Plano Campus of Capital One grows to Seven Buildings
Capital One continues to expand its regional campus in Plano, Texas. The newest building, designed by Lawrence Cosby, AIA and the Cosby Studio at Good Fulton & Farrell (GFF) is the 7th on the campus.
The leaders of the interior design of the project, Pat Fernandez from the Capital One Workplace Solutions Team, and Traci Webster, lead interior designer from the GFF Interiors Studio, set out to create a “tech environment” that would achieve a sense of work/life integration providing the associates who work there with access to all the tech tools they need to be effective, but in a way that also makes them feel at home and perhaps more comfortable than office scenarios of the past.
In discussing the project goals, Ms. Webster said, “They are a tech company and they wanted it to look like a tech company, but they also wanted to create a workplace the feels good for the associates and doesn’t feel quite so different from home. We tried to create an environment that reflects the integration of work and life – not so much work/life balance as integration. But we definitely wanted to create spaces that people feel good in.”
The result is a workplace that represents the company’s latest strategies for workplace design. The people who work in the building work in teams that are highly fluid; growing and shrinking as projects ebb and flow. So it was important to provide workspaces with a high degree of flexibility, re-configurability and an especially high degree of mobility.
Ms. Webster continued, “It was a challenge to provide the degree of flexibility Capital One wanted within the context of the power, data and code requirements – and how to do it effectively and still make it look clean. So we did a lot of studies of ways to create ‘neighborhoods’ within the space that can accommodate frequently changing teams and configurations.” Continued Ms. Webster.
The solution the team came up with provides open plan areas interspersed between meeting rooms of different sizes and types that “float” between the window wall and the building core. Each open plan area is equipped with freestanding, height adjustable desks that can be easily moved from one area to the next and re-arranged within areas as teams see fit.
Meeting rooms are equipped with the latest technology to support user needs – from full-on video conferencing and collaboration software, to small gatherings with little or no tech requirements. Smaller team rooms, “phone booths” and private offices are arranged around the core. The use and scheduling of the rooms is facilitated by a digital “totem” that is part wayfinding and part information kiosk.
Sprinkled throughout the space between the window wall and the meeting rooms are a variety of small spaces with varying degrees of acoustic and visual privacy for 1 to 4 people to use for small meetings or heads-down individual work.
Strategically located opposite the elevator, the stairwell is designed to invite people to use it rather than the elevator. A custom designed glass backdrop runs from the top of the staircase to the bottom, color-coded with a different color denoting each floor.
A major “Scratch Kitchen” is located on the 1st floor with chefs and a large menu cooked from scratch for breakfast and lunch. Employees wishing to dine-in can choose to dine there or bring their own. In the latter case there is a “Barista” food service area on each floor to supply drinks and snacks throughout the day. Each of these areas is designed with a distinct material and color combination that also acts as an aid to wayfinding.
A fun and unique feature of the “staircase” idea is a slide that runs from the 3rd floor to the lobby on the 1st floor. The slide allows Capital One employees to have some fun and get from the 3rd floor to the lobby in about 3 seconds. It’s great when you’re late for a meeting in one of the other buildings or just in a hurry to get to lunch!
On the day we toured the facility the employees seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the new space. Team spirit was on full display and without prompting, we observed the slide in action…looked like great fun, but we deigned to try it!