L.L.Bean Headquarters

L.L.Bean Headquarters

L.L.Bean consolidated multiple campuses to create this impressive retail headquarters, boosting employee recruiting and retention. A physical manifestation of their “Be an Outsider” tagline, many features and amenities illustrate L.L.Bean’s commitment to employee well-being.

SMRT transformed an expansive 365,000-square-foot windowless warehouse into a bright and airy workplace that celebrates the beauty of the outdoors. Every interior vantage point offers breathtaking outdoor views, and a serene 10,000-square-foot courtyard garden provides a peaceful retreat and outdoor workspace. All office areas are filled with natural light, furthering employee connection to the outdoors. To boot, the cafeteria, fondly known as the “Beanery,” prioritizes healthy eating habits, catering up to 1,500 employees per day.

L.L.Bean, widely known for their retail stores, added a controlled environment Product Testing Lab, mock retail store, photo studio, and merchandising work rooms to their headquarters to smooth workflow. A fitness facility, conference center, health clinic, cafeteria, kitchen, grab-n-go snack bars, and multiple breakout spaces ensure employees have everything they need to thrive in a modern, energy-efficient workplace.

The project was recognized as a space built to make workers happier and more productive in Fast Company’s 2023 Innovation by Design Awards.

Freeport, ME
Square Feet
Completion Date
2022 MEREDA Notable Project Award Fast Company: Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention 2023 AIA New England Merit Award, Renovation & Adaptive Reuse AIA New England Best of Maine AIA Maine Honor Award, Renovation & Adaptive Reuse AIA Maine People’s Choice Award
SMRT's revitalization of the former warehouse floods L.L.Bean's campus with natural light, embracing the outdoors from every angle.
Design thinking process:
  1. Existing warehouse
  2. Courtyards
  3. Glazing
  4. Additions
  5. Cladding
  6. Complete
Carved out of the building’s center, a 10,000-square-foot courtyard garden features indigenous ferns and native Maine low-bush blueberries.
Two treehouses project out of the building into the courtyard, an ideal space for relaxation and informal meetings.
With employee well-being at top-of-mind, the new headquarters increases access to daylight and natural views from 5% to 95%.
Sustainability highlights include:
  1. Energy recovery ventilation
  2. High-performing heating and cooling
  3. High-efficiency lighting
  4. High-performance and bird-safe glazing systems
  5. Continuous insulation and thermal bridge-free construction
  6. Airtight envelope
  7. Optimized daylighting and quality outdoor views
  8. Central courtyard
  9. Filtering stormwater bioswale
The office implemented high-efficiency LED lighting and a building-wide lighting control system, which helped to reduce light pollution.
Cladding the building is a wood-slat screen system arranged in an undulating wave pattern that softens the building’s geometric façade. Generated in Dynamo, a parametric modeling tool, the pattern was taken from a series of local tidal charts beginning on the date of the company’s first sale. The slats provide sun screening and act as a bird-strike deterrent.
This building celebrates the natural environment with visual connections to the outdoors, integration of natural materials, and expansive graphics that support the concept of well-being and remind us about the importance the outdoors brings to our everyday lives.
The fitness center promotes employee health and well-being by encouraging exercise while providing direct views of nature.
Various tests are performed in a controlled environment at the Product Testing lab on L.L.Bean products to test durability and performance, from Bean boots to Adirondack chairs. Equipped with a rain room, the lab has the capability to produce a perfect raindrop via a recirculating water system to test products for water resistance and durability.
The Bean brand inspired multiple design elements throughout the building, from the triple-stitch pattern found on the iconic Bean boot to the heritage plaid used in floor patterns and rugs. These physical cues are subtle reminders of the company’s legacy.