Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is bringing fresh energy to its Philadelphia headquarters. Recent renovations at the G. Fred DiBona Jr. Building include a new art initiative along with enhanced technology and amenities. The project emphasized efficient and sustainable features to fit with Independence’s modernized facilities.
“This is an exciting time for Independence as we reimagine our facilities for the evolving nature of work, while staying focused on our culture of collaboration,” said Juan Lopez, Independence executive vice president, treasurer, and chief financial officer. “It’s especially rewarding to work with and engage a talented artist from our region.”
Engaging associates and visitors through art
In partnership with Tiny Room for Elephants (TRFE), Independence curated a new art initiative with Philadelphia artist and art teacher Serena Saunders. TRFE is a network of creative people using art and music to create unique experiences.
The theme for the 10-painting collection — Everything is Many Things — was conceived by Saunders and celebrates the beauty of the many stages of a painting. Each piece conveys a moment of the creative process using a vibrant and broad color palette. The collection is showcased on a centrally located crossover floor in the Joseph A. Frick Conference and Learning Center at the 1901 Market Street headquarters
“The experience of collaborating with Independence on this project has inspired me as an artist,” said Saunders. “To have a company trust you and take that journey with you is like a dream. It’s a really amazing feeling to know that these paintings will live in this beautifully curated space.”
Ongoing support of local artists
Saunders’ collection of original artwork builds on Independence’s ongoing support of local art and artists. In 2016, Independence worked with Philadelphia nonprofit Fresh Artists to transform one floor of the Joseph A. Frick Conference and Learning Center.
And working with the nonprofit ArtLifting, the Daniel J. Hilferty Center for Innovation includes a collection of original art by artists impacted by housing insecurity and disabilities.
Creating new, inspiring space
Independence also refreshed some of the common areas in the Joseph A. Frick Conference and Learning Center, which is a hub for associates and guests. The company brought in Meyer Design Inc. (Meyer) to help create a more modern atmosphere to support Independence’s collaborative, creative process.
The updated space features:
- An open concept ceiling design and sound management materials throughout the common space
- The latest technology to support the company’s hybrid work and meeting environment
- Expandable space to accommodate gatherings from two to 200 people
- A 24/7 market featuring grab-and-go drinks, snacks, microwavable meals, and self-checkout
- An all-gender restroom
- Energy efficiencies such as occupancy sensor lighting, LED light fixtures, and low-flow faucets that reduce water flow by about 30 percent.
Saunders’ Everything is Many Things art collection completes the overall bright design of the space.
Meyer also collaborated with Independence on the Daniel J. Hilferty Center for Innovation.
Back row, left to right: Mary Farley, IBX Facilities; Yaya Horne, Tiny Room For Elephants; Marc Balara, IBX Creative Director
Front row, left to right: Serena Saunders, Artist; Damion Ward, Tiny Room For Elephants; Tet Ndeti, IBX Creative Services