Summit Credit Union Mt. Horeb

Summit Credit Union Mt Horeb
Summit Credit Union Mt Horeb interior


InBusiness Commercial Design Awards

Best New Development or Renovation – Retail


American Society of Interior Design (ASID)

Silver: Contract Retail/Showroom



A Community Beacon

Summit Credit Union sought to design their newest branch in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin as a beacon of the community. The design of the project was a result of Strang’s facilitation of a successful collaboration between Summit Credit Union and the Village of Mount Horeb. Summit’s goal was for a contemporary design with dynamic trapezoidal shapes and single sloped roof forms with sloping eaves, while the Village of Mount Horeb had design covenants that required traditional gable roof forms. The resulting design captures both these goals with a design covenant-compliant gable roof, but with a creative twist: the gable roof is trapezoidal, creating a dynamic sloping eave that captures Summit’s modern, dynamic brand.


Site Setting

The Village of Mount Horeb Plan Commission required the building to front onto its public street frontage on Springdale Street (Highway ID), with parking located away from the street. This branch was designed with a welcoming street façade on the north and a main entrance and parking lot on the South in response to the fact that the site has two “fronts” and no “back”. The dynamic trapezoidal forms of the glazed curtainwall, brick fin and roof overhangs reach out to the community on Springdale Street.

In regard to design and the addition of a positive economic driver like Summit Credit Union, the Mount Horeb branch adds a valuable asset to the community, while still expressing their unique culture and vision. The building reaches out to its context, projecting an image of openness and transparency. In the months that the branch has been operational, the facility has quickly established itself as a well-known landmark in the Mount Horeb community and a catalyst for its growing East-Side Commercial District.

The design of this branch was a result of a thoughtful months-long collaborative effort between Summit Credit Union (owner), Strang (architect/interior designer/engineer) and Findorff (general contractor), to create an efficient, cost-effective branch prototype that expresses Summit’s brand while accommodating all their functional needs.

360 degree photo walk through

Modern Financial Design

The design of this branch is the result of rethinking the notion of the “traditional” financial institution, instead creating openness and transparency with forward-looking architecture. The material palette of shimmering manganese iron spot brick and silver metallic metal juxtaposed with splashes of bright color create a contemporary, energetic feel. A colorful and light-filled interior creates an informal and welcoming atmosphere for the branch.

Comfortable, informal seating areas and dynamic displays animate the space. In lieu of a traditional teller line, open and inviting “teller pods” help facilitate casual and friendly interactions between Summit members and staff. The design carefully balances a feeling of openness and informality, while adhering to the strict security needs of a financial institution. The facility also provides comfortable meeting spaces with varying degrees of privacy. A unique branch feature is the provision of transparent offices and meeting spaces with glass sliding doors, patterned glazing, and colorful, comfortable furniture.

Summit’s new building will support 11 Summit Credit Union Staff members and upwards of 200 members on any given day. Their reach into the Mount Horeb community is not as easily measured. With this branch, Summit Credit Union has successfully added a modern financial institution into the fabric of the Mount Horeb community while able to express their company’s unique mission and culture.

National Guardian Life Headquarters


ASID Wisconsin

Silver Design Award – Office/Corporate 21,000 to 49,000 SF

Inbusiness Business Commercial Design Awards

Best Renovation – Office


Reimagining the Workplace

Strang’s recent partnership with National Guardian Life Insurance (NGL), encapsulates our forward-thinking design approach. Recognizing early on that a post-COVID workplace would look very different from their current workplace, NGL began working with Strang to start reimagining their workplace.

NGL sought to create a workplace that would foster collaboration and connection for both clients and team members. The goal was to expand work options and offer a balance between in-office and off-site connectivity, mobility, and collaboration. This resulted in a master plan that offered an optimized and flexible work environment that is accommodating of current operations while remaining laser-focused on the future.


Priority Planning

Before designing a space, the first step is to listen to its users. Strang started our work on this project with an extensive review process including the creation of a Departmental & Priorities Survey for all employees. The primary central theme that was extracted was flexibility. NGL staff were enjoying the freedom of working from home and wanted to maintain a certain level of flexibility after the pandemic to continue working from home a few days a week.

Next, we focused on benchmarking, assessment, and analysis of both future space needs and the existing facilities. Facility assessments were conducted that resulted in recommendations for overall accessibility, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and life safety needs. Departmental spatial needs and headcount projections were used to calculate optimized required floor area projections and address facility space inefficiencies. Facility assessments and space analysis helped define an environment for NGL that would remain comfortable, accessible, and safe for all employees.

The final master plan considered the feedback of both employees and departmental stakeholders. The resulting aesthetic of the building was a professional modern design with clean and simple details. Spaces were well-defined; often using ceiling elements as visual separation cues. Color tones and finishes were warm in nature. Our initial, careful observations led to the design of increased collaboration spaces and an optimized floor plan. With NGL’s collaborative spirit and Strang’s forward-focused approach, this project was representative of the future standard of workplace design.

Natural Design

The project utilized high-performance, desiccant dehumidification and steam humidification systems for critical environmental controls. Premium efficiency, air-cooled chillers allowed for high performance lab cooling. Air-side energy recovery was applied where code-required and expanded where appropriate. The project evaluated the cost/benefit of variable volume fume exhaust systems and ductless fume hoods, with a final determination that VAV fume exhaust would result in favorable financial payback and energy savings, along with certain favorable applications for ductless systems. Additionally, air-side economizers were designed for spaces with significant cooling demands throughout the year.

Arts + Literature Laboratory

Arts + Literature Laboratory Gallery area
Arts + Literature Laboratory interior


Multifunctional and Flexible

The Arts + Literature Laboratory is a community-based art center that seeks to encourage visual, literary, and performing artists to explore and develop their craft. Art + Lit + Lab required a new space to help them foster an inclusive artistic community that connects artists and resources through education and cultural outreach, as well as provide a space to showcase the work of both established and emerging artists and writers.

Our objective was to create a space that could operate in a multitude of ways and provide a welcoming feel for everyone within the community. Art + Lit + Lab needed a functional working environment for the variety of programs and artistic mediums used within the space. This included studio space for artists, a community area, an educational space, and a performance stage. As art is often showcased at Art + Lit + Lab, they also needed to display this art in unique ways.

Because this space required such a multiuse function within a limited space and budget, this design presented certain challenges. Space for textiles, pottery, literature, storytelling, live poetry, music, and other artistic mediums all needed to be included within the design. Art + Lit + Lab is not only a doer space but a learning space and required a design that was multi-use, accessible, easy to convert, and easy to navigate.


Open Up

Strang’s central solution for Art + Lit + Lab’s needs was an open concept, multifunctional space that could be used for a variety of people and events. The first-floor gallery is separated by large 8 ft wide doors that pivot on their center, allowing for the room to be divided or opened up to create even more space, as well as showcase art in an unconventional way. Large windows were utilized not just for their natural light, but to display art and generate interest in those passing by and looking in. The second floor also made use of these windows, bringing in light throughout all areas of the space.

A library, writing center, multiple studio spaces, and an open concept community studio that can be used for a multitude of functions are located on the second floor while the first floor allows for more event and education space as well as gallery options.

Finishes and colors were kept simple and unobtrusive to allow for the focus to remain on the art being displayed. Basic concrete, wood, glass, and matte finish paints were all chosen to help showcase the art as the main story of the space, rather than the design.

Art + Lit + Lab stands out due to its multifunctional nature. It is not just an art gallery, performance space, or classroom–it encompasses a multitude of mediums and communities. This multi-purpose concept is designed to appeal not only to serious professional artists, but also to provide a welcoming atmosphere to any community member, amateur artist, or educational program that would use the space.

Eurofins Food Chemistry Testing

Eurofins office building


One-of-a-Kind Laboratory Design

Laboratory design might look simple—but these complex facilities often place numerous hours of design intent and laboratory protocol behind simple decisions. Finding the right balance between flexibility and efficiency is what makes a project like this sing. Eurofins is the global leader in food, environment, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic product testing. Their recent new Madison headquarters includes 108,000 GSF, high throughput, analytical laboratory space built with this kind of harmony in mind. They play a key part in the consumer food chain, and this laboratory is one of a kind–not just in Madison, but the world.

After outgrowing their previous facility, Eurofins needed a flexible and efficient space created specifically around their unique processes. They are now at home in a right-sized building designed to suit their every need and process. Their new building includes two main chemistry labs over 10,000 SF each with 44, 6-foot fume hoods.


Efficient Sample Analysis

Efficiencies have been designed into every aspect of this project, from sample receipt, prep, and analysis. Functions and processes were previously spread out across multiple floors and wings. Consolidating these areas into two very large labs (some of the largest single lab spaces in contemporary lab planning) allowed for a significant increase in efficiency.

This was especially beneficial to our client, where samples reign supreme. As a company they deal with thousands of samples every day, identifying, logging, and distributing them. Keeping these samples moving through the lab was essential in our design. Our designers worked to create a clear flow through the building from receiving to end. Guided wayfinding also helps lead both samples and employees through the necessary processes in a clear, efficient manner. Now, the samples make their way in a straight line from the loading dock to the laboratory. With the packaging area this close, it maximizes downtime. Saving seconds from the analysis of one sample add up when looking at the vast quantities of samples this company receives.

"I would absolutely recommend working with Strang."

Brent Rozema, Eurofins Food Testing

Mechanical Systems and Solar Array 360 Tour

Eurofins Madison Office 360 Tour

Sustainable Lab Systems

The project utilized high-performance, desiccant dehumidification and steam humidification systems for critical environmental controls. Premium efficiency, air-cooled chillers allowed for high performance lab cooling. Air-side energy recovery was applied where code-required and expanded where appropriate. The project evaluated the cost/benefit of variable volume fume exhaust systems and ductless fume hoods, with a final determination that VAV fume exhaust would result in favorable financial payback and energy savings, along with certain favorable applications for ductless systems. Additionally, air-side economizers were designed for spaces with significant cooling demands throughout the year.

Summit Credit Union Monona

Summit Credit Union Monona
Summit Credit Union Monona interior


InBusiness Commercial Design Awards



Community Engagement

Summit Credit Union’s newest branch in Monona, Wisconsin was designed to establish a strategic presence in the Monona community. This facility sought to reflect Summit’s ongoing commitment to member service, while adding value to and supporting local small businesses and households.

Summit Credit Union desired a highly visible site and facility that reaches out to the community. The site presented several challenges to achieve this goal. These challenges include limited street exposure to Monona Drive, being longer in the east-west direction, and the street having a north-south orientation. The city of Monona Plan Commission also required the building to front onto Monona Drive.


Dynamic Planning

In response to the fact that the site has two “fronts” and no “back”, the branch is designed as a 4-sided building with a welcoming street façade on the east and a main entrance and parking lot on the west. Due to the site constraints, the floor plan of the branch is trapezoidal, to provide enough floor area to accommodate all the program elements within an active and elegant design. The unique trapezoidal form of the building overhangs and serves as visual reminder of Summit reaching out to the community on Monona Drive. Overall, Summit was able to create a highly visible building on a challenging site, while the City of Monona gained a valuable community asset.

Sustainable Design

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for much of the building to rely on natural daylighting, reducing the facility’s lighting energy use. To underscore Summit’s commitment to sustainability, large vertical sail-shaped fabric sunshades on the tall, highly glazed west elevation reduce solar heat gain and glare from late afternoon sunlight, while providing cool, diffused daylighting to the interior. The sunshades colorful graphics and dynamic trapezoidal shape provide a fun and inviting character to the branch. The site stormwater management needs are integrated into the landscape design with bioretention basins that are planted with native grasses. The sustainable design of the branch thoughtfully integrates Summit’s commitment to the triple bottom-line of community, environmental and economic stewardship.

As a member-owned cooperative, Summit Credit Union believes they have a responsibility to do what is best for its members, and collectively be good citizens of the community. The unique design and architecture of the Summit Credit Union Monona Branch clearly represents the credit union’s mission and vision into the future.

Nord Gear

Nord drive system building


Expansion Action

NORD Gear Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drive technology for mechanical and electronic solutions. The company is ISO 9000 certified and implements the latest lean manufacturing processes.

NORD Gear is passionate about exceeding customer expectations–it’s a primary tenant of their brand.  Our objective was to empower them to respond quickly to the needs and specifications of customers anywhere in the world and do so within a facility that their skilled assemblers and expert engineering team enjoy working in. Efficiency and flexibility were essential factors in designing NORD Gear’s expansion.


Increased Efficiency

Based upon our designs and Strang’s Design Synchronicity project management process, Strang was engaged to partner with NORD Gear and design their current expansion of its North American headquarters located in Waunakee, Wisconsin. This is their main hub of operations in the United States. The multi-phased project was completed without interruption to NORD Gear’s ongoing daily operations. This 90,000 SF expansion of NORD Gear’s manufacturing space allowed for increased rotor production capabilities and brought its machining department up to date to meet industry standards and customer expectations.

A key component of this project is the state-of-the-art overhead material handling system which helps to ensure safe, efficient, and highly productive movement of drive and electronic components throughout the facility. In addition, this system streamlined the loading and unloading process within the newly designed interior loading dock facility. Strang’s design added locker rooms, a break room, and a training room to double NORD Gear’s existing capacity.

With the building expansion recently complete, NORD Gear now has additional space to allow for assembly, testing, and service of the large industrial gearboxes. The local assembly also allows for faster product delivery and more product flexibility.

NORD Gear is a model example of how Strang’s client-centered project development approach involves key owner stakeholders, contractors, and brand guidelines to achieve optimal results across the board. 

Gebhardt Building

Gebhardt Building


Tale of Two Buildings

The Gebhardt Building, an eight-story mixed-use high-rise in Madison’s emerging East Washington gateway, is really the story of two buildings: The Gebhardt and The Sylvee. The integration of these two buildings on a single site creates not only an iconic performance venue and a public destination, but also provides a mix of retail and office spaces that help support the dense urban fabric of Madison’s isthmus.

This building is a unique design, housing both office space and a music performance venue for Frank Productions. We worked closely with the client to bring out the best of the entertainment space without impacting the quality of the offices.


Regional Redevelopment

The north side of the eight-story high-rise includes 125,000 SF of retail and commercial office space, including Strang’s new Madison office. The building’s south side features The Sylvee, Frank Productions’ new 2,500-person music venue. This 45,000-SF space features VIP suites and is a great addition to the exciting and dynamic music culture of Madison. This project’s mixed-use urban redevelopment is a part of the resurgence of the Capitol East District corridor, long in need of an economic boost.

The Gebhardt building, itself, is primarily an office tower, implementing both materials and forms similar to the surrounding buildings, thereby integrating itself into the fabric of the neighborhood. Ample glazing throughout, especially on the upper four floors of the tower, allows tenants equal access to daylight and views. Many floors enjoy views of both Madison lakes, owing to the unique geography of the isthmus. The first generation of tenants includes many iconic brands, increasing the vibrancy of the neighborhood. This space integrates international brands, like Google and Spaces co-working, with local icons, such as Frank Productions and the Vintage Brewery. Both the general contractor and the design firm (Strang) responsible for the core-and-shell design and construction of the development are also located in the building. The retail functions on the first floor ensure street-level activation throughout the day and into the night.

The result of this creative collaboration between multiple ownership groups and the design team is a unique mixed-use tower that not only vitalizes Madison’s Isthmus through office and retail uses but also provides a musical venue specifically designed for memorable experiences for both artist and patron, alike.

American Family East Regional Building (ERB)

American Family East Regional Building (ERB)


USGBC Sustainability Award Nomination

Award of Merit


LEED gold



Rigorous Renovation

Strang’s work on American Family Insurance’s East Regional Building (ERB) was part of a four-year project based on a 20-year infrastructure improvement plan and 285,000 SF renovation. The largest obstacle in this project was the rigorous schedule which resulted in continuous use of the facility and nearly zero downtime of departments as the renovation progressed. The building accounts for around 850 people with anticipated growth to 1000 people and was seeking to update and renovate its systems to prepare for this expansion.


Designing Efficiency

The HVAC scope of this project included a complete replacement of all four main air handling units serving the office and cafeteria. The new air distribution greatly improved upon the IAQ and thermal comfort. HVAC design also included partial ventilation energy recovery and demand control ventilation strategies. This contributed toward energy cost reduction over the 30% baseline and maximized 10 LEED EA 1.3 credits. Commissioning was completed following the 15 phases of renovations as portions of the project were updated. This project has successfully achieved LEED Gold certification.

The existing gas-fired, hot water boiler plant was retrofitted with new high efficiency condensing dual fuel boilers. Strang also converted the building controls to the American Family Johnson Controls network, transitioning the existing chiller plant controls from the obsolete control system. Finally, the ERB required the replacement of all windows to increase energy efficiency. With Strang’s help, this multi-functional office and training space is now optimized for efficiency.

American Family BL2 Renovation

American Family BL2 Building


Renovation Utilization

American Family Insurance operates within a series of office and support buildings at its national headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. The corporate cafeteria, known to its employees as BL2, occupies approximately 30,000 SF at the ground level of the “B” building.

The original BL2 cafeteria was designed over 20 years ago as a traditional dining room. The space was highly utilized over the lunch hour but remained nearly empty most of the day due to its overwhelming scale, lack of flexibility, and absence of technology. The renovation goal was to transform BL2 into a destination that promoted well-being and collaboration and increased employee engagement with the space.


Interactive Engagement

The largest zone within BL2 is the dining room. This space is immediately adjacent to the serving station and can accommodate up to 245 users at one time with its mix of standard dining tables, private booths, and community tables. This space is highly functional during dining hours but can also be utilized during off-hours with increased access to electrical power and large plug-and-play monitors.

Residential-feeling lounge furniture is scattered throughout the light-filled sunroom, the active rec room, and the cozy library. This helps support casual dining, informal collaboration, and private work. The kitchen is the heart of the space and is supported by two auxiliary micro-kitchens. These spaces increase access to sinks and microwaves while encouraging impromptu interactions and offering a spot to gather.

A mezzanine structure was built within the two-story space to break up the volume and increase the functional area of BL2. The space below the mezzanine is home to The Coffeehouse. Two of BL2’s eight formal meeting rooms occupy the upper level of the mezzanine. The combination of layered ceiling clouds, a warmer color palette, and a natural canopy created by potted trees help bring scale to the space.

Wellness is promoted by offering recharging zones for different personality types. The main dining space is bookended by an active, energetic rec room and a quiet, restful library. A connection to nature is made through the two-story curtain wall overlooking the manicured grounds, a living wall, and the use of natural materials.

The result is a thoughtful mix of dining space, meeting rooms, micro-kitchens, and recreational and quiet spaces which have transformed BL2 from a one-dimensional cafeteria corridor into an enticing destination. This is a welcoming space for many groups, multiplying the reasons for employees wanting to spend time there.

The Agora at Fitchburg Town Center

The Agora at Fitchburg Town Center


American Society of Interior Design (ASID)

Office/Corporate over 25,000 s.f. - Silver


Association of Licensed Architects (ALA)



International Interior Design Association (IIDA) WI Awards

Office over 25,000 s.f. First Place


Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment Award



Public Space, Community Commitment

The Agora at Fitchburg Center is an 84,000 SF mixed-use development—located in the heart of Fitchburg Center—surrounded by more than 400 acres of prairie, forest, and wetlands. The 84,000 square foot project is comprised of three buildings linked by skyways and includes an underground parking facility. The building houses administrative offices for a biopharmaceutical company, with retail spaces on the first floor of the two flanking buildings.

The overall goal of this project was to create a building that resonates with its surrounding nature and easily adapts to the passage of time. This project served as a commitment to enhancing the quality of the public realm, doing good for the community, and giving spaces and facilities over to the public.


Public Prairie

This project served to create an entire series of spaces—courtyards, amphitheaters, terraces—that come together to enhance human interaction within the prairie. As a public space, The Agora hosts events like a weekly farmer’s market, concerts, and parking which are predominantly located underground. This helps free up the design to truly relate to the landscape. A multi-use “piazza” functions both as a parking area as well as an outdoor gathering space.

The restored prairie is the true centerpiece of the entire project conceived as the “Town Green” for the City of Fitchburg. The Prairie Swale winds through the middle of the entire Agora development, integrating the surrounding nature into people’s experience.

The uniqueness of the site created a project with two fronts: an urban, retail front with a gallery on East Cheryl Parkway and an organic front on the prairie that takes advantage of the natural landscape. The three buildings—long in the east-west direction to maximize the benefits of solar orientation—are staggered with respect to one another and connected by stone arched bridges to create framed views of the landscape.

Classic materials including clay-tile roofs, cedar siding, expansive windows, copper elements, and extensive stone masonry were used to construct the buildings. Interior finishes were contained within a simple, natural pallet of materials and colors. Natural finish figured maple and walnut, stone, tile, glass, and just two shades of off-white paint were used to form the backdrop to the owner’s eclectic collection of furnishings and artwork. Careful attention to detail and material transitions transformed these very simple materials into extraordinary design elements. 

The Town Green

With this project’s emphasis on nature and the surrounding landscape, sustainability was a key element of Strang’s design. Green building applications used in this project include: