DES MOINES, Iowa -- The $150 million Kum & Go headquarters has been in the works for nearly five years and is finally finished.
It has been one week since nearly 300 employees moved into the new Krause Gateway Center. Employees said it has taken a while to get used to because nobody has an assigned desk.
“You have some sit in the same seat every day, five days in a row this week. You have others, different seat everyday all five days this week and so each of them are trying to figure out how they’re going to figure out how to work in this new type of space,” Kum & Go Chief Executive Officer Kyle Krause said.
The different departments are sectioned off as neighborhoods and employees are free to choose their work space for the day. They can sit, stand, walk, or on nicer days work on the rooftop prairie garden.
Italian architect Renzo Piano wanted the building to have lots of natural light and transparency. 85 percent of the outside is glass which allows you to see almost directly through the building.
To encourage collaboration and creativity there are break rooms, a game room with a ping-pong table, a gym, and an art gallery. Some employees said the new set up really helps them get their steps in each day!
“I’m walking a lot more in the building a lot more too because there are so many options for me to take my laptop and go work somewhere else or to get together with a team member and collaborate in different spaces. So, I’ve been walking, I actually had to get new shoes because I’ve been walking so much more, which is awesome. It kind of gives me that energy too which just really feels good,” Kum & Go Financial Systems Analyst Michele Slawson said.
Kum & Go has been a family business for more than 60 years and CEO Kyle Krause said this new building was designed with the future in mind.
“This is a space that we’re never going to leave as a family, so I think from a message standpoint it’s, we’re here, it’s a permanent home for our family businesses. It’s a permanent message back to our associates that we’re here generationally and I think as a family business we try to look at our business in that fashion, you think about generations versus thinking about some kind of shorter time period and this is a generational building,” Krause said.
The building only takes up one-third of the grounds, the outside plaza on the ground floor features 128 trees, seats and tables, interactive art and will even have a bocce ball court. The first floor of the building features an exhibit that showcases the Krause family and overall production of the Krause Gateway Center. That exhibit is open to the public and in the next year or two, the company wants to transform that into a public café.
The rest of the building is for employees only but on December 1st, they are giving tours to 1,000 people. You can sign up for a tour https://www.krausegatewaycenter.com/visit. The tour is asking for donations to the Central Iowa Schelter & Services (CISS). To sign up for a tour you must donate at least $1 and there will be a $1.70 service charge. The Krause Gateway Center suggests a donation of $20.