Interiors Restoration/Renovation

Cognex Headquarters Renovated

Cognex Corporation - cafeteria / Photos by John Horner Photography

Natick, MA – Cognex Corporation’s world headquarters in Natick totals 260,000sf across three buildings. Built in the 1980s, these buildings were outdated with dull, dark, and uninviting interiors. After Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects (GRLA) completed the first round of renovations, Cognex tasked GRLA to create innovative design solutions to have an inspiring, bright, and exciting vibe throughout the campus.

Cognex is a publicly-traded company that designs and manufactures machine vision technology and barcode readers for multiple industries, including food and beverage, consumer electronics, life sciences, and security.

Game room

GRLA transformed the cafeteria and patio into a state-of-the-art dining space by expanding the building footprint and using a monolithic curtain wall system allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the space and provide expansive views of the exterior. The interior has unobstructed circulation between the servery and dining with an exposed ceiling and floating clouds for acoustical control. The patio was extended to include an exterior grill station along with new landscaping for an open clean look.

Since Cognex’s corporate philosophy is Work Hard! Play Hard! Move Fast! elements of fun were incorporated. Game rooms were designed for employees to relax and take a break. The custom wall film displays the signature corporate colors of grey, white, black, and yellow pixels, and images of employees having fun. In keeping with the fun theme and to encourage use of the stairs from the first to second floor, a musical stair that looks and plays like a piano was built at the employee entrance stair tower.

The existing fitness center was dark with no exterior views and too small to support the ultimate Frisbee group therefore it was relocated to another building and placed prominently off the main lobby to provide ease of access and expansive views of the campus. A group exercise room was added, while the workout space area was increased along with the locker room. The new space is now inviting and draws more users than was anticipated.


Even the toilet cores required a full renovation down to the studs. The new space includes glass toilet partitions, square glass wall tile to continue the pixel theme, with a pixelated accent band of the corporate colors, custom designed solid surface sinks with slim linear lights recessed between mirrors, and custom yellow dry vanity.

The lobby in Cognex’s second building needed to be aligned with the new corporate look. To create a welcoming space the renovation included an expanded vestibule with a new two-story monolithic curtain wall, interior glazed openings that were enlarged and replaced with butt glazing, a sleek glass balcony rail with a square metal cap, and custom film with accent word art on the walls.

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