IBM World HeadquartersArmonk, NY, USA IBM Corporation Swanke Hayden Connell, Interior Designer Corporate 280,000 ft2 / 26,000 m2 The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design American Architecture Award (1998), AIA Westchester Chapter Architecture Award (1997)
Nestled within a landscape of 450 wooded, rocky acres some 50 miles from Manhattan, the IBM World Headquarters exemplifies KPF’s demonstrated ability to respond to the natural context and produce an innovative work of architecture. Completed in 1997, the headquarters is the centerpiece of an existing corporate campus in this wooded setting with deep ravines slicing through the landscape.
Designed to interact with its natural surroundings as much as possible, the building has a generous provision of controlled natural light and excellent views out to the landscape and open terraces for relaxation and informal meetings.
The building assumes an extended, tapering Z-shape, which adapts well to both the existing site contours and to the open space program required by IBM as a significant change to their corporate culture. The central wing includes areas of enclosed space for executive offices and meeting rooms. The connecting wings maintain a highly functional core-to-wall depth to accommodate the open office workstations. The internal, irregular spaces within the plan are utilized for conference rooms, services and core functions.
The building is anchored to the ground by a base of natural stone, which stands in contrast to the dominant aesthetic of stainless steel, aluminum and glass.