Guardian Life Insurance at Bell Works

Holmdel, New Jersey

Guardian Life Insurance has a strong set of standards that is well-liked by its end-users. For the new offices of its technology department at Bell Works, Guardian wanted something a little more daring. They recognized that the landmarked building designed by Eero Saarinen has always been an inspiring and innovative place, their Bell Works offices should be, too. A few simple design substitutions—like polished concrete floors instead of terrazzo, dark grey exposed ceilings instead of white—transformed the look and feel of the space.

Planning standards were also tweaked to take advantage of the Bell Work’s remarkable architecture. A perimeter corridor original to the building, with wide-open vistas, became the perfect location for collaborative areas. And using the building’s column bases as a guide, we loosely organized departments into “neighborhoods,” distinguished visually through color and spatially through strips of collaborative areas. Finally, staircase seating that connects the two floors of this 90,000 sf office ties everything together by serving as a focal point for the office’s many amenities.