Aviva USA Operations Headquarters
West Des Moines, Iowa
Aviva USA
Operations Headquarters
West Des Moines, Iowa

Every company has a unique culture. Architecture must not only work with existing culture, it should promote the greatest possibilities within an organization, creating workspaces that allow culture to build, grow and thrive.


The Vision

The project team was very hands-on throughout the duration of the project, and their goals were met by conducting interview sessions with a representative from each business unit to communicate their specific organizational and staffing needs. The representative participated in four major steps of the planning phase including detailed programming, space allocation, business unit planning, review sessions and approval.

Furthermore, space allocation diagrams were utilized along with detailed programming information so that layouts by department and final departmental plans could be prepared. Those plans were used to place orders for furniture; identify telephone and data requirements and locations; develop detailed move plans sequencing; workstation numbering; and final employee locations.


“In combining three different offices into a central headquarters, we took employees, many of whom worked in basements and small-windowed, dim-corridored office buildings, out of the dark and gave them stimulating, day-lit environments.”

The Design

The 373,000-square-foot office building surrounds a central landscaped area for pedestrian-only activities to help Aviva achieve its goal of making the environment an integral part of the culture. Aviva focused on designing a workspace for a quality work environment to accommodate its 1,300 on-site team members. The design incorporates the latest technology in an environment that facilitates and encourages collaboration, teamwork, efficiency and innovation, all of which are essential to promoting the service-oriented culture that is the lifeblood of the company’s growth strategy and future success. Aspiring for a united campus, Aviva consolidated the firm’s operations at three nearby buildings in downtown Des Moines into one corporate campus. The goals: improve workplace adjacencies, promote connectivity, streamline workflow and offer the best working environment for employees.

The headquarters is illuminated by natural lighting and contains state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, the common areas, as well as the cafeteria and meeting rooms, have windows that overlook the waterscape and the Raccoon River Valley. In the evenings, the building’s stairwells are illuminated with specialized lighting.

The complex includes a two-story commons building located to the north of the eight-story office tower. Featuring a curved glass wall, the commons building houses amenities such as training rooms, conference areas, dining areas and a fitness center. Additionally, the public areas are enhanced with a sweeping wall of glass overlooking the picturesque landscape. The open-office layout contains team areas, common areas, outdoor balconies and Wi-Fi computer network connections, promoting interaction between teams while stimulating creative, customer-oriented business solutions.


“When it opened, Aviva USA’s 373,000-square-foot headquarters was the largest LEED-Gold certified building in Iowa and only the fourth LEED-certified project in metropolitan Des Moines.”