EMJ Returns to Their Original Headquarters

EMJ Corporation is a prominent construction firm based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Originally founded in 1968, EMJ has completed over $10 billion in projects across the country. They are known for their hands-on approach and appreciation of authentic materials.

In 1984, EMJ constructed One Park Place to serve as their corporate headquarters. They occupied the building for over a decade before relocating their offices to the CBL Building. The property was then leased out to other tenants. After 30 years, EMJ reacquired their former headquarters with the intention to move back in after a complete renovation.

Transforming an Outdated Building Through Adaptive Reuse

HK Architects was brought on board to lead the adaptive reuse and redesign of One Park Place to create a new headquarters for EMJ and real estate investment firm Equitas Management Group.

The project involved gutting and transforming the interiors, while replacing exterior cladding and repaving the parking lot. We focused on bringing in natural light, creating collaborative spaces, and reflecting the company's construction roots through an industrial aesthetic, creative wayfinding, and storytelling signage.

The most impactful sustainability move was adaptively reusing the existing structural framework while renovating the rest. Adaptive reuse gives old buildings new life in an eco-friendly way. Preserving the embodied energy already invested into construction prevents materials from ending up in landfills.


A Revitalized Modern Industrial Headquarters

The finished headquarters stands out with exposed ceilings, polished concrete floors, and durable construction materials. The open plan layout includes a spacious training room for all-company meetings, a central breakroom hub to connect employees, and amenities to attract premium office tenants. The employee oriented amenities in the EMJ office span from multiple flexible work spaces to a beer tap for 5 o'clock celebrations.

Moving forward, EMJ's renewed commitment and investment in their newly renovated headquarters also promises a sustainable future. The building will serve their workspace needs for decades to come.


Read more about the One Park Place project here or here.