flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Raising the bar: Zurich North American Headquarters

billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Building Team Awards

Raising the bar: Zurich North American Headquarters

Silver Award: Forgoing a typical center-core design, the Zurich North America Headquarters rises 11 stories across three stacked bars.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | June 8, 2017

The top bar of Zurich North America’s headquarters building (right) spans 180 feet and runs along an outdoor terrace that staff and visitors can use to move between the two bottom bars. James Steinkamp Photography.

Like a giant arrow pointing toward downtown Chicago, the top bar of the Zurich North America Headquarters building cantilevers 60 feet to the east and rests atop two other bars. Not only is this stacked, three-bar design striking to look at, it also provides occupants with unique collaboration spaces, open views of the surrounding landscape, and programmatic flexibility that typical center-core buildings cannot offer.

The top bar is 500 feet long and spans 180 feet between the bottom two bars, which each rise five stories.

Sustainability played a key role in the development of the headquarters building, which is the largest building of its kind to reach LEED Platinum certification. When compared to similar buildings, the structure saved 62% in energy costs and 39% in domestic water use. The façade includes exterior shading and interior automated shades with daylight sensors. A double wall mitigates the interior/exterior temperature difference. Floor-to-ceiling glass provides natural light to the shallow office plates. Design-builder Clayco also diverted 99% of construction and demolition waste from landfills.

The complex’s 3,000 employees can enjoy a fitness center, cafeteria, conference center, and outdoor terraces that are all connected via walking trails through the fully landscaped estate. 

The Building Team received more than 1,300 responses from employee surveys that were used to create a truly collaborative environment.


James Steinkamp Photography.


Building Team – Submitting firm, design-builder Clayco, Inc. Owner Zurich North America Developer CRG Real Estate Solutions Architect Goettsch Partners Interior architect CannonDesign Structural engineer Halvorson and Partners, Desman Inc. Mechanical engineer Icon Mechanical 

General Information – Size 783,000 sf Cost $400 million Construction time June 2014 to September 2016 Delivery method Design-build


Return to the 2017 Building Team Awards landing page

Related Stories

Building Team Awards | Dec 7, 2021

A rapid response to a health emergency

Baptist Hospital of Miami’s 233-bed Hope Tower receives BD+C’s Bronze Building Team Award

Building Team Awards | Dec 3, 2021

Putting science on display, thanks to a design-build approach

UC Riverside’s Plant Growth Environments Facility receives BD+C’s Bronze Building Team Award.

Building Team Awards | Dec 2, 2021

An academic ‘precinct’ brings arts and sciences together

Wofford College’s Chandler Center for Environmental Studies receives BD+C’s Silver Building Team Award.

Building Team Awards | Dec 1, 2021

Denver sets the bar for water reclamation and reuse

A new administration building for the city’s water utility company scores Platinum in BD+C’s 2021 Building Team Awards.

2021 Building Team Awards | Nov 17, 2021

Caltech's new neuroscience building unites scientists, engineers to master the human brain

The Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena wins a Gold Award in BD+C's 2021 Building Team Awards.

Giants 400 | Aug 11, 2021

BD+C Awards Programs

Entry information and past winners for Building Design+Construction's four major awards programs: 40 Under 40, Building Team Awards, Giants 400, and Reconstruction Awards. 

Building Team Awards | Mar 12, 2021

2021 Building Team Awards Entry Information

Only new construction projects completed on or after January 1, 2020 are eligible. Deadline for submissions: May 14, 2021.

Building Team Awards | Mar 12, 2021

Deadline extended for the 2021 Building Team Awards

BD+C's Building Team Awards is the industry's only recognition program to honor projects that achieve excellence in both design/construction and collaboration of the AEC/O team. Deadline for entries: May 14, 2021.

boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: