Project DescriptionThe new $150 million Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) global headquarters in Chesterfield, Missouri, is a stunningly impressive building designed for expansion and a smooth workforce transition from baby boomers to millennials.
“There is nothing like this building on the I-64 corridor or anywhere in Missouri,” said Bob Dunn of Fox Architects.
The 405,000-square-foot stone, glass and steel headquarters building is the largest project in the St. Louis region since Centene Plaza was completed in 2010, and the largest local headquarters project in at least 20 years. The complex includes 580,000-square feet of parking.
Fox Architects, which has worked with RGA for more than 20 years, designed the interiors and was RGA’s consultant to international architectural firm Gensler on design of the core and shell. Jay Longo was project designer and Clayco was the design/build contractor.
“This project was a great relationship opportunity for our firm,” said Bob Dunn of Fox Architects, which has worked with RGA for more than 20 years. “We based our design on a deep knowledge of who RGA is and what they may become.”
Although Fox and Gensler are very different in size, their histories as interiors firms that expanded to exterior architecture are similar, and they teamed seamlessly to give RGA a better building from the inside out, according to Jay Longo of Gensler.
The headquarters’ two five-story towers are linked by a two-story atrium lobby and amenities bar, which features 10,000 square feet of training facilities; a 7,500-square-foot fitness center; a 20,000-square-foot café, kitchen and barista; and a 500-seat cafeteria that can function as a 700-seat auditorium.
Built on a 17-acre site, the complex will accommodate RGA’s workforce expansion over the next several years, and is master planned to include a third building for long-term growth.
The headquarters’ two-story limestone base replicates a Missouri Ozark bluff and represents RGA’s broad base of local knowledge and grounding. Two five-story towers reach out from the base as the international company’s global arms. With only a few offices along the exterior walls, every level offers panoramic vistas.
The base connecting the two towers gives the feeling of walking on the edge of a stone outcropping. Two levels of parking are concealed behind the bluff-like structure, with three entrances at grade level thanks to the site selection.
The office complex provides an impressive one-to-one conferencing ratio for RGA’s headquarters employees –1,400 conference chairs for 1,400 employees. Numerous conference areas, flexible workspaces and Wi-Fi access to high-speed Internet encourage employees to move around, call impromptu group meetings or carry their laptops to alternate work spaces when they need more space, quiet or privacy.
All of that “people moving” is expected to improve employee health, morale and productivity, according to Colleen Crutcher of Fox Architects, which has worked on the project planning and design for three years.
“We believe design can improve our clients’ businesses when it’s based on solid knowledge of how they operate,” said Crutcher.
The interiors were designed for both public and private spaces, with conference rooms located next to elevators, copy areas and other public spaces to avoid disrupting employee workstations. These central spaces can be used by any employee; dedicated conference rooms adjacent to departments are for those workers only.
Fox designed the space to daylight. The lobby floor was opened up to flood the cafeteria on the lower level with natural light. An open-plan workstation orientation and select locations for offices on the glass also maximize daylight.
Fox used daylight harvesting to conserve energy as well. Photocells tied to light fixtures near the windows link to the building automation system, which adjusts window shades and lighting on workstations to save a projected 20 percent in lighting costs alone. The building’s solar orientation on the site is expected to generate another 10 percent in energy savings.
“As far as we know, this is the first system in the Midwest to tie an automated shade system and daylight harvesting to the BAS HVAC controls,” said Ben Paisley of Fox Architects.
Fox Architects is an architectural and interior design firm with more than 35 years experience in corporate, healthcare, educational, institutional and retail projects. The Fox Architects team has special expertise in mission-critical projects such as corporate data centers. Fox Architects is expert at identifying the facility and design factors that will determine a client’s operational success. For more information, visit www.fox-arch.com, email email@example.com or call (314) 621-4343