This new headquarters gives one of Michigan’s largest homegrown financial institutions the space it needs to support collaboration. It also helps the company recruit and keep talented associates.
The design creates a high-performance workplace in a building that complements and preserves its heavily forested site. The team positioned the building as a “bridge” connecting the sloping hills with a pond at the base of a natural watershed. To gracefully accommodate the parking requirement, the design recesses the three-story garage structure into a hill.
Taking advantage of Michigan’s fall and winter sunlight, the interior revolves around a three-story atrium along the building’s south side. This daylit space serves as the heart of the office, encouraging transparency and connectivity. A series of stairs in the atrium links the three floors and culminates in a large ceremonial staircase that doubles as an informal gathering space.
The material palette of brick, metal, glass, and concrete lends simplicity to the composition. The southern facade is a minimal glass curtain wall that maximizes views and light and reinforces the verticality of the forest. The north brick facade builds on the regional vernacular and uses heavier material to offer protection from winter winds.
The project was completed while I was working for HOK.