Redefining the Industrial Workspace: New JAX Inc. Headquarters Keeps Employee Satisfaction at the Heart of the Design

JAX Inc., a prominent lubricant manufacturer, recently opened its new headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The new facility fulfills their need for a larger and more efficient workspace, accommodating offices, production areas, and potential future expansions. While focus on productivity was imperative, it was equally important to the JAX Inc. team that Zimmerman designed a headquarters their team members looked forward to being at daily, which can be a challenge in a post-pandemic world.

JAX Inc. envisioned a building that serves its operational needs, but also becomes a tangible representation of the quality and excellence synonymous with their products. They are an innovative company in the lubricant space, that also stays true to the traditional values that have made them successful over the years. Balancing that tradition with cutting edge spaces was paramount for this design, straying from the conventional industrial looks and creating a design that would set their headquarters apart.

A State-of-the-Art Lubricant Lab and Production Space

The production area connects directly to the lab where ingredients are moved into and out of for inspection. In their former facility, natural light only entered the production area if a dock door was opened to accept or send out a shipment. The new space is illuminated by thirty-feet high windows, allowing ample daylight exposure for the warehouse staff.

The lab was designed to be a collaborative space for both staff and customers. Together they can conduct research and development, and work toward solutions tailored for individual clients. The state-of-the-art lab, located just outside of the production doorway, is lined with windows, making it completely visible to people on the other side. It feels less isolating for those working in the lab and is more accessible and inviting to those observing from the outside in.

Collaborative Spaces Encourage Teamwork

The layout of the office fosters engagement, collaboration, and creative thinking among teams. Employees have the flexibility to work independently at their desk, socialize with coworkers in neighboring cubicles, or can work wirelessly in the open collaboration spaces. Additional semi-private areas overlooking the lobby offer varied workspaces for those looking to step away from their cubicles.

Finding Respite in Nature

Nature integration is a unique feature of this industrial headquarters. A visible walking trail and patio provide an outdoor escape, lined with trees and solar lights. The trail encourages staff to take breaks, engage in walking meetings, or find inspiration in nature. A large second floor deck overlooks parts of the trail. Below is an additional patio where employees can enjoy an outdoor lunch or moments of relaxation.

Brian Nelson


Senior Associate | Director, Design

Throughout his academic studies and practice, Brian has explored and applied high performance building and biophilic principles utilizing a holistic design approach, with the strong belief that site, architecture and interiors are connected. He is driven by a passion and core belief that architecture and design have the power to positively affect how we live. He’s inspired by a collaborative client-driven process with an innate ability to interpret client goals, desires, and vision with a strong sensitivity for project budgets and schedules.

Brian’s multi-faceted and extensive 25+ year career in the creative realm – one that includes architecture, interior design, illustration, graphic design and marketing – has resulted in extensive award-winning experience for architectural design, interior design and overall project execution in multiple building types with an emphasis on high performance building planning and design. Brian holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.