“The Dutch are very particular about natural light. That was one of the most important requirements.” SOURCES
Timothy Rasic, Partner
CARPET TILE Broken Slate Modular 7950 and Basalt 324, by JJ Invision jj-invision.com WORKSTATIONS Montage, by Steelcase steelcase.com CHAIRS Embody Chair, by Herman Miller hermanmiller.com PENDANT LIGHTS Vaetros, by Zumtobel zumtobel.com CEILING CLOUDS Techstyle acoustical ceiling, by Hunter Douglas Contract hunterdouglascontract.com
FEWER WALLS The central work spaces of ABN AMRO’s New York office are open and flexible to promote employee interaction and collaboration.
APR | MAY | JUN 2015
he newly reorganized ABN AMRO needed to make a splash with its New York offices. If the bank from the Netherlands was to be a success in the United States, it would need a launching pad—a well-designed space aligned to the organization’s unique culture and tailored to both American and Dutch employees. Fortunately, ABN AMRO found an ally in Janko Rasic Architects, PLLC. Partner Timothy Rasic says his boutique firm specializes in workplace design and has a long history of working with international banks and foreign governments. “We customize our approach to the client and have a deep appreciation of different cultures,” he explains. Rasic’s father and the firm’s founding partner, Janko Rasic, was born in Croatia, speaks five languages, and married a woman of Dutch descent. Because of him, the younger Rasic grew up in and around the field of architecture and gained valuable experience in construction and real estate that he says gives him holistic insight into the business of design. After a real estate broker introduced the two parties, Janko Rasic Architects completed an interview phase with ABN AMRO and won
the job to design the former’s New York offices in 2009. Then, Rasic himself stepped in to help ABN AMRO select the perfect location. “The Dutch are very particular about natural light,” he says. “That was one of the most important requirements.” Finding an acceptable location where light could penetrate deep into the building’s core was especially challenging in New York City, but a setback floor of a Park Avenue tower with an irregular floor plate and a high ratio of perimeter windows to internal space solved the problem. With the site selected, Rasic worked closely with ABN AMRO personnel to build the project’s concept and palette. “They wanted a dynamic space that would accommodate growth over time,” Rasic says, so he focused on creating a flexible and luminous environment with collaboration in mind. Each perimeter office includes glass partitions that bring light into the workplace’s interior spaces. Traditional banks build compartmentalized work spaces with high-walled cubicles, but ABN AMRO asked for more-social work zones with open benching systems—a mandate that Rasic says became more important over the course of the project’s three phases. In fact, the floor
A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN
ABN AMRO’s office is so open that Janko Rasic included private, quiet booths for phone calls along the space’s corridors. MAKING EVERYONE’S DAY BRIGHTER
Corner offices and conference rooms are walled largely with glass, and this helps admit daylighting deeper into the rest of the office.
APR | MAY | JUN 2015
April/May/June 2015, #57. Making Faces. americanbuildersquarterly.com