Zurich Insurance Headquarters

Schaumburg, Illinois / United States of America

Project: A 40 acre, 1,500,000 sf (900,000 sf occupied, + 2000 cars) corporate campus adjacent to I-90 in suburban Chicago.

Architectural Strategy: Create a Communal Work Village, combining large scale office space with individual discrete pavilions. Each pavilion houses communal amenity space, (café, stores, gym, conf. center) while the office work space, housed in a surrounding Ring, is treated as modular, universal, flexible space. The Pavilions are situated on a slightly elevated plaza which serves as an extension of the Prairie, as well as a venue for corporate events and outdoor gardens and courts (Visitor Court, Social Court, and Conference Court).

Building cores and pavilions are connected by glass enclosed walkways, creating a pedestrian path system which crisscrosses the plaza. Parking, mechanical distribution systems, and building cores are located under this green, bermed, plaza.

The organization follows from an analogy to the prairie biome: individual plants (pavillions), as an expression of a common, below-grade, root system (bermed, parking/service level).

The elevated Office Ring follows the perimeter of the complex, creating an acoustic separation from the Interstate, a strong Campus boundary, and permits the prairie to flow uninterrupted through the site. Landscape, site , and building "become intimately woven together.

Architect of record

Andrew Metter, FAIA
Epstein | Metter Studio
600 West Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60661, United States
Phone: 312-429-8175
Fax: 312-559-1217