A suburban office complex breaks from the mold.
In advance of Zurich North America opening its new 783,000 sf North American headquarters this week, Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin has reviewed the building in a new piece – A suburban office complex breaks from the mold. The article warmly reviews the new building that will be home to nearly 3,000 employees and contractors and also is the result of a remarkably extensive workplace testing and engagement effort that crowdsourced ideas from Zurich employees years before the opening.
CannonDesign’s Mark Hirons toured the Zurich North America facility with Kamin and he and the firm are featured in the following excerpt:
“As shaped by Mark Hirons and his team from the Chicago office of CannonDesign, the interior reflects a Swiss preference for clean-lined simplicity and the desire of Zurich North America’s chief executive, Mike Foley, to promote more engagement among employees. Such interaction can be hard to achieve in tall office buildings, where people from different departments tend to meet up only in elevators. In contrast, the new building has a three-story dining room; “social hubs,” filled with chairs and tables, on every floor; and a conference area that will prevent the need to go to hotels for meeting and training sessions. Picking up on the faceted wood underside of the building’s top bar, CannonDesign has woven that thread throughout the meeting zones with folded wood walls and ceilings that resemble Japanese origami.”
Zurich will officially open their new building with a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony this Wednesday.