unique architecture attracts attention!

High ceilings, lots of glass, modern style: Apple stands out with its store concept.

4. It creates bonds among employees. Corporate architecture is one of many components that enhance team spirit. Just like colors, a uniform, shared values, or annual events.

The corporate headquarters of BMW in Munich is based on a four-cylinder engine – a good match for the car fans that work there.

5. It increases your sales. Smart (above all interior) architecture ensures happier, more productive employees with fewer absences, like in the office of the future. If it’s done right, you can also increase sales at the point of sale.

The 007 Office” avoids distracting elements and puts the focus on meetings with a statesman-like atmosphere. Designed by GALA

6. It leads to the “Bilbao effect”: A building that enhances the entire environment – such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao or the Elbphilharmonie in the Port of Hamburg. It is particularly interesting for urban planners.

How does GALA design corporate architecture?

Development, concepts, strategies – in corporate design architecture they follow the principle that “form follows spirit.” This means that your brand identity is the core of the project. The focus is not on esthetics, but on your philosophy and achieving your goals through architectural elements.

GALA helps your company tell its story. In a workshop, we first define what you want your new building to express. This is used to make decisions about the materials, construction, colors, lighting, and more.