The challenge on this project was to change a concrete tilt-up, 1960s office warehouse to a dynamic front entrance and main administration building for the existing office and shop campus. The architect was selected to provide campus evaluation and programming along with building design, interior design and furniture, fixtures and equipment for an existing headquarters for one of the largest mechanical contractors in the United States.
The company’s existing building was added onto over the years as the company continued to grow and expand. During this time, a more contemporary three-story building was constructed to the east, and both structures were connected to the large shop building to the north. The client’s primary goals were to connect all buildings, bring the aging structure up to code and change the building to an energetic, open work environment
Opening the work space environment to the exterior required the reduction of the number of enclosed offices and relocating those retained to open up views to the exterior and not block any of the daylight access. An executive suite with a new board room was established in an area of the old shop which provided a high ceiling for a more spacious feel.
In addition to the building design and interior renovations, the architect also provided space planning and furniture and fixture selections, working closely with the owner to select typical office units with sit/stand opportunities for all employees. New open and closed team work areas and convenient open break spaces gave all departments opportunities to collaborate among themselves and with other departments.
Design ChallengeThe architect and design teams worked through a unique set of challenges during the project: low floor-to-floor ceiling heights presented an obstacle when the team was working to creating an open environment. The building needed visual access to the exterior, the existing building’s lobby was small and cramped and the number and location of closed offices was blocking nearly all daylight access through the existing punched windows.
Another significant challenge was bringing the building up to code. The architect was required to add accessible restrooms, an elevator and accessible pathways through the building and all exits. During the project, a number of structural challenges were revealed which required restructuring parts of the second floor. Thereby having to change the program and plans on the fly.
Since the challenge in many areas was the low floor-to-floor ceiling heights, the design team created an open environment by eliminating ceilings and using light to create the illusion of height and running services up between the joists.
The lobby was resized to provide a more comfortable space, and the number and location of meeting rooms were altered to open the office and create the more collaborative work environment the client sought.
The number of enclosed offices was also reduced and relocated so as not to block daylight access. In addition, an executive suite with a new board room was established in an area that provided a high ceiling.
The final design met and exceeded all the client’s goals and objectives.
Physical ContextThe renovated building is in a complex of buildings on a site off Moreland Industrial Blvd. In the renovation of the existing industrial building, the owner desired visual access to the exterior for all employees to see blue sky, the exterior and weather. This was accomplished with the introduction of large windows and skylights throughout the building, changing the work environment to allow that visual access.
The main entrance faces south where visual access from and to the exterior was desired, so a large brise-soleil was installed to manage the sunlight on the windows. All windows can respond to the sunlight with interior rolling shades, some of which are operated electronically.
The exterior of the building was softened along the front and backside of the building with increased and improved landscape.