Grange Insurance Headquarters

  • Architects: Holroyd and Myers, Columbus
  • 1978
  • 671 South High Street
  • Renovation and Expansion: NBBJ, Columbus, 2009

The original Grange Insurance Building was designed in the spirit of its time to communicate a sense of strength, solidity, dignity and endurance. All of the qualities that a customer would expect in an insurance company. The unintended result was a brick and tinted glass inwardly focused citadel that turned its back on both the surrounding urban scale and context of the existing neighborhood.

The Grange Mutual Casualty Group commissioned a 274,000-square-foot addition to its existing headquarters to create space for several hundred workers from satellite offices and chose to use this addition to create a building that interacts with its surroundings rather than closing itself off from them. The addition, the first phase of a multi-phase master plan to transform Grange into a corporate campus, also includes 10,000 square feet of green roofs, ground-level retail and multipurpose meeting spaces that can be used by the community. The tint-covered windows in the original building were replaced with clear glazing to open up the tower to connect the inside with the outside. To continue that openness, the 10-story expansion is outfitted in a glass curtain wall. The main entry was relocated to High Street from the original location to further promote this new relationship with the community and interact with the newly designed plaza to further develop the connection of the interior of the building to the exterior surroundings.