CDH Partners, an Atlanta-based architecture and interior design firm, announced the opening of a recently completed research and development lab. The facility was designed for Arylessence, a fragrance and flavor company, in order to increase its capacity to service personal care, home fragrance, industrial and institutional, household, and automotive industries around the world. This project marks one of the largest laboratory developments in CDH’s portfolio. Additionally, Arylessence has experienced nine straight months of significant growth since development plans were announced.
Founded in 1977, CDH Partners specializes in architectural and interior design for a variety of market sectors. The company leveraged their experience in designing research and laboratory facilities to help Arylessence support and manage its testing labs, monitor trends, and enhance inspiration for their highly creative work. The firm created a new two-story, 35,000 square foot facility, which is triple the size of Arylessence’s creative center. This building on their campus includes custom office spaces, themed conference rooms, a GC/analytical lab, a technology and innovation lab, applications lab, fragrance R&D lab, sensory evaluation booths, laundry fabric care test center, and an evaluation consumer/professional panel center.
After over 40 years in business, Arylessence required more space than their existing research and development center could provide. This new building allows the corporation to increase their capacity for innovation and evaluation, as well as provide a modern, contemporary venue to present to clients and showcase their work. CDH Partners designed the new lab with high-tech, efficient, and sustainable elements to meet these goals.
“With our dynamic growth, we needed to enhance our facilities and expand our capacity. We wanted our new facilities to meet the growing priorities of the work we perform for our clients and to reflect our commitment to excellence, creativity, and innovation. Our team worked collaboratively to envision a cutting-edge facility and CDH brought their dreams to life.”
— Cynthia Reichard, Arylessence Executive Vice President
The new space required intensely controlled environments in order for Arylessence’s perfumers to make objective and strategic olfactory assessments. In addition, their stability research often involves testing a fragrance’s substantivity, color, and its reaction to UV exposure and extreme temperatures, among other factors. To create a sterile, clean room environment, CDH integrated sealed glass doors, non-absorbent finishes, and extensive humidity control. Air scrubbers purify the outside air for distribution throughout the building and integrated exhaust systems can immediately express it out again with the push of a button. CDH also provided their staff with an outdoor terrace to rejuvenate and recondition their olfactory palates.
In order to tell the Arylessence story through design, CDH incorporated features that would reflect the artistic side of the company’s craft. The facility was built using natural local materials, such as the exterior brick and interior marble. In the lobby, CDH used smart electrochromic glass in lieu of sun shades for energy efficiency, cost savings, and privacy. The outside garden has several scent sources from nature, including lavender, rose, eucalyptus and mint. Finally, expressing the artistic inspiration in fragrance development, the firm added an art gallery featuring Georgia artisans’ work, as well as an employee artwork installation.
CDH Partners utilizes a collaborative design process for each of their projects. Cantrell met often with Reichard’s internal team, along with the vice president of operations, Bret Tanner, in order to understand the company’s goals for the new facility and develop the creative solutions to meet them. When the Arylessence team wanted to understand more about the design plans, CDH even created full-size cardboard models of workstations so that they could see how their space would look and feel.
“CDH Partners was so different from the other firms we met with,” said Tanner. “We kept being told ‘this is what you need to do.’ CDH never did that. They took the time to inquire and deeply understand our personal processes as well as our technical needs. We really appreciated this approach, and the result is a beautiful facility that has everything we envisioned and more.”
Arylessence is a leading creatively driven U.S.-based fragrance and flavor company. Its mission is to understand their client’s brands (and the people who use them) to create opportunities with winning fragrances and flavors to help those brands achieve success. They work in close partnership with their clients to develop inspired fragrances and flavors that turn products into brands and consumers into passionate, loyal fans.