The Purpose Behind Design Elements

When it comes to the layout of Pilot’s new headquarters, creating a better workflow is a main objective. Furniture and finishes play a big role in that overall goal. “The floor plan’s vast, open space—unlike the nooks and unique areas in 314—allow us to place teams that commonly work together in adjacent locations for greater and easy access,” says Lisa Coyle, chief administrative officer. To complement that approach, various collaborative areas and meeting spaces are sprinkled throughout the open office to allow employees to have ad hoc, spontaneous meetings. Small conference rooms—or huddle rooms—will hold up to four people and some are furnished with more casual, lounge furniture. Most are wired for immediate plug and play. Other pantry areas include either lounge furniture or high top tables with power and data where you can get coffee and water and plug in your laptop for non-private meetings.

Three acoustical booths—two on the 4th floor between operations, marketing, billing, and payroll and one on the 3rd floor near HR and NCS—add another option for a semi-private meeting or docking area. The restaurant-style booth is designed for two to four people, has a roof above and is lined with felt, which muffles sound. “While the booths are out in the open, the acoustical material lends to the privacy,” says Donna McDaniel, senior interior designer, Formcraft. “In fact, if you speak at a normal volume, no one will hear your conversation.” A sound masking system that pumps background noise throughout the space on both floors will ensure this as well. Each booth has an outlet on the side, lending itself as an alternative work space for someone who is not from the C/O but visiting for the day and needs to be close to one of the work groups stationed nearby.

In the main café on the 4th floor, a mix of low tables, banquette seating and high top tables encompass the space. Plenty of coffee amenity stations with microwaves, refrigerators and a condiment station are included as well. “The café is situated on a beautiful curve architecturally that greets you right when you come into the elevator vestibule,” says Donna. “As soon as you step out, you clearly see the big open café, and in the other direction is the boardroom, which features a lot of glass.” Lisa adds, “Walking into Pilot HQ is designed to be an engaging experience with a lot of activity to show our company’s personality and make you feel like you are right in the middle of the big Pilot picture.”

A new wellness room—located close to HR on the 3rd floor—is an 8’x8’ handicapped accessible room that contains a sofa and a refrigerator and is equipped with a privacy lock. The multiuse room is an area required by law (for new construction) for nursing mothers, but when not occupied, can also be a place where an employee can seek respite if he/she is not feeling well. “This space was always in the plan—regardless if it is required by law—because we think it’s a thoughtful and necessary amenity to have,” says Lisa.

Windows are an organic design element, and the new HQ has many window walls that let in natural light. “The windows themselves start at desk height and continue in bands around the building, making the space feel much more open and airy,” says Donna. High open ceilings and decorative pendant lighting in the cafes and in the open meeting areas, also add to the warm feeling. “From a materials aspect, these areas also have wood tones in the millwork and the flooring, as well as fun metal finishes that speak to the Pilot brand,” she says.