Zurich North America Headquarters Opens
Zurich North America (ZNA) opened the doors of its new 39-acre headquarters yesterday and celebrated the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the Mayor of Schaumburg and city officials, the full design and construction team and members of the press. The building has been awarded the highly respected LEED Platinum®1 Certified designation for its environmental design and sustainability initiatives. We are thrilled to have worked with such a talented, multidisciplinary team and a visionary client to help make this project a reality.
Located off Meacham Road in Schaumburg, the Zurich landscape plan is distinctive for three key reasons. First, the amount of open space greatly exceeds the building’s footprint. While Schaumburg requires at least 20% open space, we have nearly doubled that for ZNA at 54%. Secondly, the design has a naturalistic style and many sustainable features to the landscape. Finally, there is a wide range of space types throughout the project.
As you enter the headquarters, a dramatic, sweeping open green space is “choreographed” to unfold as visitors come through tree groves to the open formal entrance of the building. An elliptical pond collects stormwater – in addition to several detention areas – and most of the stormwater collected is naturally purified by vegetation and soil filters rather than sent directly to sewers.
The arrival plaza provides a unique setting for parking, rather than the typical curb-and-gutter space. The landscape design uses trees and furniture to casually soften the space and provide an area to enjoy the outdoors on a good day. The eastern edge of ZNA has a 126-space, on-surface parking lot with a center bio-swale. The strategy for the Meacham Road edge was to berm and densely plant species that withstand harsh salt spray.
Courtyards on the South edge will provide all the employees with an urban park-like setting between the East and West wings. The setting is a series of outdoor formal rooms resembling a European-style park. The program and spaces are organized for outdoor activities, relaxing, and play and are a place for unwinding and also a place for seasonal events. A water feature provides a pleasant place for repose, while a flat lawn provides a convenient area for large gatherings. A nearby 2.5-acre detention area is planted with native wetland species and a trail bridge provides a landmark on the walking path.
There are 647 trees on site and those closer to the building and main gathering spaces will be larger to provide instant shade. A wide variety of tree species encourages diversity, while evergreen and seasonal perennials are mixed throughout the savannah for seasonal interest. Most of the plant material we chose for the ZNA landscape are both native species and locally grown.
Collaborators include: Clayco is the developer and design-builder. The building was designed by architectural firm Goettsch Partners. The interior design was completed by CannonDesign and the interior was built by Executive Construction, Inc. (ECI). JLL’s Build to Suit practice group coordinated all development and financing activities.
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