The Mississippi Department of Employment Security sought a new head-quarter to become a more user-friendly agency. JBHM designed a building that, due to its location and contemporary design, will be a landmark in Jackson. The new facility includes technology that can be continually updated, as well as ergonomics, to provide an environment that will lead to even greater productivity of a vital state agency.
The facility sits on 12 acres of land along a lake. It was designed parallel to the topography, with a major
circulation path (spine) as an organizing element. The spine separates the building into the major functional groups of the agency, and a central rotunda space is used for employee announcements or pertinent news.
High tech metal and glass skin exterior contrast with rough natural stone of the spine. There are typical office floors with telecommunication data, and the horizontal design allows for stairways which interconnect the levels to facilitate pedestrian traffic and communication among employees. The fire stairways were pushed to the exterior of the building so as to visually extend its length. The agency had a need for several meeting areas, so circular meeting rooms, which can be seen from the rotunda area, were included in the design. Other key features of the building include: natural light, a water feature, three plaza decks for meetings and social gatherings, a cafeteria, a printing shop, and a walking path that winds by the lake and into the woods promoting wellness in the workplace.