Case Study: Integrating Industry at Innovation Park

October 11, 2022

East Windsor, New Jersey has long been considered an epicenter for high-tech research and development with major area employers including Shiseido, Conair Corporation, and LG Electronics, and pharmaceutical companies Aurobindo, Elementis Specialties, and Hovione. In the late 1950s, McGraw-Hill established a campus in East Windsor; formal frontages woven with grand open spaces and baseball fields occupied the center of town, forming a classic mid-century manufacturing campus. When McGraw-Hill moved on from that property in 2013, it sat vacant, waiting to be redeveloped. The local community voiced the desire that the site be developed in a way that touched the town just as McGraw-Hill did. Building on an established working relationship with Trammell Crow Company and the Township of East Windsor, KSS designed a master-planned industrial park that responds to the community through scale, aesthetics, integration of open space, and design for the requirements of high-tech, sophisticated industrial users.

Master-planned industrial park that responds to the community through scale, aesthetics, integration of open space, and design for the requirements of high-tech, sophisticated industrial users.

Inspired by the property’s heritage of industry at the center of town, the design team sought to create a modern, elegant response to reinvigorate the site. The scale of the project was dictated by the town’s desire to attract high-tech tenants such as pharmaceutical distribution or CGMP users. To do so speculatively, two single-loaded buildings are located with interior-facing loading to allow the development to accommodate multiple tenants, each with individual security measures and loop systems for cars and trucks. The building proportions and aesthetics are optimized for high-tech industrial users who are often employee-intensive and image-conscious, seeking larger office and amenity spaces and an impressive exterior presence. The buildings are also highly energy efficient, incorporate provisions for diffused natural daylight, and are rooftop solar array-ready.

Building on the beautiful presence once established by McGraw-Hill on the site, Innovation Park is at once grand and restrained. The development is set back from the road, yet not hidden; landscape buffers and berms create natural screening while also providing views to the entrances where iconic trellis elements make a sweeping statement. At the eastern entrance, the trellis angles toward the southeast corner of the site, a gesture of connection to the retail town center to the east. A large-scale open space at the corner expands this gesture, creating a curvilinear public space that organically connects to the walking paths behind the town center and nearby housing. This public park space acts as an amenity for building users as well, offering areas for activity or respite. Extensive glazing at the southeastern corner of Building A not only allows daylight to stream in but offers views outward to the greenspace beyond. Integrated planted elements and seating and shadow patterns from the trellis extend the building footprint toward the greenspace, blurring the edge of the building with the park and extending it into the community and vice versa.


To ensure the development could best serve the community of East Windsor within its capacity as an industrially zoned site, the design team engaged with local officials and community members. The extended public approvals process involved continuous dialogue with government and local officials over the course of a year during which the team demonstrated how the building would look, feel, and sit within the site environment using renderings, diagrams, and videos as visualization tools.

Designed with careful consideration for both end-users and its relationship to the local community, Innovation Park represents a new paradigm of development that will serve as a model for future developments in New Jersey and beyond.