Zions Bancorporation Technology Center

As the inaugural building of a new mixed-use neighborhood in Midvale, Utah, the Zions Bancorporation Technology Center introduces a sustainable development pattern to a region impacted by rapid growth and significant air quality issues. Located on a former superfund site, this all-electric building catalyzes a walkable, live/work neighborhood while sponsoring a broader effort to regenerate the local ecosystem, helping humans and nature to thrive in concert.

The Technology Center is part of the larger mixed-use, 200-acre Jordan Bluffs Master Plan, which envisions office buildings, multi-family residential, and amenities located on the site of a former steel mill along the Jordan River and in the heart of Salt Lake Valley. Developed during the pandemic, the Technology Center is an instrumental part of Zions’ retention, recruitment, and return to work strategy as one of Utah’s largest technology employers. The building consolidates numerous departments that were formerly dispersed across smaller offices throughout the Salt Lake Valley, supporting growth and innovation for one of the nation’s leading financial institutions. By concentrating tech employees into a single building, Zions reduces occupancy costs by 15% while advancing new initiatives for its affiliate banks located throughout the Western United States.

As a leading lender to renewable energy companies, Zions established aspirational sustainability goals tied to supporting local ecology, reducing carbon, improving air quality, and resiliency. The Jordan River and Jordan River Trail are important resources for both the local community and natural habitat. Prior to Zions Bancorporation acquiring the site, remediation efforts resulted in an embankment that divides the site off from the river. The project supports habitat restoration and the larger regional waterway, continuing to heal the site’s industrial legacy.

Supporting the master plan goals for a Net Zero Energy community, the Technology Center is all-electric and LEED Platinum. Over 2,000 photovoltaics help offset 75% of the energy use for the building and is anticipated to save 4.9 million pounds of CO2 annually. The campus also includes 179 electrical vehicles charging spots to encourage personal choices that make a positive impact on that environment. These strategies are part of a broader, integrated approach to environmental stewardship prioritized by Zions Bancorporation, which is located in a region that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rapid growth. The project models conservation and resource management to help address the area’s diminishing water supply and deteriorating air quality while emphasizing human comfort and well-being.

The project puts a premium on walkability and connection to the landscape, transit, and amenities. Eschewing the typical suburban setup—offices surrounded by a sea of parking—the Technology Center anticipates future density and provides enhanced connections to nature. The site is organized to maintain open space for habitat restoration while creating connections to the Jordan River Trail and nearby transit. The new park softens the divide created by the remediation embankment by extending the Jordan River Trail onto the site. Open space is further maximized on the ground plane by putting half of the parking in a structure. The new building also sponsors a pedestrian oriented street lined with retail that will run parallel to the river and act as the new heart of the community. Collecting parking into a single structure was key to connecting this building to the future district to the south, while providing easy connection to exterior amenities such as a garden and a recreation space.

In addition to catalyzing a future neighborhood, the Technology Center needed to be a great workplace for Zions’ employees in the here and now. Several broad floors support team building and collaboration while smaller plates accommodate focused work. Courtyards cut into the larger plates to provide employees with natural light, views, and access to nature. Full height windows pull in natural light and offer mountain views. Amenities on each floor accommodate rest, meditation, and reflection. E-bikes, bike lockers, pickleball courts, and a yoga room make it easy to socialize and be outside. A community garden, tended by employees, provides fresh produce to the café. The use of zinc and brick—materials not usually found in a suburban context—establish a sense of timelessness and permanence befitting one of the oldest banks in the west.

The Zions Bancorporation Technology Center are being led by real estate developer Gardner Group with WRNS Studio serving as the master planner/ architect and Method Studio serving as the Interior Designer.

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