Sneak a Peek at American Savings Bank’s New High-Tech Headquarters in Honolulu
It’s designed to be eco-friendly and employee-centered at the edge of Downtown.
Photos: Courtesy of American Savings Bank
‘A‘ala Park is getting a few hundred new neighbors who are moving into American Savings Bank’s new $100 million, 11-story, 373,000 square-foot campus.
The media got a sneak preview of the state-of-the-art workplace, which has been under construction for the past two years. The new branch, the company’s 50th branch statewide, opens to customers on April 15.
President and CEO Rich Wacker says the company searched across the island and chose the edge-of-downtown location as the best fit all around after asking critical questions: “Could we mitigate the challenges? Could we make it better?” The area has faced decades of challenges with a large homeless population, crime and other urban issues.
The new campus pays homage to the history and culture of the ʻAʻala neighborhood with designs that reflect the area’s historic taro lo‘i, the winds and the rainbows and the mountains. Bank officials said the land cost $12 million.
Wacker says the company has been working to join the community for months, coordinating eight community cleanups, attending meetings and talking with the neighbors. He says the initial reaction of people who heard about the move ranged from optimism to “are you crazy? Have you been over there?”
But he remains confident in the decision. Executive vice president, chief administrative officer Beth Whitehead says she’s been immersed in the project for two years. The building includes many features requested by employees, including a fitness center and a variety of small to large meeting rooms that allow for privacy. The new design includes a standard laptop, keyboard and mouse and desktop with adjustable height across the company so that people can work nearly anywhere in the building.
When everyone has moved in from five other offices across O‘ahu, the campus will bring together about 650 employees in a space that includes custom artwork from respected Native Hawaiian designers Manaola Yap and Sig Zane.
Whitehead noted people prefer to work in coffee shops than cubicles, so part of the office is designed to resemble a coffee shop, complete with machines that dispense free Starbucks coffee. For the work areas that are more cubiclelike, each desk comes equipped with headsets (no intrusive speakerphone options) and a light that can be set to green (come talk) or red (please don’t disturb).
Other shared areas are designed to mimic study halls, living rooms and other conversation-friendly spaces. Outdoor spaces look like something out of a resort. Whitehead says this is the first and largest building in the state to use “View Dynamic Glass,” which automatically responds to sunlight to control glare and heat, like a giant building’s version of transitional lenses for glasses.
But she says they opted out of a cafeteria, noting the wealth of restaurants nearby. The building includes electric vehicle charging stations, 496 solar panels, 24 pieces of furniture made from reclaimed wood, water bottle filling stations, and energy-efficient features.
The public can check out some of the features in the first-floor bank branch with ATM, customer parking, visitor center and an art gallery that will feature rotating works by local artists: beginning with Ka‘ili Chun, John de Mello, Abigail Romanchak and Noe Tanigawa.
The address is 300 N. Beretania St.