A Look Inside Arnold’s New Downtown Headquarters

Posted January 27, 2015 by Allison Lynch in Business
Burnham Building Lobby

If you live and work in Boston, you’ve heard of Arnold Worldwide, one of the city’s most well-known and successful advertising agencies. Part of Havas, a global advertising holding firm based in France, Arnold has an impressive resume of clients including Carnival Cruise Lines, New Balance, Ocean Spray, and Jack Daniel’s. You’ve all seen Flo the Progressive girl, right? Well, you can thank Arnold for that (love it or hate it, the Flo campaign is surely a memorable one).

In August of 2014, Arnold made a profound transition by moving its headquarters from 101 Huntington Avenue in Back Bay to the Burnham Building, located at Franklin and Washington in Downtown Crossing. The Burnham Building has notable historical significance; it used to be a Filene’s department store, one of Boston’s vintage retail meccas. Today, the Burnham Building is part of the Millennium Tower Boston site. The move involved more than 600 employees from both Arnold and Havas transitioning into a 285,000-square-foot space, 8 stories high. Coined as “Havas Village Boston,” the building harbors separate sections for different Havas branches, including Havas Edge and H4B.

The move, however, is more than just a change in location. It’s part of a global redesign manifesto set forth by Havas and Arnold President Pam Hamlin. As the workplace evolves, Arnold seeks to create a modern, collaborative environment for employees. One that is marked by open floor plans, translucent glass conference rooms, lounge-like seating, and plenty of infiltrating sunlight. Oh, and don’t forget the vending machine stocked with cold beer.

The new look promotes an engaging, omniscient kind of feel. Arnold employees are never tucked away in an isolated cubicle or private office. Not even Hamlin, whose desk is part of the open floor plan. The inside of the building mixes old charm with modern design, paying homage to Filene’s brick walls and warehouse feel. Arnold has even named their 64 conference rooms after various Filene’s departments, such as the “Wedding and Receptions” room, or the “Knitwear” meeting area. Although the inside of the building has an industrial kind of look with its cubist angles and high ceilings, the revamped Burnham Building is a far cry from a sterile work environment.

Arnold’s innovative new headquarters speaks to a greater professional understanding – one that welcomes creativity and honors teamwork. Designed by Watertown-based architect firm Sasaki, the open space produces a calming, yet active environment for employees. Walk into the Arnold headquarters, and you’ll see all kinds of movement, whether its walking, talking, meeting, shooting video, or gathering at Barnold for the Thursday night social scene. It’s clear that community and collaboration are core elements of Arnold’s success.

According to the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, over $2.4 billion has been invested in downtown development projects completed within the last decade, with another $800 million worth of projects in the midst of development. Arnold’s new headquarters only adds to the burgeoning mix. The Burnham Building was a $120 million restoration project in conjunction with Millennium Tower Boston, a luxury residential building set to open in 2016. Needless to say, Downtown Boston is booming with innovation, creativity, and renovation. At The Voice, we’re keeping a close eye on these magnificent developments, and we’re excited for the continuing cultural transformation of the city’s ever improving downtown neighborhood.