Designer Forum: ID Studios designs Mission Federal Credit Union with the future in mind – Oct 2019
By Deborah Elliott
Mission Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, based in San Diego, California, dedicated to serving the members’ financial needs as a one-stop services provider, offering a wide variety of financial services. Driving everything is the desire to care for the member’s short- and long-term needs in the way that’s most effective and convenient. The motto is, “Your success is our bottom line.”
Mission Federal occupied its previous corporate office for 30 years and had exceeded the space constraints. The primary goal with this project was to create a new home and headquarters that was future-focused to ensure flexibility to live and grow over the next 30 years.
After an extensive search, Mission Federal purchased its new headquarters in November 2017. The Horizon Center-
located in the Scripps Ranch community in San Diego, California-is a three-building, ten-year-old campus that provided Mission Federal with the space and parking required to house its 305 corporate employees that work behind the scenes to support the credit union’s customers, branch staff and 30-plus branches throughout San Diego County. Horizon’s location also eliminated traffic issues that had plagued Mission Federal’s former campus site.
The design team at ID Studios led Mission Federal through a Visioning Workshop where the big-picture goals were defined as creating “a work-place connected to life’s important moments.” The statement was further refined with the words: community, family, connected, service, approachable, future-focused and flexible. As a financial institution, the organization also wanted to convey strength and reliability alongside being welcoming and approachable.
ID Studios developed an overall program to determine the demands of each department, ranging from a 24/7 call center, lending, facilities management, training/development, human resources to marketing, IT and corporate finance. Through thoughtful study of work habits and adjacencies, placement of amenities and teams became clear for each of the buildings. Executing the program findings ensured that each building met the desires of Mission Federal and the associated departments while also creating a cohesive campus.
The first building is the starting point and welcomes employees and visitors alike. Areas such as the main lobby/reception, conferencing and training center, corporate support departments and a full-service café set the tone for the campus. Daltile’s Consulate porcelain tile in Embassy Silver adorns the lobby and is accented by a custom-designed wood wall. HBF Furniture’s Perfect Pitch lounge chairs in a vibrant red combined with the greenery help soften the space.
The conference center and hospitality areas continued with Daltile’s Consulate tile to provide a clean aesthetic that is lit with ALW Moonring pendant fixtures. Armstrong’s Woodworks Grille wood ceiling in walnut complements the adjacent custom wood wall.
ID’s design team linked the second building to the first with a unique outdoor meeting, dining, and activity park equipped with a variety of seating options, gaming, BBQ space and direct connection to the full-service café. Mission Federal prioritized the design concept to connect the buildings and supported the removal of parking spaces to achieve this goal. The second building, holding the best views, houses service teams such as lending and the 24/7 call center and a multitude of inviting break areas, a locker room and an indoor/outdoor fitness facility.
Tarkett’s Triumph rubber tile in Expedition was specified in the fitness facility. Running parallel to the rubber flooring is Bentley’s custom LVT flooring. To dampen acoustics, Turf Design’s Torrent ceiling baffles in multiple colors were selected.
The team selected a color palette and a variety of materials to reflect the visioning goals. This included a balanced, fresh neutral base, warm primary accents and cool secondary accents with a range of durable materials, including blended stone and wood tones. Strong horizontal and vertical lines were created to exude strength and permanence, while curved lines were used to imply warmth and approachability. Every element used in the project serves to communicate an intended message to visitors. For instance, glass panels and windows were used throughout to provide a sense of transparency.
Regarding the interior layout, ID Studios obtained feedback from Mission Federal employees through the programming process, validating data about work habits to help anticipate needs. The most prominent feedback centered around greater collaboration and openness, natural light, flexibility, wellness-focused design, and a fun and inspirational environment.
With this interest in openness and collaboration, the team provided both acoustic and visual relief for focused-work and quiet areas. Ultimately, the space plan called for large, open-office areas with window-line access, sprinkled with collaboration areas. The ceiling along with the flooring is a big part of the design in public areas. In areas with hard flooring, it is especially important to be mindful of what’s overhead to minimize sound-reflection. From curved, wood-look installations to felt baffles and even traditional acoustical ceiling tile, these elements play a big part in making a space acoustically comfortable.
Marazzi’s Chateau Reserve wood-look tile in colors Shadow Mountain and Hickory Grove were used in the break area and lunchroom along with stone- and wood-clad architectural elements to exude the strength and durability the financial institution wished to convey. Both areas made use of lighting in different ways. The break area used decorative pendant-style lighting over the bar and the booth areas. Modern Forms sconces and Feiss Lighting LED pendant fixtures illuminate the lunchroom spaces. To further accentuate each space, wallcoverings were used as accents, as in the case of Tower’s Empire Edge wallcovering in Blue Print in the breakroom. An accent wall in the lunchroom makes use of Ottimo Ceramics’ Broadway series tile.
Shaw Contract’s Turn Tile carpet tile in Balance was used in the open-office areas, not only because it is soft underfoot but also because it introduces the inherent sound absorption qualities required for the space. Armstrong’s Woodworks Grille hovers over some of the collaboration spaces in the open office area. All of the systems furniture is designed by Herman Miller.
Glass-fronted private offices near the core, along with primary break and conferencing areas, create a strong path-of-travel through the center of the buildings. Shaw Contract’s Solitude wood-look LVT in Mink set the private offices apart from the open office environment.
While Horizon Center was already LEED Gold certified, the 120,000-square-foot tenant improvement project provided numerous opportunities to implement additional green initiatives. The workplace strategy, design and construction teams worked collaboratively to identify and implement sustainable initiatives that serve employees, protect the environment and provide potential cost reductions.
The team strategically planned to cut energy and water usage by installing solar tubes, water-efficient landscaping and LED lighting throughout. In addition, a combined 500 kilowatts of solar photovoltaics consisting of 1,250 solar modules and seven inverters on a semi-ballasted racking system will produce over 820,000 kilowatt-hours each year and should offset 91% of the headquarters’ energy consumption. The system will also reduce CO2 emissions by over 630 tons per year with energy savings of over $4.8 million in the next 25 years. Mission Federal also offered an incentive for employees to invest in electric vehicles by installing 20 new EV chargers to help offset the greenhouse gases emitted by commuting to and from work.
A SECURE FUTURE
The universal planning approach taken in the Horizon Center allows for flexibility well beyond the move-in last December. The collaboration between employees and management, design, construction and implementation teams from start to finish has led to the creation of a cohesive headquarters that Mission Federal and its employees will call home for years to come.
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