Our Work

ATHENE USA Operations Headquarters

West Des Moines, Iowa

Confluence was retained by Athene as part of the development team to create a new operations headquarters campus on 98-acres in West Des Moines. The London-based insurance company is the third largest in the world and is now building its presence in the United States. Confluence was a co-author of the master plan and was responsible for all site design and detailing from schematic design through construction document preparation.

Our strong local reputation was instrumental in gaining City of West Des Moines approval for the campus site plan including twin seven-story office towers oriented prominently at one of the City’s busiest intersections. This included proposing a realignment of the future Cascade Avenue which gained 14 additional acres for the site and set up the opportunity to create a dedicated entrance on the highly recognized South Jordan Creek Parkway.

The challenge was to create an identifiable visual presence at the corner while siting the building far enough back into the property to take advantage of natural features and views to the Raccoon River valley to the south. The site was organized into two basic zones – the business zone and the park zone. The location and massing of the buildings along with roadway alignment and surface parking establish the business zone along the two major street frontages. Generous open space, planted with native landscape themes, create a front yard connection through the business zone.

The park zone or backyard of the campus features three water bodies that collect runoff and serve as the focal point for an adjacent outdoor amphitheatre and hard surfaced trails that allow for strolling, contemplation and exercise. A patio area features a fountain that is the source for a stream that meanders down through the amphitheatre as it finds its way to the stage on the edge of the lower pond. Sitting on seatwalls and outdoor dining tables, employees can enjoy the shade and gentle rustling of a quaking aspen grove.

The fast track nature of the project necessitated development of incremental construction document packages for grading, utilities and paving with necessary construction observation within the overall design timeline. This first phase establishes 374,000 square feet of office space with associated surface parking for 1,500 employees.