The Zebra moves to new headquarters
The Zebra has moved their 154 employees to a 43,000-square-foot, custom office occupying one and a half floors of 1801 East Sixth St., in Austin’s rapidly growing East Side neighborhood. The new space boasts more than 40 conference rooms and innovative breakout areas designed to suit employee needs for both collaborative and independent projects. The headquarters has capacity for 300 employees.
“IA created a design concept that embraced The Zebra’s mission, “Insurance in Black and White,” and created power through subtlety and simplicity.” – Raul Baeza
— Interior Architects (@IAarchitects) October 17, 2019
“The Zebra’s first office was at the intersection of 4th Street and Chicon, here on Austin’s East Side, in 2012. That tiny and scrappy space is where our company got off the ground. Now, after a few years downtown, The Zebra chose to construct our permanent HQ two blocks from the original office,” says Keith Melnick, CEO of The Zebra. “This neighborhood has something for everyone. Good food, music, coffee and breweries…it’s the ideal spot for The Zebra. We’re very excited about being a part of the East Side again.”
The new space includes a 50-person breakout room for trainings and presentations. This room is actively utilized by the three employee-run Employee Resource Groups at The Zebra, which are company funded and dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion for women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and allies.
Additional features of the office include a designated coffee bar at reception, with an in-house barista and internally engineered online coffee ordering system. The Zebra’s emphasis on health and wellness is reflected in locker rooms with showers for commuters, and a smoke-free patio space with an outdoor grill and room for leisure and outdoor meetings and work. The address was also strategically chosen to be accessible for commuters of all types. It is situated within walking distance from the Plaza Saltillo train station, with a below-ground parking garage, and secure bike and scooter storage.
The Zebra partnered with the Austin office of global firm IA Interior Architects and Chrystal Toth Designs, of Westport, Connecticut, for the project.
“The Zebra has grown — and grown up — so much since 2012. In designing their custom office, we made sure to take the elements of mindfulness, efficiency, and modernity that make The Zebra so successful, and work them into the space,” says Chrystal Toth, CEO and Principal of Chrystal Toth Designs. “The result features warm, earthy tones, and layering of organic textures with hyper modern clean lines. It’s not your average insurance industry office.”
“IA created a design concept that embraced The Zebra’s mission, ‘Insurance in Black and White’, and established a sense of power through subtly and simplicity. Architectural elements were purposefully designed to construct visual patterns through the use of negative and positive space in screens, which help define social and private work zones,” says Raul Baeza, Senior Designer, IA Interior Architects.