GNA (Great Northern Insurance Annuity), Two Union Square, Seattle
GNA’s Office Design and Architecture
Located in the NBBJ-designed Two Union Square tower, the design for this rapidly expanding insured annuity firm incorporates an open office plan with workstations organised to fan out from the centre, thereby keeping the curves of the building and the views visible, as well as permitting perimeter circulation.
The workstation footprint design does not need to be reconfigured for growth and interdepartmental moves.
Instead, adjustable, interchangeable components allow people to relocate between workstations of the same size and personalise their workspaces with ease.
Repetition of the architectural elements during construction provides the seven operational floors with one corporate identity.
Even the custom lighting fixtures, the dramatic focus of public areas, become objects of art. Inspired by the wind-filled sails of boats, these fixtures are made of perforated metal and sand blasted plexiglass.
To offset their repeated use, and acknowledge the individuality of the employee, a different colour palette is used in the social areas of each floor, establishing each as its own special neighbourhood.
Office’s Space and Interior Design
The workstation areas remain consistent from floor to floor with passive, cool colours creating a more restful, contemplative space for staff.
Public and private areas are further distinguished by warm incandescent lighting in the corridors and evenly lit task ambient lighting in work areas. Despite the subtle Japanese influence, the floor remains unquestionably a western space.
The same architectural design elements appear on the executive floor, which contains five executive offices and 14,000 square feet of conference space. The importance of the Pacific Rim to the North West economy is quietly recognised here: the pattern and colour of large wall-like doors in the reception area were derived from a tea house at Katsura Villa in Kyoto; the custom case goods are of Japanese proportion and detailing.
Its luxurious nature is expressed not by expensive finishes, but by generous space and glass walls that allow breathtaking views to become the primary design element.