IBM Headquarters

IBM Headquarters at Armonk, New York.

Designed by KPF Architects for the international company IBM.

Nestled within a landscape of 450 wooded, rocky acres some 50 miles from Manhattan, the IBM World Headquarters exemplifies KPF’s demonstrated ability to respond to the natural context and produce an innovative work of architecture. Completed in 1997, the headquarters is the centerpiece of an existing corporate campus in this wooded setting with deep ravines slicing through the landscape.

Designed to interact with its natural surroundings as much as possible, the building has a generous provision of controlled natural light and excellent views out to the landscape and open terraces for relaxation and informal meetings.

The project features an entire facade envelope featuring by Zahner engineered and fabricated systems. Zahner worked on developing two technologies that would go on to shape and influence facade design and architecture aesthetics. The first was its surface, a uniform non-directional finish on stainless steel developed with Rimex in the United Kingdom. The surface which went on to influence Zahner's own Glass Bead™ Stainless Steel, named for the glass bead (GB-60™) technology used to etch the steel.

The second technology used to create this is metal fabrication technique to create sharp uniform corners, Zahner's Hadron Panelforming technology. Instead of traditional brake-forming of the panels, the metal's edges were formed by deeply scoring the backside of the panels so that the folds were sharply creased, so much so that the front panels appear as solid metal surfaces.

The building assumes an extended, tapering Z-shape, which adapts well to both the existing site contours and to the open space program required by IBM as a significant change to their corporate culture. The central wing includes areas of enclosed space for executive offices and meeting rooms. The connecting wings maintain a highly functional core-to-wall depth to accommodate the open office workstations. The internal, irregular spaces within the plan are utilized for conference rooms, services and core functions.

Photo of IBM Headquarters at Armonk, New York

IBM Headquarters at Armonk, New York.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of the machined plates of stainless steel on the IBM Headquarters

Detail of the machined plates of stainless steel on the IBM Headquarters.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the thick machined plate stainless steel on the IBM Headquarters

Detail of the thick machined plate stainless steel on the IBM Headquarters.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Detail photo of the plate panel systems on the IBM Headquarters

Detail of the plate panel systems on the IBM Headquarters.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo detail of the satin reflectivity of the plate panels used on IBM Headquarters

Detail of the satin reflectivity of the plate panels used on IBM Headquarters.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of IBM Headquarters Entrance at Armonk, New York

IBM Headquarters Entrance at Armonk, New York.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of the IBM Headquarters Entrance at Armonk, New York

Upward view of the IBM Headquarters Entrance at Armonk, New York.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Stainless steel plate panel system developed by Zahner for IBM HeadquartersPhoto of Stainless steel plate panel system developed by Zahner for IBM Headquarters

 

Stainless steel plate panel system developed by Zahner for IBM Headquarters.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The client for the project was IBM Corporation, and the design team included Swank Hayden Connell as interior designer. The entire project's footprint is 280,000SF.

The award-winning design was recongnized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design American Architecture Award as well as AIA Westchester Chapter Architecture Award.

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