Square Footage: 40,000 square feet
Sustainability Certifications: Tracking LEED Platinum Certification, Tracking WELL Gold Certification
Interface’s new headquarters – a dramatically renovated 1960s office building in Midtown Atlanta – was designed to reflect the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility. According to Interface’s “Factory as a Forest” philosophy, when companies take their cues from natural ecosystems, they can create healthy, positive, and productive workplaces that benefit everyone in and around them.
This commitment is perhaps most visible in the headquarters’ striking new skin – a semi-transparent, recyclable polyester sheath featuring a life-size recreation of the Piedmont Forest. This draws an unequivocal connection to the site’s natural history, while making a bold statement about Interface’s love of nature and commitment to sustainability, health, and environmental performance.
Energy efficiency and wellness are key features of the building; the building’s total energy use is about 50 percent that of typical office buildings. Natural light illuminates every floor, while an expansive cistern collects and treats rainwater for restrooms and irrigation. Wellness and “restoration rooms” are available for employee relaxation and meditation.
Biophilic design principles guide the program and experience of the building, organizing the new headquarters into three “ecologies”: the Cave, the Forest, and the Bluff. The “Cave” is the refurbished parking garage, now serving as a welcoming point for visitors, as well as bicycle and rainwater storage. The “Forest” includes three floors of the original structure: a centralized work café optimized for employee collaboration and interaction; a quiet floor for rest, relaxation, and inspiration; and a room for executive leadership. The “Bluff” comprises a new penthouse and green roof terrace where employees can enjoy a natural respite amid views of Midtown.
To ensure the most optimal workplace, the design team collected data on employee usage through various means, including smartphone-enabled “micro-polling.” This data informed the design of the workspace by decreasing total square footage per person while increasing amenity and collaborative spaces. Employees are now encouraged to use the whole building as their office in whatever ways make them most successful – from researching at a sit-stand desk to brainstorming on the roof deck.
As the world’s leading modular flooring company for commercial and residential environments, the ability to showcase Interface products was vital. A continuous walking path throughout the building introduces visitors to a host of work environments along the way—lounge areas, café-style seating, and more – deconstructing and decentralizing the notion of a traditional showroom, while allowing for seasonal refreshes to incorporate Interface’s most current products.