After more than five years of planning and development, Coast Capital Savings, Canada’s largest credit union by membership, has now moved into its new headquarters in Surrey’s City Centre.
The new building – dubbed “Help Headquarters – is the antithesis of a traditional corporate head office.
Each of the six open-concept floors incorporate formal and informal community spaces, including several individual and smaller meeting rooms.
In addition, there are “touch-down” zones where staff can access the latest technology to file-share and problem-solve, and “collision zones” where staff from different departments – who traditionally may not work together – can quickly collaborate and foster better working relationships.
Every floor also takes into account employee needs – from themed cafes to recreational and quiet spaces, to meeting pods (left).
“Coast Capital is not your typical financial institution,” said Mark Whitehead of Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership Architects, the firm that designed the building. “This building had to reflect that. It couldn’t be your standard monolithic skyscraper. It had to mirror the organization’s innovative, irreverent, fun-loving brand.”
PCI Developments Corp. constructed the 185,000-sq.-ft. facility on King George Boulevard near 100 Avenue, which is the first of four phases of a planned mixed-used and transit-oriented community.
Extensive research led to a marriage of office design, technology and work lifestyle features. Designed to appeal to the changing needs of today’s workers, in particular younger workers, the new office space reflects their values of transparency and community, and fosters collaboration.
Help Headquarters is also located closer to where its employees live. With 70 per cent of its headquarters staff living south of the Fraser, Coast Capital Savings decided to locate its new head office in Surrey’s downtown centre near the King George SkyTrain Station.
“We deliberately moved away from what is seen as a traditional head office, in every way. We chose a building with an unconventional design because we felt it was very important to align our new corporate home with our brand,” said Don Coulter, CEO of Coast Capital Savings. “The guiding principles for this project included a creative and accessible work environment, community connection, and environmental sustainability.”
Help Headquarters will bring 700 full-time employees to the nine-storey development, which also includes retail and commercial businesses, plus an on-site daycare centre and full-service gym with yoga studio and lunchtime fitness classes.
“Surrey is attracting an increasing number of head and regional offices,” noted Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “We are thrilled Coast Capital Savings has chosen to stay and grow in Surrey.”
Still to come at the site – called “the HUB” – is 345,000 square feet of retail space and more than a million square feet of condos.