The Corporate Center

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The Corporate Center
Former names Union Carbide Corporate Center[1]
General information
Type Corporate Offices
Location Danbury, CT
Coordinates 41°22′55″N 73°31′49″W / 41.38196°N 73.53020°W / 41.38196; -73.53020Coordinates: 41°22′55″N 73°31′49″W / 41.38196°N 73.53020°W / 41.38196; -73.53020
Construction started 1980
Completed 1982
Owner Grubb & Ellis
Technical details
Floor area 2,100,000 square feet (200,000 m2)[2]
Design and construction
Architect Kevin Roche[3]
Other designers Emanuel Pisetzner[4]

The Corporate Center, formerly known as the Union Carbide Corporate Center, is an architecturally unique building in Danbury, Connecticut.[2] Constructed in 1982 as the headquarters of the Union Carbide chemical company, it is known for its unusual style and floorplan layout. It has been recently renamed "The Matrix Corporate Center".


In 1976, Union Carbide announced that it intended to relocate from New York City to a location in Connecticut.[5] After beginning construction in 1980,[6] Union Carbide moved its approximately 3,000 staff members to the facility in 1983.

Following several corporate realignments,[7] space was rented out to several different companies after a 1986 leaseback arrangement transferred ownership to a Florida concern. This resulted in the facility being renamed the Corporate Center in 1992.[2][8] Following the purchase of Union Carbide by The Dow Chemical Company in 2001, the Union Carbide staff was further reduced and more space sublet to other companies. In 2007 the building was sold to Grubb & Ellis for $80 million,[9] less than half its original construction cost of $190 million. In 2009, the building was resold to Matrix Reality Group for $72.4 million.[10] The new owner of the building is doing many renovations, such as new granite in the Main Reception area and in other parts of the building.


The layout of the building is unique in that the entire building rests on 5,000 pillars driven into the ground at heights of 5 to 40 feet (1.5 to 12.2 m), to avoid having to clear the land of obstacles.[2] Additionally, the outer walls of the building face into the forest while the interior walls face a completely enclosed 2,500-space parking garage.[2] The building was designed with several pods for the then divisions of Union Carbide that would occupy the facility. Further, it was set up so that each office was very close, sometimes only 10 feet (3 m), from its related parking spot and that employees would not need to exit the building to perform any functions.

In the center of the complex are several conference rooms, libraries, a cafeteria, and other support services. Each room in the 2.1 million-square-foot (195,000 m²) complex, 1.3 million (117,000 m²) of which is office space,[11] has separate temperature controls and natural light through a series of translucent windows. The building sits on a 646-acre (261 ha) campus which has been subdivided over the years and now also hosts jogging trails and condominiums.


  1. ^ Dzikowski, Don (1997-01-20). "Prestone Expands Headquarters". Fairfield County Business Journal (EBSCO) 36 (3): 1–5. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Charles, Eleanor (2001-06-10). "Commercial Property/Connecticut; For Old Union Carbide Headquarters, a Time of Flux". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  3. ^ Wiseman, Carter (2000). Twentieth-century American architecture: the building and their makers. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 324. ISBN 0-393-32054-5. 
  4. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (1995-11-24). "Emanuel Pisetzner, 69, Engineer Relied On by Leading Architects". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  5. ^ Sterne, Mickael (1976-03-20). "Union Carbide, 3,500 on Staff, to Quit City". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  6. ^ Madden, Richard L. (1980-02-27). "Booming Danbury to Add Union Carbide to Tax Rolls; A Growing Danbury to Be Home of Union Carbide Sole Hat Company Prospers Danbury AT A GLANCE Geography Population Employment Fire and Police Income Housing Taxes Government Schools". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  7. ^ Hiltzik, Michael A. (1986-04-08). "Union Carbide Plans to Sell Off $1 Billion More of Assets". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  8. ^ Dunlap, David L. (2008-03-02). "The Office as Architectural Touchstone". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  9. ^ Chuvala, Bob (2007-07-02). "Shine and flip awaits Union Carbide HQ". Fairfield County Business Journal (Fairfield County Business) 46 (27). Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Chuvala, Bob (2006-07-02). "Corporate Center owners study options, including selling the Danbury property". Union Carbide. Retrieved 2008-08-03. [dead link]

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