FFCU HeadquartersEdit profile
Woven WorkPlace | A Corporate Headquarters for Founders Federal Credit Union Founders Federal Credit Union was created in the early 1950’s in order to provide financial services for the workers of the local textile industry. The credit union allowed mill workers to establish loans and settle their homes and families into Lancaster, South Carolina. While much has changed in those 60 years, FFCU has remained a vital stitch in the local fabric. Thus, the key design idea for FFCU is “the loom.` Much like the warp and weft of a woven fabric, the headquarters is linked both vertically and horizontally. A feature wall and stair extends 3 levels to weave a series of sustainable work environments together into a symbolic cloth. This cloth becomes the framework that bonds the physical and culture workplace. This feature element is held taught with stainless steel cables. Significant artifacts of Founders’ past are on display. These artifacts recall the organization’s roots while maintaining a keen eye towards the future. The stair and feature wall serve as a “spool` of social and cultural enlightenment. It is here that collaboration and connectivity is increased for the entire staff. By tearing down the walls both internally and externally all employees are able to survey the natural and cultural landscape around them. From each workstation, employees have a 360 degree panoramic view from which they can interact with the natural landscape. Likewise the cultural landscape is accessible by the low partition workspaces which allow the sharing of ideas and a feeling of trust. Each department has a “hub“ which allows for comfortable collaboration as well as a consistent thread of circulation that is formed around the exterior courtyard. The courtyard is organized around an existing pond where large office gatherings can be held. The connection between the exterior courtyard and the interior workspaces is enhanced by the all glass façade. A more social encounter is available by pivoting the glass walls open. The line between interior and exterior space becomes blurred. This engagement of building and site ultimately promotes a feeling of workplace community. The overall building project represents FFCU as carefully as FFCU represents its clients. The new Founders Federal Credit Union is a landmark within a part of the country that has since lost much of its textile industry. The building metaphorically weaves together workspace with community. It stitches past success to future progress. In many ways the people of Lancaster, S.C. view this project as a beacon of coming prosperity. Unlike the textile mill industry which has since left the area, Founders remains steadfast and this new headquarters project assures they will continue to be a leader in their community and in their industry.