Long before the Covid-19 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 (eating, meeting, brainstorming) 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.
Assisted with visual cues, occupants move through the space along a boulevard that minimizes distraction to office staff while providing access to the social spaces.
Natural materials like wood are used throughout, including wood panels on workstations, and cork wall coverings are used in enclosed meeting spaces to assist with acoustics. Formerly closed offices were moved away from the exterior window wall, allowing the perimeter glass to benefit all employees with a light-filled space and connection to the outside. A black ceiling panel gives the illusion of height and reinforces the open feeling.
A locker area and touchdown down space offers employees additional areas to work and store personal items.
Worktables in many collaborative areas are round or oval, rather than rectangular, breaking down old hierarchies. Employees have sit-stand desks. The former break room was opened up to become another community space. Personal lockers are located in the curved corridor. 
Training Room with flexible furniture.
HSB reports that the new spaces are well used, as employees transition from their homes back to the office to reconnecting with colleagues.
Awards & Recognitions
Beth Pearcy Promoted to Boston Studio Director
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Beth Pearcy, AIA, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C to Studio Director of the firm’s Boston office. Since joining the firm in 2021, Beth has been leading the business development and management of projects for clients throughout the Boston area.
Read more here.
LeadingAge Annual Meeting + Expo
Members of Amenta Emma's Senior Living Studio will be attending the LeadingAge Annual Meeting + Expo in Denver, Colorado. Please contact us to set up a meeting with Myles and Emily!
2022 Emerging Professional Friendly Firm Award
At Amenta Emma, we are dedicated to the personal growth and development of our young professionals, so we are honored to share that our firm has been recognized for the second year in a row as an Emerging Professional Friendly Firm by the New England AIA Components. Read more about the program here.
Join Our Team!
We are looking to add Project Architects to our Hartford team. Check out our Careers page for more information and how to apply!
News & Updates

Be on the lookout for the next Orange Pop! Amenta Emma's eNewsletter for project highlights. And visit amentaemma.com for more News updates.