Posts tagged with "Office Buildings":

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viaARCHITECTURE brings joy to a small office in Lower Manhattan

There are good clients and then there are good clients with great projects. They don’t always go together, but when they do, the result can be inspiring architecture and design. viaARCHITECTURE, the New York City firm led by Frederick Biehle and Erika Hinrichs, found both when they were commissioned to design the New York offices for Creative Capital. The nonprofit began as a project to “reinvent cultural philanthropy and to support innovative artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines.” It was founded in response to the National Endowment for the Arts' abandonment of support for individual artists, and the nonprofit is proud to claim “a fierce commitment to freedom of expression.” In the last few years, they have supported artists as diverse as Meredith Monk, Laura Poitras, and Rebecca Solnit, among many others. Biehle was excited to design the group's office space and produced a working environment that is a thrill for its 20 daily inhabitants and any additional visitors. The organization's office is in a typical cramped New York site on Maiden Lane near Wall Street on the 18th-floor. But the architects were able to open up the space and emphasize the view out through a number of tall windows. The 5,000-square-foot space is further enhanced by exposed concrete floors and ceilings with stripped-down beams and columns all focused on the view out to the street and sky. In addition, the office design, which emphasizes communal, co-working spaces instead of individual work rooms, have space-saving pocket doors and multiple openings to increase spatial adaptability and visual access. The space feels open and light-filled despite its less than desirable dimensions. Visitors to Creative Capital exit a small elevator and turn into a narrow hallway, where they are greeted by a colorful double-wide sliding metal door that pulls one into the space. It is hard to convey how the architects' color palette has created an entirely joyful work environment for its employees, something that is not always the case in narrow Lower Manhattan work spaces. It should be noted that the architects worked with their clients to produce not only a desirable work environment but also one that was affordable for the nonprofit. The construction fees for the office were integrated into the ten-year lease plan, and the architects produced efficient built-in furniture and the rest is discounted Herman Miller task furniture for the remainder of the space. This commission was a special one for the architects and produced a project that improved the daily work experience for its users. It’s a case study in what architects can do to improve everyone’s lives.
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An Estonian office block receives a splash of color with an aluminum mesh facade

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Estonia-based architectural practice molumba has enlivened a suburban office block with a unique concrete and aluminum screen assembly. The project was commissioned by AS Elering—the nation’s largest transmission systems operator for electricity and natural gas—as a dramatic, three-fold expansion of the preexisting structure in Mustamäe, a southwestern neighborhood in the nation’s capital of Tallinn.
  • Facade Manufacturer Metal-Disain Oü (metal sheets), Talot AS (concrete panels), JU-Metall Oü
  • Architects molumba, Eeoo Stuudio Oü (interior)
  • Facade Installer Oma Ehitaja
  • Facade Consultants Novarc
  • Location Tallinn, Estonia
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System Steel frame with prefabricated concrete panels and metal sheets
  • Products Metal-Disain Oü PW keevisrest
Over 140 turquoise mesh piers ring and visually buttress each elevation, a play on historical castellation and Gothic design found throughout Tallinn’s Old Town. The piers are built of full-length aluminum strips measuring 12 to 41 feet, which are in turn welded to a series of connecting bars. Each pier possesses its own steel support structure consisting of two internal, vertical columns fastened to the welded connecting bars. The design of the complex references the spindly and bundled power line, a ubiquitous feature across urban landscapes. AS Elering operates a multi-acre electrical substation next door. According to design lead Karli Luik, molumba envisioned the project as “the brain of the electricity and gas transmission network, monitoring and administrating their vitally important circulation.” As a vitally important aspect of Estonia’s energy infrastructure, the entire 40,000 square-foot complex is ringed by a perimeter wall fashioned of the same turquoise aluminum screen. For molumba, the bigger question was how to give the mesh triangles a truly functional quality outside of their aesthetic elements. The two planes of the piers form an acute isosceles triangle: the two congruent sides measure just under four feet while the base is approximately three feet. This shorter edge is placed atop the building’s 20 by 10 foot black precast concrete panels and wedged between window openings. With a 41-degree circumcenter angle, the piers function as effective passive sun shades for office functions within. Additionally, the mesh frame serves as an industrially-produced lattice screen for future vegetative growth to coil up the facade. The interior, designed by Stuudio Oü, features a design that similarly echoes the building's utilitarian function. Spiraling stairwells, built of concrete and steel, vertically course through the east and west elevations of the headquarters, while exposed pipes, cables, and pendant lamps made of recycled insulators line the ceiling and walls. A central vegetated courtyard and a two-story, wood-paneled stairwell, with steps of varying size, are the office block's principal communal areas. At the core of it all lies the "Brain," where the nation's energy transmission network is surveilled through a hippodrome of monitors.
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Neil M. Denari Architects unveils a sculptural rooftop office space in El Paso

Los Angeles–based Neil M. Denari Architects (NDMA) has unveiled plans for a 10,000-square-foot office and gallery addition slated for the Sotoak Realty company in the Union Plaza District of El Paso, Texas.

The adaptive-reuse project aims to add a sculptural rooftop pavilion to an existing three-story red brick warehouse. The proposed addition cantilevers 18 feet over an adjacent street and features a red aluminum panel soffit designed in homage to the region’s clay-rich soils.

For the project, the designers have created a north-facing window wall that will capture daylight, a feature that compliments an interior light well connecting a rooftop terrace with the building’s main stairs and a lower level gallery. Renderings for the project depict a bright open office area flanking a cluster of executive suites, with perforated metal panel window walls lining the eastern-facing portions of the space. The project is currently entering the construction documents phase, according to the Texas-born Neil M. Denari, principal at NMDA.

The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

Architect: Neil M. Denari Architects Client/Developer: Sotoak Realty Location: El Paso, Texas Expected completion: 2020

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Aluminum complements wood in this office building's woven skin

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Laval, a town in western France town historically known for the manufacturing of fine linens, has received a new 24,000-square-foot, three-story office building featuring unique ornate screening systems. Designed by Paris-based Périphériques on a small parcel of land, the project supports a growing culture of startup companies by bringing together multiple organizations with large shared collective spaces. The relatively straightforward massing of the building comprises a subtly shaped box defined by required setbacks and two subtractive cuts for daylight penetration, punctuated by a central wood-clad courtyard and roof terrace.
 
  • Facade Manufacturer WICONA
  • Architects Périphériques
  • Facade Installer ISORE; MIRO (construction)
  • Facade Consultants Egis Bâtiments Centre Ouest (technical engineer)
  • Location Laval, France
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Reinforced concrete frame with timber and aluminum screens
  • Products Perforated metal corners, mirrored stainless steel siding by ISORE
The courtyard massing scheme sets up two primary facade responses: an external perforated aluminum screen and an internal, diagonally installed wood screen. The architects said the main goal for these two assemblies was to create different atmospheres, a device to mediate the surrounding landscape, and an intimate courtyard patio. “The perforated metal offers a way to observe the landscape from inside the office and creates a kinetic effect from the outside,” said Emmanuelle Marin, principal at Périphériques. The primary external facades are organized into approximately 18-inch modules defined by vertical floor-to-ceiling bands of glazing interspersed with insulated metal panels. Perforated bronze and silver–colored aluminum angles were set at contrasting angles to produce what the architects call a “kinetic screen.” This solar shading device is attached back to the primary facade slab edge. The spacing and overlap of the two layers of aluminum are responsive to solar orientation and internal program. The courtyard is lined with a timber sunscreen composed of four-inch thick horizontal members set at a slight inclination set along a 4-foot grid. A continuous pathway framed by the building envelope wraps the courtyard on the inside, and an interior glass wall buffers noise and filters daylight. HVAC and plumbing systems are organized along this pathway for efficient, centralized distribution.    Marin said one of the successes of the project is the softening of the urban environment, achieved by the courtyard massing and wood cladding. “The acoustics within the courtyard patios are very interesting, producing an effect that makes the outdoors feel more like an interior space.”  
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Gensler's NVIDIA headquarters opens, with a super-roof that lets the outside in

NVIDIA’s cavernous, Gensler-designed 500,000-square-foot headquarters opened for business late 2017, capping off a seven-year effort to create a new state-of-the-art office complex for the technology company. Located in Santa Clara, California, the triangular complex takes a decidedly inward approach to the open, creative office type. Unlike Facebook’s park-topped headquarters or Apple’s ring-in-the-forest complex, which feature expansive connections to the outdoors and commingle quasi-public access with offices, NVIDIA’s new home base is self-contained and mono-functional, more high-tech tent than big-nature oasis. Instead of bringing the outside in, Gensler’s designs utilize a soaring internal volume and 245 perfectly calibrated triangular skylights set into a modular, undulating roof that turns the inside out. Workers are expected to arrive by car, entering the building’s underbelly via two basement parking levels containing 1,500 stalls. A glass-enclosed elevator core welcomes arrivals before whisking them to the cavernous offices above, where they are greeted by a faceted, black metal panel cocoon wrapping the all-white elevator core. This angular, two-story volume creates a sheltered area at the heart of the building underneath an orderly grid of skylights that was laid out using virtual reality software to determine each skylight’s final placement. Hao Ko, principal and managing director at Gensler, said, “We worked hard to get the right specifications of glass makeup to allow us the right quality of diffused and soft sunlight in the space. The final result—where the daylighting is evenly dispersed throughout and evenly experienced by everyone—is a testament to the upfront work we did in design.” Because of Santa Clara’s zoning laws, the structure could only rise two stories and ultimately topped out at 50 feet tall. In response, Ko’s team created two soaring levels within the arched envelope of the building, taking the opportunity to transform the office’s many staircases into broad, socially vibrant areas while also creating an upper level that functions more like a mezzanine than a fully-enclosed floor. Along the ground, squat cubicles, an institutional-seeming dining hall, and multifunctional lab spaces orbit the opaque core, which itself contains lounges, meeting rooms, coding nooks, and research areas. The level above, meanwhile, is populated by parallel rows of cubicles interrupted by acoustically-sealed meeting pods that extend every which way. The end result is a workplace envisioned and constructed to look good—and work well—in any light.
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Take a first look at BIG's Manhattan-bound "tower-in-the-park"

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released the first batch of renderings for its latest Manhattan project, a 60-story office tower set to touch down in NoMad. As first reported by New York YIMBY, “29th & 5th” will rise from the site of the former historic Bancroft Bank Building, replacing an 800-foot-tall luxury condo tower designed by Moshe Safdie. As seen in the renderings, the building at 3 West 29th Street will consist of two slender, linked rectangular masses with a glass curtain wall. Differentiating each volume will be the width of the windows, with the curtain wall of the eastern half holding much wider windows than its western counterpart. One of the project’s more interesting features is the “spine” of cantilevering concrete terraces running up the tower’s eastern side, which will give each floor access to outdoor space. According to the project’s EB-5 materials–a program designed to lure foreign investment in the building in exchange for a potential green card–the tower is being designed with a heavy emphasis on wellness. “The building will incorporate a LEED-Certified design and highly amenitized offering package promoting employee connectivity, communal workspaces, and fitness options that will pioneer a new frontier of wellness and sustainability within the workplace. The building is designed with smaller 13,400-square-foot floor plates that will attract an underserved market while leaving ample lot area to design a vibrant park surrounding the building.” While permits filed with NYC’s Department of Buildings show that the project was submitted as a 34-story, 300,000-square-foot tower, YIMBY is reporting that the original application was used to begin foundation work ahead of a final plan reveal. This set of new renderings paints a picture of a tower that’s at least 60 stories tall, with a possible height of 800-to-850 feet and up to 600,000 square feet of floor space. The skyscraper’s massive heft has been made possible by developer HFZ Capital’s agglomeration of air rights from throughout the neighborhood. No completion date has been given for 29th & 5th at the time of writing.
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405 Park Avenue buys St. Patrick's air rights for a glassy upgrade

Only two days after AN reported that the owners of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in East Midtown, Manhattan, were planning on selling a portion of the venerable church’s air rights to an undisclosed buyer, Crain’s New York has reported that the transfer will go towards enlarging 405 Park Avenue. The 17-story, currently unassuming brick-and-glass office tower will grow another four stories and have its facade replaced with an all-glass curtainwall courtesy of global architecture firm Gensler. The office building was purchased by co-owners MRP Realty and Deutsche Bank Asset Management, an arm of the German bank, in early 2016, and will become the second building (after 270 Park Avenue) to expand under the East Midtown rezoning. MRP and Deutsche bank will be buying 30,000 square feet of the cathedral’s air rights–out of a total one million–which is expected to earn St Patrick’s around $7.2 million to use for maintaining the area around the church. As a result of the sale, 405 Park Ave. will undergo a gut renovation as well as the enlargement, bringing the total floor space up to 205,000 square feet. Crains also reports that the two owners will be charging a premium after the transformation, with prices north of $100 per square foot. The news comes on the heels of the highly contested announcement that the Union Carbide building down the street would be demolished, as owners JPMorgan Chase are seeking to replace the tower with an upgraded supertall. It seems unlikely that the same forces will mobilize to protest the changes at 405 Park Ave.; though the building was originallu designed by New York mainstays Cross & Cross as a neo-classical 12-story apartment building in 1915, a total renovation in 1957 left the location unrecognizable from its original incarnation. Now it seems that history will repeat itself as the office building builds even taller.
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Irish retrofit rediscovers golden rectangle proportioning systems

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Located in Dublin’s historic D4 district, Eaton House serves as Eaton Corporation’s new global headquarters. It is located in an early 19th-century Georgian neighborhood containing a mix of residences, small businesses, parks, and embassies. The project occupies the site of five original terrace houses dating to 1830. A new building replaced these houses in 1970 following their demolition.
  • Facade Manufacturer Poesia (glass brick); Savema S.P.A. (stone fabricator)
  • Architects Pickard Chilton (Design Architect); MCA Architects (Executive Architect); KA Architecture (Interior Design Architect)
  • Facade Installer Duggan Systems (window wall and glass brick); Eiregramco Ltd. (stone installer); John Sisk & Son Ltd. (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers (structural); Meehan Associates (sustainability)
  • Location Dublin, Ireland
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System adaptive reuse of 1970’s reinforced concrete frame structure
  • Products Arandis granite stone sourced in Namibia; custom hand-cast glass block, PPG Kynar finish on custom aluminum “portal” frames
This project, led by Pickard Chilton, was an extensive reuse of the existing 33,000-square-foot concrete frame structure. The architects designed the building retrofit to be of its time while respectful of its historical context, re-envisioning the exterior enclosure in linear coursed stone, clear vision glass, and handmade cast glass bricks. "One of the most important aspects of the facade design process was that this did not replicate the historical context,” said William Chilton, principal at Pickard Chilton. “The city was a great partner in this effort." The architects worked with the neighborhood community and city regulatory agencies throughout the design process to deliver the project. This involved meeting with historic oversight committees very early on in the process before a design was ever proposed. In parallel to this effort, and continuing through the design phases, the architects set regular meetings with residents in the neighborhood. Chilton said these conversations produced a healthy dialogue with the community which helped to inform the design process. "This was a very intense regulatory process, but ultimately very satisfying. The embrace of this project by the community has been particularly gratifying."
Once the overall design strategy was confirmed, the design process was executed very quickly over the course of a few months. An analysis of the original terrace houses revealed the facades were organized based on the golden rectangle.  The composition of the new facade works within the constraints of the existing 1970’s concrete frame while reflecting the original 19th-century terrace houses in its organization, with clear glass openings recognizing the original golden rectangle proportions. The architects realized these openings would actually decrease the amount of daylight that had been admitted into the building. To maintain their specific proportional composition, but introduce more daylight, the architects introduced cast glass into the facade composition after discovering the durable material was historically integrated into sidewalks in the neighborhood to admit daylight into basement spaces. The glass blocks were handmade to specific dimensions which coordinated with the proportions of the stone coursing dimensions so that mortar lines in the masonry facade would translate uninterrupted into the window composition. The effort led to a more open, productive work environment, improving daylight by 38 percent and helping the project to achieve a LEED-NC Gold rating. The cast glass bricks sit recessed within a secondary frame. Insulated glazing installed to the interior side of the cast glass to ensure thermal continuity without disrupting the unique hand-crafted aesthetic. The glass blocks are supported every few courses with horizontal metal rods. When looking from the interior, this tectonic assembly disappears. "An enormous amount of energy spent around the detailing to make this work,” said Ben Simmons, an associate at Pickard Chilton. “There wasn't a precedent we could look towards." MCA Architects collaborated closely with Pickard Chilton from the onset of the project to execute key exterior enclosure and glazing details like this. The materiality of the primary facade challenged conventional thinking about "historic" materials. After a mock-up comparing brick with a granite stone material, the architects convinced regulatory agencies and the owners to proceed with stone. In the spirit of the historically sensitive project, the installer worked closely with the architects on installation details focused on traditional hand-laid masonry construction craft. Metallic-coated aluminum "portal" frames offer a subtle luster to daylight reflecting off windows, adding a dynamic quality to the facade. This, paired with the sheen of a stone that resembles an iron spot brick, offers a facade that more dynamically responds throughout variable daylighting conditions. Eaton House has been recognized with four AIA awards, including an inaugural award from AIA Europe. "The project was diminutive in size, but quite significant in terms of its impact," said Chilton. "By doing this project, it really opened our eyes to the potential for this type of re-envisioning work. This was the smallest project we've ever done. It underscored our interest and commitment to seeking out projects of quality no matter the scale. If it's an interesting design problem, and the client has aspirations of quality, then we are all in."
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WeWork takes over London’s iconic Number One Poultry building

Co-working company WeWork has added London’s iconic Number One Poultry to its growing roster of historically significant buildings, and will reportedly convert all 110,000-square feet of the postmodern landmark into creative office space. Clad in alternating bands of pink and yellow limestone and most recognizable for its periscope-shaped tower above the main entrance, One Poultry has been a distinctive part of London’s urban fabric since its completion in 1997. Completed five years after the death of its architect, James Stirling, the building has gone from being an object of public scorn to being designated as a historical structure worthy of preservation. Earlier this year the building became the youngest ever to win Grade II* historical preservation status, even as the Financial Times reports that it was “voted as the fifth-worst building in London by Time Out in 2005.” The site itself has a contentious history, as Stirling’s playful scheme famously beat out a modernist tower proposed by Mies van der Rohe after public opposition scuttled Rohe's 18-story glass and bronze building. One Poultry is currently undergoing an interior and lobby renovation by London-based BuckleyGrayYeoman Architects in an attempt to attract new tenants. The re-situated office space seems like a natural fit for WeWork, as BuckleyGrayYeoman has managed to fit a more conventional design into Stirling’s bulging and unequal volumes by opening up the floors and exposing the concrete columns and trusses. The new plan also calls for an underground bicycle storage center, a new 4,000-square foot double-height lobby, a reception area, and a locker room. A grand staircase that had been closed off will also be reopened as a separate entrance for private members. WeWork has been on an aggressive expansion lately in both the architectural and business worlds. Earlier this month it was revealed that the company had launched WeGrow, an education-based offshoot, and had hired the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design their flagship school. This week alone has seen WeWork readying itself for a foray into retail, as well as a $32 million investment in the women-only co-working group Wing. As the company continues to grow, it will be worth keeping an eye on what other notable buildings it acquires in the future.
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Lever Architecture crafts a mass timber office building in North Portland

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In Portland, Oregon, even the buildings are bespoke and locally-sourced. At least, that’s the case with Lever Architecture’s Albina Yard project, where the developer—Portland-based Reworks—tasked the architects with creating a marquee structure that could be used as a testing site and showroom for emerging mass timber systems built from locally-sourced lumber.
  • Facade Manufacturer Sierra Pacific
  • Architects LEVER Architecture
  • Facade Installer REWORKS (contractor); Dallas Glass (windows)
  • Facade Consultants KPFF Consulting Engineers (facade engineering)
  • Location Portland, OR
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Glulam columns and beams with CLT floor/ceiling panels
  • Products Sierra Pacific Architectural Wall System; Douglas Fir mullions with a Port Orford Cedar cap.
The 16,000-square-foot speculative office building is a love letter to mass timber construction that proudly utilizes prefabricated elements as finishing materials, leaving raw Douglas Fir cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and glulam beams rough and unadorned. Albina Yard is the first building in the U.S. to use domestically produced CLT panels as the primary structural building element. The speculative nature of the four-story office building forced the designers to be “very, very deliberate about architectural moves,” according to Thomas Robinson, founding principal at Lever Architecture. The mindset resulted in a rather straightforward building: A plywood shear wall–wrapped elevator core anchors the rectangular office block along one of its long sides, leaving open spans elsewhere. Besides the elevator, the core contains bathrooms, egress stairs, and an accent stair made entirely of CLT panels. The building’s U-shaped open plan provides large-span offices topped by glulam beams with columns spaced farther apart than would be allowed under less rigid structural systems. Both short ends of the building are studded with windows—The principal facade contains ground floor retail that hugs the street while the back face overlooks a modest courtyard containing a small shipping container that houses a separate office. Custom-fabricated, powder-coated steel connections hold the wood assemblies together, their engineered bolts embedded deep within the mass of each glulam beam. “We wanted to find a way to embed steel in the wood to protect it from fire,” Robinson explained in reference to the buried bolts. He added, “the powder coat finish prevents the connections from rusting and staining the wood, as well.” Like the structural members, the connections were digitally-fabricated to order for the project and designed to “drift” in either direction by as much as 2% in the event of an earthquake, providing just enough flexibility for the building to sway but not shatter. The crisp structural connections and exposed fire suppression and HVAC systems lend the structure the type of elemental clarity usually reserved for utilitarian warehouse spaces, on-brand for creative office–seeking clientele. The building’s main facade is clad in a custom window assembly made up of large floor-to-ceiling spans of plate glass interrupted by narrower expanses containing operable windows. “We were excited to express wood on the exterior of the building,” Robinson said, highlighting the rot-resistant Port Orford Cedar wood mullions and window frames along the gradually cantilevering facade. The window wall is an indication, Robinson said, of the building’s innovative structural system. The face of the building steps out little by little as it climbs, with the second and third floors together projecting four feet out and the fourth floor above cantilevering just a few more feet over the street. The depth of these cantilevers is directly related to the spanning capabilities of the three-ply CLT panels used to structure the building. Ultimately, the project—now fully leased—seems to pull off its intended showroom purpose, showcasing glulam beams that were machined in Portland and CLT panels manufactured in southern Oregon, with everything made from Oregon-harvested lumber.
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Some Apple employees are reportedly unhappy with workspaces in the new $5 billion Apple Campus

Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters has been in the works for almost six years now and it recently opened its doors, only to reportedly receive complaints and criticism from some employees. A controversial building from its conception, rumor has it that Apple Park has been met with dissatisfaction from certain workers over its open and collaborative workspaces, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The late Steve Jobs imagined the complex as a rethinking of the modern office—“I think we have a shot at the best office building in the world,” he said—and instructed London-based Foster + Partners to design a building that would fit all 12,000 Apple employees under one roof and include access to perks like a wellness center and cafes. Additionally, Apple Park moves away from private offices and cubicles and uses an open floor plan, bench seating, and shared desks. Although this design was intended to encourage collaboration between workers, some employees reportedly want the cubicles and old offices they left behind. Recent rumors of discontent among high-level Apple staff come from the notable Apple podcaster and blogger John Gruber. On his podcast, as reported by Silicon Valley Business Journal, he described how Apple’s Senior Vice President of Technologies Johny Srouji demanded a separate space outside the main building for his team. Reports of similar arrangements for other Apple employees were echoed by Bloomberg. Concerns from Apple workers were also echoed in a recent Wall Street Journal article that stated, “many will be seated in open space, not the small offices they’re used to. Coders are programmers are concerned that their work surroundings will be too noisy and distracting.” It is doubtful that Apple anticipated this response from its staff, but this conflict continues the ongoing discussion surrounding collaborative and progressive workspaces.
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Another uncharacteristically subdued, verdant office building by Gehry Partners is on the way

Los Angeles–based Gehry Partners is moving ahead with a 135-foot-tall office structure slated for L.A.’s Silicon Beach district, the second such creative office project announced in recent months. The firm broke ground earlier this year on an 80,000-square-foot, single-story office complex called Ascend in nearby El Segundo that features spartan formal treatments and exuberant planting arrangements. The subdued creative office complex is designed with 24-foot interior ceilings and is modeled after the ubiquitous wood bowstring truss warehouse structures that populate L.A.’s industrial neighborhoods. With its latest office project—a 200,000-square-foot complex located just next door to the firm’s own offices in Playa Vista—the firm will add another streamlined creative office project to a growing body of tempered, late-career work following in the footsteps of the firm’s headquarters for Facebook from 2015. The purposefully banal projects in question are somewhat of a departure for a firm best-known for exuberant, sculptural works typically made from exquisite materials. Even so, the projects bear a certain resemblance to Gehry’s earliest works, which focused extensively on deploying prototypical materials and building technologies in unexpected ways. The New Beatrice West project, as it is known, expands on this new mode by creating a multi-story office tower complex peppered throughout with terraces and groves of trees. Renderings for the project depict a multi-volume cluster wrapped in alternating expanses of glass curtain walls and solid building masses. The curtain walled areas are delineated by projecting floor plates that create horizontal louvres over the glass expanses while the more solid facades are punctured by punched windows. The building’s 845-stall parking podium at the building’s base is concealed by an expansive arrangement of growing walls, trees, and terraced volumes that will include a restaurant, among other programs. The project is currently undergoing approval by city agencies and will be appearing before the Los Angeles City Planning Commission in coming days. Planning documents submitted in support of the project indicate the complex will take roughly 22 months to build, with final completion expected in 2019.