Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus
Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus
Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus
Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus
Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus
Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus

SAIF Headquarters and Campus

Rebuilding SAIF from the Ground Up

SAIF is a not-for-profit, state-chartered workers' compensation insurance company that serves all of Oregon. Their Salem campus included multiple buildings which inhibited employee interaction. Ankrom Moisan was initially hired to provide a new office building, and then selected to lead overall campus planning, from orientation and flow between their buildings, across the campus, to its connection with the surrounding community. The major goal of the client was to create a workplace that appeals to multiple generations with flexibility to accommodate future growth and future work styles. The preliminary stages of the process included research in the form of employee surveys, focus groups, and manager workshops. The design team then built the necessary test fits, space plans, and virtual design to create a new workplace that all stakeholders could support. By listening to how important the connection was to their existing 200-year-old heritage oak tree, the design team used an inside-out outside-in approach to tie the landscape, architecture and interior design together throughout the building that gave SAIF's employees a sustainable, flexible, light-filled workspace that they enjoy coming to work each day to.

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Salem, Oregon
COMPLETED IN 2018
  • 6 stories
  • 179,127 sq. ft.
MARKET

Office

DISCIPLINES

Architecture , Interiors , Planning

PROJECT TYPE

Corporate

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: Michael Great

Interiors: Roberta Pennington

Planning: Will Grimm

officemsc@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

21st Century Design

Architecture Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus

Ⓒ Diego G Diaz

“Modern. Technologically advanced. Collaborative. Healthy. These are all words we’ve used to describe the building.” –Andrew Dykeman, Project Executive, Lease Crutcher Lewis SAIF’s existing Salem campus included multiple seismically-dated buildings reminiscent of the modernist style of the 1960s and ‘70s. Inside, poor workstation layout, inefficient shared spaces, low levels of daylight, and a lack of connectivity between the buildings inhibited interaction and collaboration. With heavy exterior pre-cast concrete panels, outdated mechanical and electrical systems, and deep floor plates, the buildings desperately needed an upgrade to embody SAIF’s mission and goals. Our design included stripping back the existing building to only its structure, demolishing one entire wing and creating a cohesive a new building on their campus to make room for their growing multi-generational workforce. While the building's existing structures was solid, we needed to demolish the exterior concrete walls to get to its bones. Since the building was over 40 years old, our biggest design challenge was blending the new with the old. Slab edges were varied, and we had to remove asbestos. Throughout the entire process, we used modern technology like 3D laser scans and ground-penetrating radar to assess the true condition of the building. SAIF cared about designing a collaborative work environment that simultaneously provides privacy, so they needed more space between floors and improved connections between floors and departments. To do so, we strategically cut holes in the existing structure to create double-height collaboration spaces and used data-informed design. strategies. Outside, we designed a green backyard area to provide a comfortable outdoor escape centered around their two-hundred-year-old heritage oak tree that the collaboration spaces opened into. One of our most important goals was giving SAIF employees a new, welcoming entryway. Previously, hundreds of employees daily would funnel through the confined employee entrance—right next to the trash compactor. By observing how people actually used the building, we designed a more spacious, comfortable path to the building and two separate entrances, one for employees adjacent to parking, and another for visitors. Wood brings elements down to human scale and reflects our intent to connect with nature. Metal cladding contrasts with wood that create interesting textures to create an exterior that would last more than 50 years. Sustainability and building for the future are critical to SAIF’s mission. Given that SAIF is located next to Pringle Creek, on a 100-year floodplain in a city prone to flooding events, so our design infilled the basement floor. This allowed the design team to “raise” the building foundation by four feet, twice the height required by FEMA. Designed as LEED Gold equivalent, the 50+ year building features hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems, water conservation systems, high-performance enclosures, energy-efficient kitchen equipment and elevators, low-flow fixtures, and advanced lighting controls. SAIF’s new campus is projected to achieve 40% less energy use than a code-equivalent building.

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Interior Story

People-first Workspaces

“It truly feels like our efforts on this project will make Oregon safer by providing a working environment that allows SAIF to better serve their mission.” -Ricardo Becerril, Owner Representative of SAIF “It truly feels like our efforts on this project will make Oregon safer by providing a working environment that allows SAIF to better serve their mission.” -Ricardo Becerril, Owner Representative of SAIF Taking cues from the architecture team's "Inside Out/ Outside In" approach, we used site context to inform space planning and finish selections. Rich layers of native greenery playing off the site's statement oak tree provided the focal point and inspiration for a palette of monochromatic elements accented with bright jewels of color. Open spaces with expansive views to the outdoors replaced dated lighting and limited window sizing to create a healthy, inviting workspace. SAIF is a company who prides itself in being the most healthy and secure environment for its employees. An additional layer of scrutiny was applied to the final interior package. Security protocols and textural necessities were incorporated seamlessly to be intuitive to end users. Our integrated approach—interiors, branding, and architecture—created a cohesive vision and experience with dexterity to deliver a "safe" space for our client. From kick-off through design, we interviewed various SAIF taskforce groups to encourage a design process of multifaceted perspectives. By building consensus across the meeting series, we brought these critical stakeholders along each stage of the project and facilitated their transition from the old workspace to the new.

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Planning Story

Investing in Salem’s Future

Architecture Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus

Ⓒ Adobe InDesign 15.0 (Windows)

Architecture Photo of SAIF Headquarters and Campus

Ⓒ Adobe InDesign 15.0 (Windows)

The existing campus was set in a great location with its adjacency to parks, bike pathways, ponds and downtown Salem. AM observed how employees used these connections and created better pathways across the campus. The varying grades of the site helped to set up the security needed to separate the public entry from the employee entry which enter at different levels. An important design goal was protecting the heritage oak tree in their back courtyard. SAIF wanted to maintain the oak as a focal point; their overall design reflects this. Inside the building, the main circulation and collaborative spaces center around areas that connect to the tree and the garden-like courtyard. The courtyard then connects to the paths along Pringle Creek and out into the community. SAIF, and the Design Team, partnered with the City of Salem, neighborhood associations, and local law enforcement to create a new campus that anchors the boundary of the downtown zone along the historical district. AM lead several community outreach meetings to listen to the neighbors on their comments and concerns, which contributed to providing a warm, safe, and welcoming environment for all. The new community park invites the neighbors into using this amenity as well as SAIF employees. The new campus reflects SAIF's vision to be a responsible, forward-thinking, and collaborative organization.

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