Guardian Life Global Headquarters
After occupying 7 Hanover Square in downtown Manhattan for nearly 20 years, Guardian Life Insurance undertook a major change of pace. In 2019, they moved their offices to the up-and-coming Hudson Yards development on the 20, 21, and 22 floors of 10 Hudson Yards.
Creating a new workplace that would actively engage their customers and employees was our main objective. Our approach leveraged Guardian’s brand and culture to create a bespoke workplace that balances office efficiency with world-class amenities to promote a memorable user experience. These amenities include a business lounge, a cafeteria with a full cooking kitchen, a multi-purpose town hall, tech bars, as well as broadcast spaces.
The end result is a space that integrates the latest technologies and has the flexibility to adapt over time for their evolving business needs.
Due to its proximity to the High Line—a public park built on freight rail tracks along Manhattan’s West Side—we wanted to emphasize the views and bring the greenery inside. To accomplish this, we translated the lines and patterns of precast concrete pavers from the High Line onto a vertical backlit feature wall using channel glass.
The bright white elevator lobbies serve as transitional space before entering Guardian’s headquarters. Thoughtfully placed lighting beckons visitors toward the private terrace and frames spectacular views of the New York City skyline. In contrast to the stark elevator lobby, the large green wall in Guardian’s reception area impart a touch of warmth and provides access to the glass-enclosed terrace.
In alignment with Guardian’s desires to create an engaging space for employees and customers, our team gave special consideration to human health and well-being. Our design solution incorporates healthy building materials with art and legacy portrait collections that reinforce the company’s warmth, strength, and longevity.
A flexible work den, for example, provides choice for employees and accommodates opportunities for collaboration or focus. Glass-enclosed meeting rooms that are interspersed throughout the workspace to offer privacy without disrupting the open office concept. Additionally, the use of reservable sit-stand desks and increased access to daylight improve the focus and productivity of all employees. Another unique wellness consideration at the headquarters are mothers rooms, which offers privacy and comfort for working mothers.
The cafeteria/townhall area was designed to allow for multiple options. Operable partitions can be arranged to make the space larger to accommodate large groups of people for all-hands meetings, seminars, or other events. These partitions can also close off the space for private meetings with simultaneous cafeteria/kitchen functionality.
The client zone provides discrete meeting rooms with hospitality elements, including on-site food service facilities intended for hosting business and after-hours events. The business lounge, which doubles as an event space, features a 12-foot-tall fixture suspended from the double-height ceiling.