Hoerr Schaudt Leads Landscape Design for New Zurich North America Headquarters
Hoerr Schaudt is pleased to lead the landscape design for Zurich North America’s new headquarters in Schaumburg, IL. The site, situated at Meacham Road and I-90, will be the home of a 40-acre campus and is the largest single-tenant suburban office development in the Chicago area in more than 10 years. The project will give Zurich 753,300 square feet of work space and is pursuing a goal of LEED Platinum certification.
Composed of three primary “bars” that are offset and stacked, the architecture opens views of the surrounding landscape, optimizes solar orientation for amenities, and allows flexibility for future growth. The top “bar” of the complex reaches 11 stories and cantilevers toward downtown Chicago, offering significant views of a landscape designed to mark the change in seasons.
Like the building, the landscape is designed to be an amenity that will help recruiting, productivity, and retention. A wide variety of ways to work and relax outdoors ranges from large-group gathering areas to intimate spots that are perfect places for intense concentration. Views of the landscape from inside play an equally important role in the daily lives of Zurich employees, and framing views of seasonal change are designed as part of the indoor experience.
The design and placement of the building on the site is carefully integrated for promoting and capturing the summer breezes and blocking the winter northwest winds. Native, naturalized plantings close to the building and a native savannah mix along the periphery of the site will help the building achieve LEED certification.
The landscape creates the first impression to visitors and clients. Visitors entering the site from Meacham Road are welcomed by a dramatic, sweeping open green entrance space and elliptical pond. The landscape is ‘choreographed’ to unfold as visitors emerge from tree groves to views of the formal entrance to the building. Along the pond’s sloped edge are places to sit and enjoy the sound of water.
On the south part of the site, between the East and West wings of the building, a series of outdoor formal spaces resemble a European-style park. The spaces are organized for a variety of outdoor activities, relaxation and play. An outdoor pavilion provides a comfortable destination for having a cup of coffee while an open lawn is designed for large gatherings and events.
A water wall in the lower plaza makes this courtyard-like area alive with the sound of rushing water. In the warm months it is a cooling element and turns the plaza into an enticing place to eat or hold an informal meeting. In winter when the water is off, the wall’s variegated stone texture remains a sculptural element in the plaza.
Next to the plaza stair, a ‘ramp garden’ turns the typical handicap access ramp into an amenity for everyone. The garden eases gently down a minimal slope, connecting the south plaza courtyard to the other outdoor spaces by way of a zig-zag path. Lush plantings encourage people to stroll through the space.
The development, design and construction of the headquarters is led by Clayco, as developer and design-builder. The headquarters core and shell, along with the parking facility, is designed by Goettsch Partners. The interior of the headquarters is designed by CannonDesign.
Information about the project’s construction progress is featured on Zurich’s website.