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HGA Brings Road Trip Atmosphere To AAA Northern California Headquarters Redesign

Inside AAA Northern California's headquarters in Walnut Creek

HGA has completed a road trip-inspired renovation of AAA Northern California Nevada Utah headquarters in Walnut Creek. The 50K SF office includes customized workstations, a conference center, a café area with meeting areas and a high-impact entryway. AAA NCNU relocated from its Emeryville office to Treat Towers in Walnut Creek in 2017. The new office accommodates 380 employees.

AAA wanted its Walnut Creek headquarters renovation to provide an attractive workplace for a younger clientele and workforce while also retaining its current employees. While flexible offices have been markers of tech offices, professional services and other non-tech fields have been embracing this design element to attract and retain talent.

“During the programming phase, we learned AAA has an amazing retention rate, however, many of the employees move between departments as they develop in their careers and as the company evolves,” HGA principal and Vice President Melissa Pesci said in a statement. “Therefore, it was important for all of the workstations to be the same but offer enough flexibility to cater to employees’ varied work styles.”

HGA designed both open and enclosed meeting spaces in a variety of sizes and heights to fit the office’s varied meeting styles. Because many of the meetings that occur in the office involve four people or fewer, HGA reduced the size of typical conference rooms that previously seated eight to 10 employees, reducing AAA’s square footage needs and adding more meeting space.

Inside AAA Northern California's headquarters in Walnut Creek

HGA also integrated the AAA brand in the design by incorporating the theme of an American road trip. For example, the boardroom features a wood treatment that resembles tire tracks and a table with vintage hubcaps. Headlight light fixtures can be found in the conference room and meeting nooks are inspired by 1970s rest areas. 

The three “A’s” in AAA are incorporated into the design of three breakrooms by emulating an A-frame highway rest-stop design. A wall across the hall is decorated with vintage license plates from every state. 

Office artwork incorporates commissioned photography made into window film featuring the unique environments of the Northern California, Nevada and Utah regions. To create the sensation of peering through a car window, the window film in the office is activated by natural light throughout the space and by the employees as they collaborate within the rooms or pass by.

HGA engaged the entire AAA staff throughout the design process. Every employee in AAA’s NCNU Northern California, Nevada and Utah offices was able to vote on the palette for the new space as well as the selection of the new workstation standard that was used. The color palette selected was fresh, bright colors that match the yellow AAA trucks.