Financial Guaranty Insurance Company

  • The Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC) is a rapidly growing firm that sells insurance for municipal bonds. The various elements of the design are orchestrated into an unfolding series of "landscape" vignettes. Curtains of gauzy silk strings that transmit light like fiber optics are used as partitions, screening views while hinting at a presence beyond. Each executive office and conference room is ringed with these curtains of light. Shimmering behind them, a blue wall covering, gradually intensifying in tone from bottom to top, gives the illusion of a far horizon. Standing in the center of the room, a visitor feels surrounded by windows in an aerie high above the city.
  • The materials are layered with patterns and textures that act as veils, giving them greater depth and modulating them in space. The painted walls are spattered with many shades of gray and lilac. The ceilings are gridded with a pattern of disks, actually sprinkler head covers that create a Cartesian plane of "coordinates" with their slightly reflective surfaces. The carpet mirrors this pattern in lines of hand-cut circles that lead the eye toward an ever-changing vanishing point. This geometry is also repeated in the glass of the partitions and windows, which is patterned with a grid of clear hemispheres that emphasizes the ephemeral quality of the transparent material.

project information

location:   New York City
client:   FGIC
cost:   $6,000,000
date:   1983
area:   60,000 sf


  • 1986 Industrial Design Designer's Choice Annual Design Review
  • 1987 International Interior Design Award