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SARA Investment Real Estate

Corporate Headquarters

SARA’s new space has three distinctive features that set it apart from a typical office renovation. First, the project celebrates a unique historically significant Atwood landmark. Next, the strategic use of color and texture optimize employee’s productivity. Lastly, strategically located third-places increase collaboration and community amongst employees.

In 1923, the Security State Bank moved to 1955 Atwood Avenue (designed by local architect Frank Riley). The team wanted to celebrate the great history of this neighborhood landmark by incorporating various historical elements into the space. To pay homage to the building’s history, historic vault doors and bank equipment were integrated into the entry corridor.

A goal for the design team was to use color and texture past decorative means. In corporate environments, bright colors are associated with higher focus, and in return, workers typically achieve higher task accuracy. With this in mind, workstation accent colors and collaborative areas incorporate bright colors to promote focus. In contrast, the “Great Room” uses warm natural colors to promoting relaxation.

Similar to color, texture and visual variability have a measurable effect on an employee’s engagement and productivity. A lack of stimulation during the day can dull the senses and affect a worker’s cognitive ability.

In this project, the design team juxtaposed between “old and new”, “warm and cold”, and “soft and hard” materials throughout the space. For example, original brick walls, all exterior walls at different points in history, and reclaimed wood provide differing textures past the mundane gypsum wall. This can also be seen in the warm combination of Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and wood “clouds” contrasting with the dark carpet tiles and black plenum, which clearly defines the main circulation path.

SARA’s previous space lacked the necessary formal and informal collaboration areas. The design team specifically focused on creating spaces that foster collaboration and communication without interrupting work. The goal was to create fresh, contemporary, breakout space drawing people into a social working environment where spontaneous meetings occur routinely.

Inspiration kitchenette space sprang from the concept of a “Great Room” because of the open environment and the notion that people gather in the kitchen. The “Great Room” atmosphere provides an informal, fun environment where employees can collaborate and rejuvenate throughout the day.

Location:
Madison, WI

Client:
SARA Investment Real Estate

Size:
11,769 SF

Construction Type:
Renovation