When is the last time you went to your office to work? Although we know remote work numbers increased due to the pandemic, in 2023, 59.1 percent of employees still worked in-office, according to Forbes. In some industries, having a dedicated office for employee connectivity and client meetings is imperative.

For Dan Chin Homes, a McFarland-based real estate company with 18 employees, a new headquarters was crucial for their continued growth. In 2021, Dan and Meg Chin, husband and wife and team leaders with Dan Chin Homes, selected a site in the heart of McFarland for their new office.

“It was important for us to build our building in McFarland,” says Dan. “Yet very little land was available. We worked closely with the village to design a building that offered enough flexible space for our growing real estate team, but also fit four residential apartments and adequate parking on just a quarter-acre parcel.”

Once the site was acquired, they worked with Sketchworks Architecture on the project design, which included 2,000 square feet of office space and four rental units, including an ADA-compliant ground-floor rental unit. The building was completed in 2023.

Keeping team growth in mind, the Chins “needed [the space] to be flexible so we could easily add workstations and redesign the layout of the space to accommodate more agents and members of our client care team,” says Meg.

Unlike a staid corporate headquarters, Dan Chin Homes’ building boasts a welcoming and on-trend look. The white board-and-batten siding, black-metal-encased windows, and cedar wood accents evoke a modern farmhouse look. “The inspiration for our building came from another multiuse building Meg and I saw on an anniversary weekend in Lake Geneva when we were visiting the town of Fontana,” says Dan. “We wanted the exterior to have a modern farmhouse look and the interior to be sleek, contemporary, and bright with splashes of red—the primary color of our brand.”

The light-filled office brings the outdoors inside. Multiple large windows grace the office’s exterior, and three overhead glass garage doors easily open to the outdoors in the warmer months. In the apartments, clerestory windows and balconies also bring in additional daylight, notes Sketchworks project manager Nick Badura. 

The minimalist interior has an open sales floor, client care team office, some small private spaces, a kitchen, conference rooms with folding dividers, and basement storage. Nick says design accents, including a salvaged metal door, concrete floors, and a vintage metal mailbox, jazz up the space. The conference rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, rich red carpeting, and coffered ceilings.

It is a space the team is proud to show clients and visitors and provides an important touchpoint for team connection. “Clients are wowed when they walk in, our agents are excited to come into the office and collaborate, and we continually receive compliments on the exterior design of the building from the neighbors,” says Meg. “Additionally, our residential tenants are so fond of their homes that they have requested to extend their leases into a second year. We feel like Sketchworks really nailed the interior design. It was a challenge to make such a small space feel so large and open. … We have a lot of flexibility to continue growing the [Dan Chin Homes] team.”

Kyle Jacobson is a writer living in Sun Prairie.

Photographs by Chad Renly of Brand Exposure LLC.

Sketchworks Architecture

2501 Parmenter Street, Suite 300A
Middleton, WI 53562