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Duluth Trading Company

Duluth Trading Company Corporate Headquarters

Mount Horeb, WI

Building centralizes employees and catalyzes company and community growth

This five-story, 108,000 square foot corporate headquarters was constructed for Duluth Trading Company in cooperation with developer TRI Holdings.

Initial planning

Duluth Trading Company had nearly 200 corporate office employees working in two different locations more than 20 miles apart – Mount Horeb and Belleville, Wisconsin. With continued growth, they needed a plan for the future and saw the advantages of one corporate office location.

The company first considered construction in a rural setting, but a small town, downtown location was preferred by its employees and would further the company’s commitment to Main Streets across the nation through its retail stores.

National Construction and TRI Holdings negotiated the purchase of three adjacent properties housing a dilapidated assortment of buildings, and a development agreement with the village, which was in the process of creating a new downtown tax increment financing district (TID). Negotiations also included street and infrastructure improvements and parking arrangements.

Site before

A transformational structure

The Duluth Trading Company corporate headquarters changed the “skyline” of the Madison bedroom community, spurred downtown development, and highlighted a key recreational resource – the Military Ridge Bike Trail.  Designed for expansion, the building allows for upwards of 300 employees. This time-lapse, dual-angle video of construction with photos from key stages demonstrates the area’s transformation:


The exterior

Materials and architecture reflect the industrial, railroad history of the area.  The design incorporates red brick masonry, industrial sash windows, concrete, and zinc-colored metal cladding, and gives the appearance of a building constructed over time.  The combination of materials allows the building to blend into the surrounding landscape.

Lobby entrance
Large windows lead to lobby
Red brick masonry and industrial sash windows
Combination of exterior materials
Building blends with surroundings
Lobby entrance at dusk
Exterior at dusk
Industrial inspired exterior

The interior

Interior features include reclaimed wood, industrial stainless steel cabling and black metal work, structural X bracing, concrete like tile and exposed trusses and HVAC.

Industrial stainless steel cabling
Structural X bracing
Exposed HVAC


Large windows lead to a welcoming lobby with decorative timber rafters and reception trellis, and a front desk with concrete counter and stainless steel toe kicks. Bench cushions are covered in Duluth leather and one wall is covered in floor-to-ceiling black-and-white photography wallpaper of Duluth, Minnesota.  Beyond the lobby is an informal meeting space, a 22-stall parking garage, a bike storage room, and workout, yoga and locker rooms.

Front desk with concrete counter
Informal meeting space
22-stall parking garage
Workout room
Yoga room
Locker room
Locker room

The first floor features an executive area with suspended timbers and cloud ceilings. The first through third floor layouts are nearly identical. Each includes two employee zones with decorative timbers, polished concrete floors and magnetic marker boards; hallways with standing seam wall panels; and conference rooms.

The design incorporates many different areas for the national retailer to display their iconic graphics and powerful employee communication.

Hallway with standing seam wall panels
Display area for graphics
Emergency communication
Executive area with suspended timbers
Employee zone with polished concrete floor
Executive office
Office space
Conference room
Large glass windows
Conference room
Display area
Employee zone with timber rafters
Workspace with display wall
Staircase and workspace
Hallway with product display wall
Timber rafters

The fourth floor features a large conference room with capacity for 250 people, a nearby warming kitchen for catering, a large board room again featuring decorative timbers, two additional conference rooms and a training room.  The highlight of this top floor is a 4,000 square foot employee lounge called “The Canteen” and an adjacent 2,000 square foot outdoor patio.

Large conference room
Board room with decorative timbers
Conference room
Training room
Seating space
“The Canteen”
Double sided fireplace
Exposed rafters
“The Canteen” with display space for graphics
Seating and view of outdoor patio
Booth seating
Employee seating
2,000 square foot outdoor patio
Patio with firepit

Community impact

In keeping with Duluth Trading Company’s support of the proverbial Main Street nationwide, National Construction, which operates from Blue Mounds, Wisconsin and downtown Madison, collaborated with local and Wisconsin-based partners – from the architect to all subcontractors and suppliers.

Duluth Trading Company received the 2018 Business Retention & Expansion Community and Economic Development Award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, which honors innovative economic development projects.

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