Wells Fargo Customer Information Center Master Plan

Charlotte, NC
Wells Fargo CIC Campus

The 157-acre Wells Fargo Customer Information Center (CIC) campus was designed in 1997 to operate like a small, high-tech city with a population of 10,000 employees and support staff. However, after 20 years in operation, the CIC has begun to show its age, so our team was brought aboard to create a new Master Plan for future growth. With the rising shift in a more mobile and flexible workforce enabled by technology, we knew that skin-deep renovations wouldn’t cut it. Instead, we needed to rethink how the facility can improve circulation, moving through a more flexible campus to foster better connections and better environments. We had to think like city planners.

Campus Connection

You would think that connecting people who work in the same building would be simple, but it becomes a task of a different scale when there’s 2.2 million square feet of space to choreograph. The building itself is separated into nine distinct “nodes” that house the workplace and all support and amenity spaces, but there was no centralized destination. We noticed that, while most stuck to their own node there were others who were beginning to adopt a more mobile work style, which was impeded by disconnected circulation. In a city, people are drawn to destinations, both in their neighborhoods and throughout the city. By thinking like city planners, we can create those community-making experiences for Wells Fargo employees by enhancing connection paths that create opportunities for collaboration.

CIC Improvements

We found room for these destination spaces by using methods that rethink the existing workspace. Our plan cut down on unused desk spaces which are then used to create more employee-friendly work and collaboration areas, as well as new amenity spaces. Our plan establishes a more vibrant and engaging atmosphere on each dimly lit floor by introducing lightwells that, in tandem with larger windows on an upgraded façade, would increase daylight deeper into the space and encourages people to move throughout the day.

Campus Organization

Critical to the success of the master plan was the Main Street corridor that would run directly through the campus, creating a positive circulation flow that mimics successful thoroughfares of a small city. A large central courtyard that is largely underutilized will be renovated into a central atrium, a sort of town square with shops, restaurants and other amenities with the Main Street corridor running directly through. Existing spaces, like the facility’s Data Center, were either relocated elsewhere or evaluated for keeping in place.

Like a small city, master-planned avenues bisect the Main Street corridor, which lead to the workplace nodes of each building now rooted in movement. Each of these being a destination with unique programmatic elements draws employees between them throughout the day depending on the task at hand, much like someone would move throughout a city as their day progresses.

Not only does our Master Plan improve building circulation, but we also looked at the campus as a whole and how it functions. We conducted a site-wide parking study that captured how people used each parking lot and how far they had to walk to a building entrance—distances that could cover a quarter-mile. The data we collected informed how we could adjust the parking scheme to continue the new circulation patterns outward and link each lot with the main arteries of the campus via new greenery-lined pathways and more inviting building entrances. Additional façade updates and upgraded leisure amenities like an athletic field and jogging track, previously underused and considered “out of reach” by employees create a seamless, interconnected campus.