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ICE F F O W ION E T I N 9 G D E – D S A C SION DINING A N W A O P X SH ICE E NTER AND F F O CE ME O E H C N N E O JACKS G, CONFER MPUS A C A IN CTING E BUILD N N CO ARTN AND P H T I M AM, S RESH

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Jackson Home Office Expansion – New Office Building, Conference Center and Dining Addition LOCATION

Lansing, Michigan C L IENT

Jackson National Life Insurance Company SERVIC ES

Architecture Interior Design


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long-standing client, Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Jackson®) has solicited GS&P’s professional services for numerous high-profile projects across the country, including several major renovations and the design of its 150,000-square-foot regional headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee. In 2013, Jackson selected GS&P to provide architecture and interior design services for a two-phase expansion project at the firm’s headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. Phase I included a 40,000-square-foot multilevel conference center and dining facility expansion. Phase II comprised a new 230,000-square-foot office building and a 500-foot enclosed bridge connecting the new construction through existing woodlands to the current building.

“Jackson was quickly outgrowing its existing headquarters, which was at maximum capacity,” explains Steve Johnson, executive vice president of GS&P's Corporate + Urban Design market. “They ultimately decided that expanding their current headquarters to consolidate off-campus staff presented the optimum solution in terms of anticipated growth over the coming decade.


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The conference center, dining facility and new office building are situated on a wooded campus with an existing 300,000-square-foot, crescent-shaped office building.

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EXISTING WOODLAND

The wood great site extensive beneath a

EXISTING OFFICE BUILDING NEW OFFICE BUILDING

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NEW CONNECTOR

“Since the campus is spread out, Jackson wanted to create spaces that would allow their associates to interact and connect in various ways. They were also in desperate need of flexible conference space because employees were using conference rooms for office space in the existing building due to the rapid growth. So, along with the workplace expansion, they desired a large conference center that attached to the current building,

NEW CONFERNCE RENCE CENTER

as well as an expanded dining facility that could accommodate twice as many employees.” Jackson’s overarching goals for the project included the incorporation of sustainable design principles, a seamless connection between the existing lobby and the new conference center, unhindered sight lines, and minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

“Since the campus is spread out, Jackson wanted to create spaces that would allow their associates to interact and connect in various ways.” STEVE JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CORPORATE + URBAN DESIGN


The pre-function space in the conference center features a heavy timber roof and panoramic views of the woodlands.

CONNECTING A CONFERENCE CENTER

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Creating a true sense of corporate community, the new Class-A conference center has the capacity to seat up to 400 people. It includes a versatile pre-function hall as well as three multipurpose rooms that can easily be opened up into one conference room. “The pre-function space is an important part of the building because it also serves as a gathering space,” says Kelly Hodges, vice president of Lacking the space to accommodate its firmwide GS&P's Corporate + Urban Design market. “It’s and community events, one of Jackson’s top priessentially a staging area for conference events, orities was developing an on-campus conference but when employees aren’t using the meeting venue that was both functional and comfortable. rooms, it also acts as a free, collaborative space Senior architect and principal Jeff Kuhnhenn where associates can meet or perhaps grab a explains the challenges involved in connecting cup of coffee.” the new conference center to the existing “This conference center is a whole new office building: concept for Jackson,” adds Jack Weber, senior “The conference center needed to be immedivice president of GS&P’s Nashville Design ately accessible to the existing building’s main Studio. “They didn’t have anything like it before. lobby for ease of access by guests and employees. Since the conference center/ However, a main feature of pre-function spaces opened, the lobby is a floor-to-ceiling “This conference glass wall that opens the space employees have increasingly up to the woods to the west. center is a whole new utilized the collaborative spaces This is such an iconic view that concept for Jackson.” as individuals, as small teams, and for large meetings.” we had to avoid interrupting it with the conference center. Also providing additional To preserve the outlook, we space for interaction is the moved the conference center campus’ expanded dining entry to the south so it aligned facility, which connects to with an existing elevator core the conference center and is and stayed out of the framed located on the ground level of JACK WEBER, viewpoint from the lobby. the existing building. SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, “The client also expressed a “Jackson already had a dining CORPORATE + URBAN DESIGN desire for the existing lobby and facility on campus, but it wasn’t new conference center connecnearly as dynamic as what this expansion offers,” says Weber. “A dining area tion to appear seamless. To create continuity between the new and existing buildings, we needs to serve as a positive distraction—a place used a similar material pallet for a more unified that’s inspiring and offers respite from the aesthetic. So the path was more open and inviting, workspace. This dining expansion offers exactly we took the curve from the existing corridor and that type of respite while adding an extra 5,180 rotated it out to form a wider corridor that spins square feet to the existing dining facility that’s off the lobby space. This corridor culminates at a more playful and much livelier. Jackson reports that food sales have increased by 30 percent monumental stair, connecting to the conference since the new dining center has been open.” center and linking the dining expansion.”


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The conference center can hold up to 400 people. It blends seamlessly with the existing office by using similar natural materials.


The design team took the footprint of topography to create the roof.

A ridge line for central rain collection was then added.

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Finally, the roof was segmented for added constructability.

Beyond its obvious aesthetic advantages, the green roof reduces thermal heat gain, provides UV-ray protection, and aids in stormwater retention and filtration critical to the Lansing site.


RAISING THE ROOF

RYAN ROHE, ARCHITECT

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“We hand-picked what trees to keep and what trees to demo, and reused some of the trees we took down for components in the interior design.”

Maintaining existing views as well as creating additional vistas was the main driver for the siting and form of the conference center. With this in mind, the design team aimed to preserve as much of the natural topography as feasible. “This natural forest area is such a prized and treasured amenity for the people working within the existing building, and the client didn’t want anything to spoil that view,” says Kuhnhenn. “So we came up with a solution that took its cues from the surrounding topography. “We thought about what it would mean to insert this building into the landscape, which involved manipulating the natural environment by removing trees and excavating the ground. But our goal was to mitigate the impact to the surrounding site. So we considered the possibility of slicing out the ground—the footprint beneath the conference center—and then raising up the lush groundscape and tucking the program underneath. That design concept ultimately became the genesis for how we approached the conference center’s rippling green roof.” By using the footprint of topography to create the green roof, the design team preserved the view of the woodlands beyond, and created a scenic foreground vista for the existing building. “There was very little site disturbance considering the monumental effort that took place,” says architect Ryan Rohe. “We hand-picked what trees to keep and what trees to demo, and reused some of the trees we took down for components in the interior design.”


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The walk between buildings is broken down into a series of refuges designed to reduce the sense of distance, allowing portions of the facility to become more than just a corridor.

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A NEXTGENERATION OFFICE BUILDING During the programming phase of the project, the design team determined that locating the new office building too close to the existing headquarters posed a number of drawbacks, and that placing the new facility on the other side of the woodlands presented the best solution for Jackson’s needs. To connect the new facility to the existing headquarters, GS&P designed a 500-foot elevated walkway that traverses the delicate wetlands and allows wildlife to pass beneath. “We designed the connector to be more than just a long corridor,” notes interior designer Amy Klinefelter. “It provides an opportunity for casual interaction as well as moments of transition as employees move through the campus.”

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“We designed the connector to be more than just a long corridor. It provides an opportunity for casual interaction as well as moments of transition as employees move through the campus.”

AMY KLINEFELTER, INTERIOR DESIGNER


All shared amenities are grouped around a central atrium.

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The ground floor cafe is located at the base of the "treehouse."

Two monumental stairs on either side of the atrium encourage employee health.


Situated in the corner of the large agricultural site, Jackson’s new 230,000-square-foot office building provides capacity for more than 1,200 state-of-the-art workspaces and offers employees stunning vistas of the surrounding woodlands. The building is composed of two wings of office space connected by a large atrium. Each wing of office space is narrower than the typical office building to increase access to daylight. The angled relationship between the north and south wings is narrower toward the main entry and wider toward the woodlands. Monumental stairs rise from just past the entry lobby to provide access

“A centralized meeting and break room in what we call the ‘treehouse’ provides a variety of meeting, social and wellness areas that deliberately nudge people together.” ADRIENNE CIUBA, ARCHITECT

to all floors. Elevators are tucked back into the core space to encourage use of the stairs. In the center of the building, collaborative spaces were designed to encourage employee interaction as well as a sense of camaraderie. “Large meeting and break areas are collected around the atrium space, which concentrates activity in the core of the building and provides an improved sense of community,” explains architect Adrienne Ciuba. “For example, a centralized meeting and break room in what we call the ‘treehouse’ provides a variety of meeting, social and wellness areas that deliberately nudge people together.”

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The two wings of office space are narrower than the typical office building to increase access to daylight.

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The main conference and break areas make up the center "treehouse." Smaller break rooms are located on the perimeter.

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“In many respects, it’s a next-generation building compared to your typical office building.”

JEFF KUHNHENN, SENIOR ARCHITECT, PRINCIPAL

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Along with collaborative spaces, sustainable design elements including energy-efficient LED lighting and an underfloor air distribution system were incorporated into the building. “The new facility runs 40 percent more efficiently than the original office building,” says Kuhnhenn. “One of the major energy-saving strategies was the underfloor HVAC system, which delivers air directly to where people need it as opposed to blowing air down from the ceiling through space that isn’t occupied. It gives users flexibility because everyone has their own adjustable vent in their workstation. The building also has high-performance glass so it’s well-insulated. In many respects, it’s a next-generation building compared to your typical office building.”

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Borrowing from the existing office building material palette, the new building is clad in glass and metal panel. High-performance glazing, building orientation and an underfloor air distribution system all contribute to achieving a high ENERGY STAR® rating target.


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Evolving a pre-existing headquarters into a vibrant and sophisticated string of workspaces, collaboration rooms, dining and entertainment zones, GS&P’s design supports Jackson’s continued growth and flexibility while minimizing the impact of the built environment on the cherished site. “From an interiors perspective, our key focus was creating spaces where people could connect,” says Weber. “The original building simply wasn’t designed as a place for the type of interaction that Jackson is looking for today. So each key component—from the conference center to the new office building, and even to the connector that ties everything together—was an aspect of trying to find places for people to interrelate.”

“I think the most impressive thing about this project is how the overall campus came together,” concludes Kuhnhenn. “There is a seamless connection between the two different office buildings that are on the one hand separated by the woodlands, but at the same time feel connected in a very intimate way.”


“There is a seamless connection between the two different office buildings that are on the one hand separated by the woodlands, but at the same time feel connected in a very intimate way.” JEFF KUHNHENN

TE A M

PIC Steven P. Johnson, AIA, NCARB PM Kelly Knight Hodges, NCIDQ, LEED AP PP Eric Bearden, AIA PD Jeffrey W. Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP PD Jack E. Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP PD Brian Hubbard, AIA PC Ryan R. Rohe, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP PC Adrienne Ciuba, AIA, NCARB PCID Amy Klinefelter, IIDA, LEED AP

Anna L. Barnes, LEED AP Adam Bates Lauren Boehms Helga Bolyard Joseph M. Bucher, AIA, NCARB Pamela Bybee Clint H. Harris, AIA Cindy Lucente, LEED AP Elaine McDowall Louis Medcalf, FCSI, CCS


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Showcase 9 - Jackson Home Office Expansion – New Office Building, Conference Center and Dining Addit  

Showcase is Gresham, Smith and Partners' annual collection of employee-submitted projects, reviewed and selected by an external panel of jud...

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