When the life insurance and financial planning firm Northwestern Mutual decided to relocate their Cedar Rapids offices from a corporate campus in Hiawatha, they had a vision for a historical location with a modern, warehouse-like update. They leased the top, fourth floor of the 120-year-old Hach Building in downtown Cedar Rapids on the riverfront and hired OPN Architects and Ryan Companies to reconstruct the space to fit their needs.
The 10,000 square feet of existing space was demolished and reconfigured to include private, shared and open offices, dual conference rooms, training room, reception area, updated restrooms, and a café/break area. The private offices all have frameless glass fronts, allowing exterior light to fill the entire space and create transparency throughout. Pre-existing wood ceiling and structural columns were exposed throughout, adding warmth to the industrial feel of the space.
A large expanse of curtain wall was added along the west side looking over the Cedar River. At each end, the managing partner’s offices has a 10-foot-by-5-foot section that projects out from the southwest corner of the building, offering a panoramic view of downtown Cedar Rapids.
The existing freight elevator was removed and infilled to gain more floor space. New mechanical and electrical distribution was included, as well as a new roof membrane.