For the international investment firm’s new office in Minneapolis, Castlelake moved from what could be considered a visually outdated, compartmentalized multi-floor office within an inefficient downtown tower to the new RBC Gateway Tower in order to provide efficiencies, better connection among departments, improved collaboration for all teammates, and updated technology infrastructure to speed communication and connection. To bring its vision to life, the firm brought on NELSON Worldwide for planning and design services, delivering a bright, efficient, and engaged workplace that exemplifies employee connection and is welcoming to clients.
Located at RBC Gateway Tower, Castlelake’s new office consists of one full and one partial floor linked by a connecting stair. The firm’s main entrance is located on the 9th floor, where visitors are greeted by the grand reception and conference center. The reception desk is flanked on both sides with a complement of conference rooms in various sizes and configurations to allow for flexible and engaging meeting types, including the company boardroom with adjacent catering kitchen and break-out space, two classic style 10-person conference rooms, a 6-person conference room featuring a round table and impactful chandelier, and a small lounge for more intimate meetings. Directly adjacent and past the secure double doors lies a portion of the open work space, housing the human resources and marketing teams. In this new workplace, Castlelake opted to forgo the traditional office approach, drastically decreasing the number of private offices in favor of a more open space that fosters collaboration among its teams. All of the private offices are universal in size and situated in the interior floorplate, allowing natural daylight to flood the open office.
Progressing down the interconnecting stair to the 8th floor, employees are met with the majority of the open office workspace consisting of additional private offices, trading areas, administration, an internal arrangement of conference rooms, and the lounge/cafe. The lounge/cafe embraces a residential feel, enveloped in painted wood, natural and light neutral tones. A variety of seating postures, including bar seating, multi-configurable table settings, and lounge seating, provide opportunity for choice depending on employee needs, from eating lunch and sipping on a coffee to team meetings, catching up with colleagues or completing solitary work.
Playing off of Castlelake’s branding, NELSON incorporated elements reminiscent of a castle into the design, subtly weaving elements into the materiality and interior architecture. “Castle” imagery is embedded in the prominent arched openings that are scattered throughout the office for people to discover, as well as the stone millwork and combination of stone and wood flooring, carefully selected to pay homage to the grandeur of castles without feeling like a direct replication. The predominant use of light neutrals, including whites, blues, and grays, were deliberately chosen to evoke a sense of timeless elegance and serenity, creating a harmonious atmosphere that complements the castle-inspired features.
Castlelake integrated a diverse and color-rich art collection, which NELSON positioned at key areas throughout the space. The team partnered with a local art distributor to reframe the firm’s existing artwork and curated additional pieces for the space. The artwork acts as focal points throughout the office, displayed in gallery-like settings in various corridors and walkways, each piece adding a pop of color to contrast the light neutrals.
Castlelake’s new Minneapolis office marks a significant departure from its previous workspace, embracing a more open environment that connects people and purpose. NELSON’s design offers an inviting and elegant setting for hosting clients but also fosters a sense of comfort and ease for its employees. The subtle nods to company branding instill a sense of pride while reinforcing a distinct identity within the space, making it a place that feels inherently Castlelake.