The Hartford Steam Boiler

Long before the Covid pandemic rewrote traditional office culture, the global insurance and technology services company The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, Inc. (HSB) was already thinking about its workplace of the future. Collaborating with the design team, a concept evolved that would organize company teams into supportive “neighborhoods,” gathered around a central communication/gathering space. Designers tamed a challenging building geometry to accomplish just that on the 8th floor of the company’s riverfront headquarters. The concept will be tested and refined as a prototype for other floors the company occupies in the building.

The engaging space is organized around a central hub that brings together the company’s various work neighborhoods and the social programming in a seamless way. Assisted with visual clues, occupants move through the space along a “boulevard” that minimizes distraction to office staff, while providing access to social spaces. A serpentine passageway, defined by a graphic mural, clarifies circulation with intuitive wayfinding and reinforces connectivity between the front of the floor to the back. The concept allows employees to choose the best space that supports the work they are doing, from heads-down to collaboration, and the layout encourages physical movement.

HSB reports that the new spaces are well used, as employees transition from their homes back to the office to reconnecting with colleagues.

Location: Hartford, CT
Size: 19,962 sf
Status: Completed 2022

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