Owner: EMC Insurance Companies
Architectural and Engineering Design Services: BBS Architects | Engineers
General Contractor: Neumann Brothers
Construction Completed: December 2021
Photo Credit: Tim Bungert
After almost 2 years of working remotely, EMC welcomed team members and the public back to their corporate campus with the opening of Common Ground, a striking new coffee shop located on the skywalk level of the company’s 700 Walnut high rise. As its name suggests, Common Ground was conceived as a contemporary water cooler, a place for team members, tenants, and the pubic to relax, visit, and collaborate. The coffee shop’s location at the confluence of three skywalk corridors invites interaction and fosters social connection
BBS explored a number of concepts to optimize the layout for the coffee shop within the small 1,250 SF space; focusing on customer experience, while accounting for operational needs and security requirements. Working closely with EMC’s foodservice provider, Company Kitchen, our team analyzed workflow for the coffee bar, coordinated the layout and procurement of foodservice equipment, and provided the design for related MEP services.
Vibrant finishes within the coffee shop nod to corporate branding found throughout the building’s atrium and skywalk corridors. Pivoting glass doors blur the boundary between the coffee shop’s seating area and the skywalk, providing a strong visual connection between the two spaces with views to the outside. This transparency activates both the coffee shop and skywalk corridor, creating an engaging experience for visitors and passersby.