Skip to Content

Pillen Family Farms

Located in Columbus, NE

Back to projects

Pillen Family Farms, one of the largest hog producers in the Midwest, had offices and labs spread throughout Nebraska. The owners, the third generation of the Pillen family to run the company, were looking to bring all of their office and DNA Genetics employees under one roof and create a progressive, activity-based work environment that reflected their company’s values and attract new talent. A variety of seating options were therefore necessary to allow employees to work at whichever type of space suited their day’s tasks.

An 18-acre site on the north edge of Columbus, Nebraska, was chosen for the headquarters. The exterior of the building was designed to be a meld of small-town Main Street and farm life, incorporating long buildings with high ceilings and gable roofs; grain bin elements that internally host a coffee bar, an employee entrance, and conference rooms; and a two-story brick entrance with a flat roof, with a variety of grand windows adorning the first level and the second-floor executive offices. Low-maintenance native prairie grasses were chosen to landscape the site.

Corn, used to feed hogs, is an important commodity to the company. Upon entering the building, a large ring above the reception desk boasts a commodities ticker. Corn kernels are also incorporated into the countertops at the reception desk and in the coffee bar. An alcove depicting the company’s history is located off the lobby, where visitors can browse while waiting.

Different workstation options are offered throughout the building, including phone booths for individual laptop work or private calls; high-top tables; and a variety of conference room sizes. Workstations in the main office space are clustered into “neighborhoods” according to department but without assigned seats. Employees instead have assigned lockers in which to keep personal items. A DNA Genetics research lab and a commercial kitchen where meats are cooked for community donations complete the work area.

The location of Pillen Family Farms’ headquarters is amid other new development within the surrounding area, including a new hospital, high school, and a YMCA. With approximately 240 workstation options scattered throughout the building and 85 staff currently employed, there is plenty of room for growth. Features both internally and externally reflect the company’s history and culture and help promote its vision to its employees.

Stay in Touch for Monthly Shive-Hattery Industry Insights