A New LEED Platinum-Certified Space for a Classic Brand

Our Blog: Word on the Sidewalk

A New LEED Platinum-Certified Space for a Classic Brand

October 02, 2017
posted by Chelsea Lavin

Our founder — Antonio Pasin— immigrated to Chicago from Rosa, Italy, with his wife, Anna, in 1913. The son of a cabinetmaker, he launched the Liberty Coaster Company at a small factory in Chicago in 1917. That decision laid the groundwork for our 100-year-and-counting legacy as Radio Flyer.

 

Furthering our commitment to modern-day adventurers, we’ve made a new, exciting investment in our future as a company and the work lives of our world-class team. Our historic, 150,000-square-foot headquarters — located at Grand and Fullerton in Chicago — completed an award-winning renovation in 2017, maintaining our LEED Platinum-certification in Illinois.

LEED certification provides third-party verification that a building’s design and construction utilizes strategies to improve sustainability. To that end, our building now uses 50% less natural gas than before thanks to geo-thermal heating and cooling. An internal committee, the Eco Flyers, who helped us achieve the certification, supports day-to-day sustainable practices.

 

The reimagined workspace – designed in partnership with Gensler, a global architecture firm - lets our team dream big, while continuing to inspire active play across generations of Radio Flyer enthusiasts.

 

Set within an open-concept warehouse, our headquarters greets visitors at a welcoming reception desk that replicates our Classic Red Wagon. To its right, the Radio Flyer Heritage Gallery walks visitors through our fascinating history. You’ll see the original Liberty Coaster in all its glory, along with the gasoline cans we manufactured during World War II. Visitors can marvel at our timeline-driven Radio Flyer wagon display. They can also watch our Emmy Award-winning digital short, “Taking Flight.” Not to be overlooked is the Chicago Innovation and Collaboration Award-winning Tesla Model S for Kids, which spins on a platform near the front door.

Awash in natural light with tall ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a saw tooth roof, the workspace caters to comfort. Sit-to-stand desks are complete with personal storage areas and scooter parking for those who prefer to roll through the facility instead of walk.

The Radio Café serves as the heart of our indoor workspace, located right where wagon components were once packed and shipped along a long, red conveyor belt. Featuring a 32-foot communal table, it offers a fun, inviting space for coworkers to socialize and brainstorm.

 

Additionally, the headquarters features an indoor, sky-lit Play Lab. There, we invite kids to a Test Track — a place to spark wonder, imagination and play. A large, one-way window allows the Play Lab to serve as our product-testing area where we conduct observational research. Vibrant, acoustic walls are both functional and whimsical. A functional garage and driveway opens to the outdoors for open-air research when weather permits.

But we know it’s not just kids who enjoy fresh air. Our Flyers step outside to a naturally landscaped yard brimming with native prairie plants. Outdoor walking paths give them a place to muse, while a central lawn lets us host group activities and picnics. Nearby cisterns capture rainwater that is eventually repurposed for irrigation in our garden – another feature found in LEED Platinum-certified buildings. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of room for outdoor meetings, product testing and after-work social events. Plus, Flyers can view the area through floor-to-ceiling windows from their workstations all year long.

 

All in all, it is the perfect homage to Founder Antonio Pasin’s legacy. It is also a commitment to big-picture thinking and a great way to support the health and wellness of our Flyers each and every day.