WorkplaceAmerican Family Insurance Corporate Headquarters

American Family Insurance : Corporate HeadquartersAmerican Family Insurance : Corporate HeadquartersAmerican Family Insurance : Corporate Headquarters


The site for the new headquarters is characterized by a large, bowl-shaped central valley surrounded by uplands and wooded ridges at its perimeter. The beauty of the natural environment encouraged a concept that sited buildings, roads, and parking to preserve and highlight features of the landscape itself. The result is a building complex situated on the crest of a ridge overlooking a valley with wooded side slopes that frame distant views of the city of Madison. To anticipate future growth, the master plan created a building organization that radiates in a pinwheel fashion away from the entry lobby. This arrangement supports eventual expansion of the key facility components, including a training center, office facilities, a support building and employee parking structures. The office buildings are connected by pedestrian bridges and step down a hillside to the valley floor. The interior of the site is reserved for pedestrian use, storm water management, and wildlife habitat.

Strength in numbers

ASLA Wisconsin, Chapter Design Award

American Family Insurance's corporate commitment is to be fair, helpful, and caring. This new headquarters building was designed to encourage employees to work together to pursue that ideal.

Nurturing relationships among people. Streamlining movement. Creating a sense of place. With these goals, the new national headquarters brought professionals from all parts of the business together in a distinct, striking landscape, supporting interaction and increasing productivity.

The new offices house national executives, thousands of employees, state-of-the-art training facilities, a data center, and ample space for interaction among individuals and departments, while relating distinctly to the environment. The buildings' strong, geometric shapes are expressed in modest, enduring materials like buff-colored brick and Midwestern-quarried stone. Capitalizing on the natural beauty of the pastoral, open site, the complex also includes outdoor meeting spaces, a system of walking trails, and extensive views to a picturesque man-made pond.

Greeting visitors at the entrance, a stunning three-story atrium offers a crossroads for different departments to converge - a metaphor for the efforts required across the company to ensure that American Family's customers are always treated in a fair, caring manner.

Location: Madison, Wisconsin


"We felt that for this particular client a more traditional design was appropriate. You might think that ten years after the original design it would have lost some appeal. On the contrary, we found that the materials and basic design have worked so well that the latest phase is very similar. We did make some modifications to it, such as larger windows, which adds an elegance to the exterior and brings a great deal of light into the building."

 Jeff ZutzAIA, LEED AP, President/CEOFlad Architects