Great America Financial Services

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The demand for “class A” office space and a strong public and private partnership resulted in a 140,000-square-foot, eight-story office complex, and extensive riverfront improvements. Located on a prominent site on the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids, the project included an extensive plaza development, riverfront improvements including pedestrian look-outs, walking paths, and environmental parking lots. OPN directed the design for the entire project.

The building design composition was site-specific with a strong urban sensitive facade on First Street facing downtown, and an equally strong geometric statement facing east across the river. A multi-colored reflective glass curtain wall sits on a granite aggregate base, evoking a progressive cutting-edge image. The fast-track schedule had the project completed in eleven months with 50 percent of the floors built out. OPN was also responsible for all tenant planning and interior design.

In 2016, OPN completed the final piece of what was a multi-floor phased renovation of the building: an employee “oasis” on the first floor of Great America’s 5,700-square-foot headquarters. The new space offers a variety of entertainment zones. The main space features a pool table, shuffleboard, putting green, and comfortable seating in front of televisions. Other zones offer semi-private spaces for informal meetings, a digital fireplace and wingback chairs, and a lactation suite for new mothers.

For a company that pushed the boundaries of workplace environments — with low partitions, collaboration pods, and open offices — decades before its peers, this space demonstrates a continued understanding that employee health and well-being are integral to recruitment and retention.

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