KAR Global Headquarters

KAR Global Headquarters

Carmel, Indiana

A Striking Tech Magnet

Like many modern enterprises, KAR Auction Services has made a digital transformation. Through strategic investments in technology — and talent — the $2.4-billion company now sells about half of its vehicles online or via a digital platform. Competition for sought-after developers, software engineers, and marketers is intense, particularly in a digital hotbed like Indianapolis. KAR knew its new global headquarters could create a distinct appeal.

KAR Auction Services, Inc
225,000 SF

KAR identified a few primary goals: to break down barriers between internal departments, to serve local team members with the best workplace in the region, to help global employees feel immediately comfortable when they visit, and to create a visually stunning building in suburban environment.

We focused on interiors, first — programming, understanding needs up-front, and testing ideal footprints and configurations. Employees needed more meeting spaces, private spaces, social areas, places for collaboration, and useful amenities, like a coffee shop and a clinic. We oriented the experience around a monumental stair at the corner of the building. Starting from that central axis, energetic, social zones give way to quieter, focus-work zones as you move outward from the stair to the wings. And privacy-on-demand spaces offer maximum flexibility. The result is connected, comfortable, and intuitive.

Then, we turned our attention to the exterior. Sleek, black, all-glass, and otherworldly, we designed an unexpectedly striking suburban headquarters. Situated along a well-trafficked thoroughfare, next to popular retail and epicurean destinations, it certainly gets attention. KAR’s global headquarters is a new local landmark and an alluring tech magnet.

sleek, black, all-glass, and otherworldly

Monumental Stair

Situated at the corner of the building, the monumental stair is visible from the exterior. A metaphor for bringing different business units together, it connects two wings of the building. the rear-fender curvature of sports cars inspired the design.

all-glass building

The desire for a sleek, all-glass building drove a need for solar gain mitigation and glare control. In addition to daylight harvesting shade control on the most extreme (east and west) facades, and the use of a darker glass color overall, a subtle gradation transitions from greater opacity near the majority of assigned workstations, to less opacity and eventually clear (non-tinted) glass at the corner to reveal the monumental stair.

social hub + amenities

A social “hub” of open meeting and conversation space is located adjacent to the monumental stair on every typical work floor and serves as a natural platform for interaction, openness, and connectivity. Shared amenities like a coffee bar, copy/print center, mail, an open kitchenette, lounge seating and primary conference rooms lead to this center of activity.