A "community" of workstations. Manager workstations in background have glass fronts.

Illinois Bankcard Center
Elgin, IL
Project: Design a high density but professional looking office environment for FIRST CARD.
Focus: Dealing with floors the size of two football fields, our challenge was to achieve a high density space without sacrificing the personal, human considerations needed to attract and maintain a good professional staff. A careful balance of technology and aesthetics was required.
Solution: The primary staff function is to provide immediate and concerned response to FIRST CARD customer inquiries and problems. To support this function, each workstation utilizes state of the art computer technology. Fiber-optic cabling to each station was installed to allow the introduction of visual imaging capability.

Access flooring is used throughout the office space to facilitate workstation reconfiguration and changes in cabling and power distribution.

In response to managements' concern for the staffs' working environment, the space is planned to allow natural light to filter as far as possible into the workstation area. This is accomplished by placing workstations with the lowest height panels nearest the windows. Those with tall panels are placed near the core. These semiprivate workstations also utilize staggered glass panels which not only allows the occupant to have visual contact with adjacent staff but provides a view of the pastoral setting outside.

Lighting fixtures, selected for low brightness, minimize CRT glare. Carefully selected and distributed color and texture within the workstations provide the user with a restful change from the contrast of the computer terminal screen.

Groups are clustered in "communities" which are separated from one another by tall elements placed perpendicular to the window wall. This provides a sense of privacy and personal scale for each group.

Additional amenities that were designed for FIRST CARD staff enjoyment are a full menu food service facility, exercise/workout rooms, gift and snack shop and an art collection consisting of colorful, interesting textiles, sculpture and prints.

Accomplishments: The result is a highly productive and responsive staff. Work areas are functional, flexible and attractive. First Card management is satisfied. Two years after occupancy, a survey conducted by DAAC and First Card indicated that 92% of the staff were satisfied or very satisfied.

Project size: 240,000 sf
Headcount: 1,150

© 1996, 2003 Davis Associates Architects & Consultants, Inc.
53 West Jackson Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60604-3606
Phone (312)922-6050

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