The American Bible Society is a 200-year old non-profit organization whose mission is to deliver God’s word worldwide while encouraging people to renew their relationship with God through scripture. The design challenge was to create a modern workplace while respecting the deep history of the organization and honoring the impact of the bible. The 96,000 SF workplace is arranged in “neighborhoods” connected by collaborative areas designed to encourage people to inquire, learn, and reflect on their faith in a comfortable and welcoming environment. A main boulevard reflective of one’s journey through life as they engage with God’s word extends the length of each floor. Messaging nodes along this path reinforce the mission, utilizing technology, artifacts, bible verses and scripture from the society’s collection of over 46,000 bibles. A grand staircase creates a visual connection between the two floors while functioning as tiered seating cascading into the gathering space below. Staggered vertical walnut wood and white glass panels with engraved scripture climbs the two-story wall and branches across the ceiling as a conceptual representation of Revelation 22:1-2 and the “Tree of Life.” The complexity of the finish and material palette is a thoughtful balance of color, pattern and texture suggestive of the organization's global partnerships, resulting in a comfortable and welcoming environment that speaks not only to western culture, but represents a diverse mix of cultures and ethnicities.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY TOTARO