Project DescriptionThe former General American Life Insurance Co. building was designed by Philip Johnson in 1974 and is the youngest to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was vacated in 2004 and sat unused until Spire (formerly The Laclede Group), an innovative utility company that has experienced well-planned positive growth over the last few years, went looking for a new campus.
They engaged design firm Arcturis to help them select a new home and create the interior spaces within. The result is a stunning rebirth that took design cues from Johnson’s masterwork while helping to redefine the tenant’s image.
Points of interest:
· Johnson’s design provides unmatched views of the surrounding city. The Arcturis team imagined the building’s floor-to-ceiling windows as picture frames, turning the surrounding buildings and spaces into art. They created meeting spaces in the triangular corners of the floors so that Johnson’s work could inspire group-thought and be shared by the largest number of people. Every single workspace within the building has a wide, vista view.
· Arcturis used Johnson’s iconic central elevator core, triangle-shaped floor plan, and open balconies to inspire design elements such as carpet selection, lighting styles, and private office configuration throughout the space.
· Johnson created an open and airy first floor of the building that was adaptable to many uses. Arcturis energized the space with a 4,100 SF first-floor Café that encourages employees to gather, connect, and be productive.
· As a utility company, Spire wanted to use Johnson’s building to communicate the importance of their business to visitors and employees. Arcturis placed a state-of-the-art showcase kitchen with the latest gas appliances next to the first floor gas control room, which has visibility from the public space to provide a glimpse at the technology and expertise behind their system. These two elements are juxtaposed to show Spires’s sensitivity to the consumer experience along with the crucial technology that keeps the region running.