Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank is a financial service provider to Agricultural Credit Associations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. When the headquarters moved to an expanded location (more than 109,000 square feet), the organization took advantage of the opportunity to create a bright, modern office that would provide the appropriate range of spaces for employees and their business contacts. AgFirst placed special emphasis on open, collaborative work areas and more meeting spaces that could accommodate large groups. To that end, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank worked with local Tallawood Studio & Planning, LLC and Garvin Design Group, and with Knoll dealer Corporate Concepts to create 400 workstations, 90 offices, 21 collaboration rooms, 19 conference rooms, as well as two lounge areas and a lunch room.
Seeking to furnish the new headquarters with a single manufacturer's products, AgFirst chose to use Knoll for its range of products across all categories. The organization also chose Knoll because a key design imperative was for the new space to be both functional and to project a timeless and modern image. This desire has set AgFirst's new headquarters apart: the finished installation stands out in Columbia as distinctly modern, both functionally and aesthetically. Corporate Concepts, the Columbia-based Knoll dealer, provided product and planning guidance.
To achieve its goals, the design team specified open AutoStrada® workstations with height-adjustable tables. Ergonomic seating—Generation by Knoll® and ReGeneration by Knoll®—was chosen to support active sitting positions that would not only support employee well-being, but also allow intuitive movement. The team positioned meeting areas between workstations for accessibility and to encourage further collaboration between different work groups. The team also mixed Interpole™ with screen mounts throughout the work spaces to support the now ubiquitous use of technology in presentations, while also creating visual privacy.
Planning for future growth and flexibility were also key parts of the new headquarters design. The training room employed Propeller® Training Tables, whose ganging mechanisms, casters and cable management systems make them easily reconfigurable. In the conference rooms, the design team used Propeller® Conference Tables for their fusion of modular flexibility, elegant power solutions and sophisticated aesthetics. LSM Conference Tables, also offering refined design and power capabilities, were used in select conference rooms.
In keeping with AgFirst Farm Credit Bank's modern and timeless aesthetic, the design team distributed KnollStudio pieces throughout the space. These pieces, by Jens Risom, Shelton Mindel, Florence Knoll and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, among others, provide classic modern moments in the floor plan while also giving employees and guests comfortable places to rest and converse. Along with the collaboration rooms and lunch room, the lounge area was designed to encourage the kind of serendipitous exchanges that are so essential to today's work.
Completed in 2014, today AgFirst Farm Credit Bank's bright and open new headquarters supports a variety of collaborative work and tells the story of a trusted organization with contemporary sensibilities.
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