Design of Consumers Credit Union’s New Headquarters Emanates from Nature
Consumers Credit Union, one of Michigan’s largest homegrown financial institutions, opened its new HOK-designed headquarters in Kalamazoo this week.
Nearly 150 employees previously working in four separate buildings moved into a collaboration center situated among rolling hills and wooded ravines on a 23-acre site. The centerpiece: a contemporary, three-story, 92,000-square-foot office evoking its natural surroundings, designed to bring employees closer together while providing exceptional amenities.
“Our new home underscores Consumers’ strong commitment to West Michigan, including its communities and local economy,” said Kit Snyder, president and CEO. “We are very proud to open our new headquarters in Kalamazoo, where we have managed operations for more than 15 years.”
“Our design for the new headquarters captures and manifests the core values and a sense of identity of Consumers Credit Union,” said Peter Ruggiero, AIA, design principal for HOK’s Chicago practice, which provided architectural and interior design. “Designed to promote communication, the open, collaborative workplace recognizes its unique surroundings through its placement on the site and the access to daylight and views afforded by the thoughtfully-designed plan.”
Consumers and HOK collaborated to design a branded environment that expresses the company’s values while fostering collaboration. Several design strategies help the building accomplish these goals:
- Open workspaces, collaboration and training: The open floor plan includes modern workstations, informal gathering spaces and a learning lab featuring the latest technology for staff training.
- Central gathering space: Employees and visitors enter through a central glass atrium with a grand staircase connecting all areas of the building.
- Wellness and amenities: Staff can take advantage of an on-site café, coffee bar, fitness center, fitness and running trail, and an expansive outdoor patio overlooking the outdoors.
- Connection to nature: The building’s form is influenced by its surroundings—from expansive glass walls providing forest views to the intentional use of tree cover along roads leading to the headquarters.
To accommodate Consumers’ potential future growth, HOK designed the building to be built in three phases. It can be expanded up to 200,000 square feet.