The new six-story, 660,000 SF American Greetings (AG) headquarters serves as the company’s creative and administrative hub, containing programmatic elements, gallery space celebrating the company’s current and historic works, an expansive ensemble of creative studio space, and a variety of collaborative work areas. Both architecture and landscape were conceived to facilitate the creative process. The designs for both integrate a variety of spaces intended to maximize the opportunities for literary and graphic creativity and innovation.
Mahan Rykiel’s contribution to the headquarters entailed creating both rooftop and ground-level exterior spaces which would extend AG’s creative process into the outside environment. The concept-driven design for these spaces drew inspiration from the glacial geology of the area—specifically borrowing from the influence that a thousand-year glacial movement had on the character of the Great Lakes region.
The 24,000 SF Roof Terrace is comprised of a series of scaled multi-use spaces that provide for maximized flexibility. The carefully crafted zones afford a range of opportunity for employee collaboration and personal interaction with the surrounding environment. A large lawn, at the center of the space, is the company’s “living room,” accommodating a broad spectrum of activities from casual gatherings to organized corporate events.
The 1.4-acre ground-level Plaza was envisioned as an extension of the design theme and vocabulary of the Roof Terrace. The angular geometry of the space—and twisted and splayed pattern of the stone paving—are both form-giver and choreographer, directing visitors to the building’s main entrance while artfully interpreting the geological inspiration at the heart of the design.