College Life Insurance Company was a rapidly expanding company seeking a plan that would allow them to continue to add buildings at frequent intervals. Their initial program was approximately 400,000 square feet which could be expanded to 1.2 million square feet.
A strong identity was required and, since it would be seen from the highway, a single horizontal or vertical building did not seem the correct answer.
The master plan divides the program's total into nine separate elements which are connected above and below ground - the expectation being that in the ensuing ten years, the remaining buildings would be built. Each eleven-story module has about 130,000 square feet with a pyramidal shape explained by the hierarchical organization of the company: in order to reduce the elevator usage, the bulk of the population is placed on the lower floors where stairs are used, and smaller departments and executive offices are located on the upper floors.
The plan in each building is exploded so that the cores are placed on the outside wall facing the interstate highway, and the glass walls of the working space face out toward the rest of the site development which is landscaped over a large area.
The construction is very simple: 30 x 30 ft. bays of flat slab concrete. A special low partition system was devised of wood construction, with a stainless steel finish, lined with carpet on the inside, to form workstations before these were available commercially. The exterior wall has an inside layer of stippled glass along the top, which is carried across the whole ceiling.
Located close to the interstate highway, the complex presents an unfolding panorama of solids and reflecting glass to the passing motorist. The employee parking forms a kind of spatial buffer to the highway, and the visitors' approach to the complex takes advantage of a lake in which the buildings are reflected.