Amenta Emma Architects recently completed a new corporate headquarters for Symmetry Partners located in Glastonbury, CT. This progressive and fast-growing financial services company saw a “diamond in the rough” in a window-less data center commonly referred to as “the bunker”, which sat vacant for several years.
In this contemporary adaptive re-use, Amenta Emma designers were challenged to bring daylight deep into the 40,000 square-foot building, and to stretch the budget with the creative use of raw, industrial materials. To bring light to the interior, new perimeter glazing and large, central skylights were incorporated as critical elements of the renovation. To mitigate the added heat gain and glare from the expansive new glazing, a brise-soleil was integrated with the exterior walls to provide shade. This façade screen not only provides thermal comfort, but creates lasting iconography on the building’s exterior with its playful pattern and sweeping forms. The skylights crown a “plaza” community space, where employees can gather to eat or relax, showering the social hub of the space with light.
The interior of the project is designed to provide highly collaborative and flexible spaces for staff and visitors. Space is organized around the central skylights and a group of nested “boxes” that contain shared resources such as conference rooms, phone rooms and team spaces. Bench workstations and enclosed offices – necessary for the confidential information handled by an assessment management group – are arranged around the nested boxes and interstitial lounge spaces for informal meetings. In addition, the project features a group of spaces for the company’s visiting clients that include a 50-seat multipurpose training room, private meeting rooms and a dedicated lounge.
The clever use of materials not commonly deployed in architectural design is another aspect of this transformation. The client wanted very much for the building and office environment to be “unexpected” and edgy. To achieve this, materials were selected both for their performative characteristics but also for their visual impression.
Awards AIA New England Citation Award for Excellence in Architecture 2016 AIA New England People's Choice Award 2016