Tokio Marine Offices – Encino

  • Client Tokio Marine,
  • size 21,500 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Encino, California, United States,
  • Industry Insurance,
  • Gruen Associates designed a bright, open, and flexible space for the Tokio Marine offices in Encino, California.

    With demands for flexible office environments arising after an unprecedented Pandemic, how does an international company design their new L.A. headquarters to meet the differing needs and wants of returning employees? Our client challenged Gruen Associates to design a space that offers multiple types of work environments and serves the diverging needs of employees.

    Prior to the Pandemic, the trends of ergonomic design and products existed as a lofty aspiration. The crisis, at-hand, encouraged employers to take proactive steps back (literally) to re-evaluate work environments from an extrinsic point-of-view. Meanwhile, Gruen Associates’ designers identified issues of the traditional office space, and used standard ergonomic design principles emphasizing wellness and comfort to develop the now widely-in-practice work paradigm—the remote-work set-up—for client, Tokio Marine HCC – Cyber and Professional Lines Group (CPLG).

    A responsive design scheme prioritized streamlined, efficient and highly collaborative environments with emphasis on technological integration and human wellness.

    In an extensive visioning process begun pre-Pandemic, designers studied several sites and test fits for the CPLG, and explored reducing the insurance company’s entire space needs.

    An attractive, new work strategy—digital hoteling/hot-desking—offers interchangeable desk space; socially-distanced, safe and flexible booking options for agents “on-the-go” or on-site; and large, open lounge areas to hold seminars/events of any desired size. This “nomadic” arrangement also introduces employees to a completely new type of work space approximating the functions of long-past telephone booths or private “booths” for one-to-two employees. Traditional workstations, enclosed offices and typical conference rooms of differing sizes remain practical.

    Using neighborhooding concepts allowed for the existing office in Encino to serve as the new L.A. headquarters, echoing familiar local staples through design for that right-at-home feel!

    Cohesive branding and neighborhooding concepts were developed for four neighborhoods—the Lobby, Lounge, East and West offices. Each space was designed with multiple conference rooms and open collaboration areas including their own hub break counter areas with character and graphics embodying the company’s values.

    This minimalistic approach transforms each neighborhood into multi-functional and collaborative, non-traditional environments. Brightness, clean lines and seamless areas open onto interconnected and separated spaces for individual, small group or large team-focused work activities.

    Furniture selections fit respective neighborhoods, encouraging all working styles for employee comfort, effectiveness and efficiency.

    Glass partitions offer transparency in place of traditional walls and enhance visual connections along with ceiling elements (linear lights and diffusers).

    Other physical “barriers” blur/soften between open and enclosed spaces, create wayfinding opportunities from one space to another; and promote collaboration while maintaining defined work spaces.

    In response to a principal executive’s avid support of entertainment staples throughout the city, each conference room is named after an historical L.A. music venue! This form of thematic design, along with the graphics and skyline artwork, further enhances the transformation of the space and strengthens the connection between people and place.

    The reinvigorated space provides a fresh start—a new canvas, look and home for a thriving workforce moving forward through re-branding the existing space, echoing moments for local staff’s familiarity, all delivered through responsive design!

    Design: Gruen Associates
    Contractor: Jones & Jones Construction
    Furniture Dealer: Trans American Office Furniture
    Photography: Here and Now Agency