Finding the X Factor


CEO Mike Praeger had a full afternoon planned. In addition to the day-to-day responsibilities of running a rapidly-growing payment automation software company, he was scheduled to meet with the team designing his new headquarters, and he still needed to leave on time to pick up his son.

When pick-up time rolled around, however, he changed his plan and sent a car to collect his son instead. No, he wasn’t trying to avoid carpool duty; he was so enthralled by the visioning process that he wanted to bring his son into the meeting to experience the inspiring energy and enthusiasm in real-time.

The meeting in question was for the design of Mike’s new AvidXchange headquarters in Charlotte, and his vision for the ideal workplace informed the design at every stage of the process. Mike views the Charlotte area as “the Silicon Valley of the South,” and he wanted to create a visionary workplace that reflected his company’s collaborative, innovative ethos.

He found an ideal location in the Music Factory campus, a formerly industrial site with a historic textile mill on the fringes of Charlotte’s gritty Fourth Ward neighborhood. The Music Factory hosts two Live Nation venues and has transformed into a major entertainment destination, and when AvidXchange needed space to consolidate 800 employees spread across numerous office locations, the Music Factory provided exactly the type of high-energy urban space which would attract and retain a youthful tech workforce. To support a highly collaborative corporate culture, the innovative new work environment required flexible, dynamic spaces for on-the-fly meetings, ideation, creative collisions, and brainstorming. The company prides itself in being nimble and transparent, and the space needed to support the company’s workflow and real-time communication. The concept of transparency, both literal and figurative, became a cornerstone of both the exterior and interior design.

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