Bringing it all Together

Design concept is emblematic of nCino’s attention to detail

BY Fritts Causby

The entrance lobby to the global corporate headquarters of nCino features a statement-making water wall, vintage light fixtures and lush green botanicals. Photo by Allison Potter
The entrance lobby to the global corporate headquarters of nCino features a statement-making water wall, vintage light fixtures and lush green botanicals. Photo by Allison Potter

The sense of anticipation walking into the global headquarters of nCino is palpable. In Wilmington, it is almost impossible not to have heard about the recent IPO or the tremendous growth of the company, a leader in financial services technology. With over $250 million in revenues from 2021 and a global client base including more than 1,200 financial institutions, the success of the company is undeniable. 

The hustle and bustle in the lobby of the building off Parker Farm Road at Mayfaire is certainly no surprise for a thriving company filled with young professionals at the top of their game. The interior vibe is decidedly warm and casual, with noise-dampening accent walls, lots of natural stone, and soft textures and hues.

“We try to invest in our employees wherever possible, and I like to think the interiors of our buildings reflect that goal,” says Katie Smith, senior vice president of finance and operations. “Our employees are the lifeblood of this organization and we ask a lot of them sometimes. With that in mind, we focused on creating a relaxing indoor environment, a sort of home away from home.”

The upper level conference room is one of the most popular, as it has one of the largest botanical accent walls on the premises. It serves as a beautiful example of the overall design approach, which balances modern features such as stainless steel and expansive interior glass walls with natural design elements, including hardwood ceilings and ledger stone accent walls. Photo by Allison Potter

Giving back is something the company is known for, and the on-site Bitty and Beau’s coffee shop is just one example. The partnership with ­Bitty and Beau’s — the company that employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities — to host an on-site location is only the second of its kind.

The smell of fresh coffee permeates the first floor gathering areas, which include a rec room with ping pong and foosball tables, a kegerator, a full kitchen, and a “jam zone” for employees to show off their musical talents. The area currently has views of a construction site — home to a new nCino location.

“The new building, which will total around 90,000 square feet, takes the idea of giving back to employees up a notch,” Smith says. “It will also feature a variety of professionally designed outdoor areas, to provide a fun gathering space and another work environment for employees to utilize and enjoy.”

Encouraging outdoor activities and supporting that critical work/life balance is at the forefront, as there is even a surfboard check-out zone. All of this could serve as an explanation for why nCino was recognized as one of the 25 highest-rated public cloud computing companies to work for in a list released by Battery Ventures. The company was also recognized on 2021 Comparably lists for best company for diversity, best company culture, best work-life balance, and best company happiness.

A set of double doors on the lower level just off the lobby open to a massive internal gathering space for employees, permeated by the smell of fresh coffee from Bitty and Beau’s. Photo courtesy of nCino

“By creating the right culture and taking care of our people, they will in turn be passionate about their jobs and committed to nCino’s continued growth and scale,” Pierre Naudé, the company’s CEO, says in a post from the website.

In 2021, nCino expanded from 1,200 employees to more than 1,500.

An aerial view shows a small slice of nCino’s interior square footage in Wilmington. Partially visible at right is a new building under construction that will house an additional 90,000 square feet of office space. Examples of the company’s focus on building a robust internal culture are everywhere. Photo courtesy of nCino

“The coastal-themed artwork and extensive use of rich wood accents are just a few examples of the design approach we have integrated throughout our buildings. Our goal has been to create an inviting, casual space for our employees,” says Candice Gurganus, operations project manager. “To do that, we concentrated on balancing the broad expansions of glass with rich, warm textures and natural design elements, such as the main water wall feature and botanical accent walls on display.”

The executive-level conference room has a massive live edge resin table as a centerpiece. Built by hand by a local artist out of Raleigh, the table is only one piece and had to be brought by crane through one of the larger windows. Photo by Allison Potter
A phone booth with a modern twist allows for a quiet place for employees to concentrate, go on a Zoom or traditional phone call. Photo by Allison Potter

The top-level conference room is one of the most popular. A beautiful, living botanical accent wall from Kim Fisher Designs of Wilmington is a focal point, with the lush deep greens of the plants contrasting with the custom-fabricated metal logo, which conveys the theme that this is a forward-focused company with a foundation that is deeply rooted in technology.

It serves as a microcosm of the broader theme at play in the interior, where nothing has been left to chance and every possible detail has been carefully weighed and considered — even the potential of the plants to enhance the indoor air environment.

“I love that our company has never lost sight of its humble beginnings or roots in the local community,” Gurganus says. “Nothing is ever taken for granted here, which is partially why you see reclaimed wood on the cubicles and the large, striking live edge conference table, something that might have been rubbish until Billy Keck of Raleigh Reclaimed transformed it into a piece of artwork. We focus on repurposing existing materials and hiring local artists and designers whenever possible.”

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