Posts tagged with "Office Buildings":
To tackle the challenge of making four floors of a windowless 1970s data center reflect the contemporary culture of Square, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson organized the company’s headquarters around a central collaborative space punctuated by a library, a coffee bar, and a gallery—anchored by a monumental amphitheater staircase that itself functions as a flexible venue for a variety of activities. Custom white tables further enhance the stair’s visual appeal while encouraging dynamic use. The concept’s clean lines and predominantly white interiors reflect Square’s brand at both aesthetic and functional levels, successfully transforming the space while highlighting the company’s core values to create a refined, seamless experience.
Contractor BCCI BuildersStructural Engineer Tipping Structural Engineers Millworker San Francisco Millwork Lighting Manufacturer Vodes Custom Furniture Manufacturer Ohio Design
Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Pinterest Headquarters
Architect: IwamotoScott Architecture with Brereton Architects Location: San Francisco, CA
Inspired by the clean, simple, and intuitive ethos of Pinterest’s recent web platform redesign, IwamotoScott Architecture and Brereton Architects envisioned a concept of porous concentric layers wrapping a repurposed warehouse atrium.
Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Squarespace Global Headquarters
Architect: Architecture Plus Information (A+I) Location: New York, NY
To honor its client’s aesthetic commitment to minimalism, A+I sought to bring depth, texture, and warmth to the Squarespace headquarters in New York’s historic Maltz Building through a purposeful variety of spaces and the use of natural materials: polished concrete, wood, and leather.
Whether or not we’ve realized it, most of us have bought products through Square, a company that supplies small businesses with the now-ubiquitous square-shaped hardware and software that remotely processes credit card payments. Square’s new offices in San Francisco are meant to be as minimal, clear, and usable as its products.
Located in what was once a miserable, almost completely windowless Bank of America data center, the new 300,000-square-foot, fourth-floor office is just the opposite: an open, light-filled workspace organized by a central “boulevard,” lined with gathering spaces (including a library, gallery, and cafe), and a wide variety of working spaces, including bench-style work desks, tables, and semi-private, acoustically lined “work cabanas.”
To manage the space’s ridiculously big floor plates (100,000 square feet, four times the typical size), according to Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) principal Gregory Mottola, the firm studied urban precedents as varied as Dubrovnik and Milan, looking at everything from urban plazas to enclosed arcades. Unifying the office floors is a massive amphitheater stair that cuts through floors six, seven, and eight, and provides zones for individual work, group meetings, and large presentations. The stair is fitted with movable, lightweight powder-coated tables that snake their way down its length to create unique working and relaxing environments. Another office anchor is the eighth and ninth floor “Square Stair,” a floating switchback connecting the office floor to the main dining level.
“You’re giving up rentable floor area, but the payoff is you have these incredible group amenities,” said Mottola. “The key was this idea of creating a really collaborative, transparent company. You don’t want to have one place feel disconnected from the rest.”
Clean lines and lots of white (on steel panels, stretch-fabric ceiling panels, and drywalls) reflect the brand’s identity and lightens the mood, while salvaged wood elements, like the eucalyptus amphitheater stair, Plyboo cabanas, and end-grain woodblock flooring in the lobby, provide warmth and visual interest. Splashes of color demarcate important spaces, provide needed accents, and reflect the locale: Bright orange, for instance, recalls the Golden Gate Bridge, while blue shades evoke the nearby San Francisco Bay. The company installed new windows along the perimeters of the sixth, seventh, and eighth floors, drawing in natural light where there once had been none. Another big aspect of the design within a limited budget was lighting. BCJ employed a variety of techniques, from spear-shaped “light saber” LEDs above the boulevard to indirect lighting in the workstations and sculptural accent pendants in the lounge spaces.
“We tried to make the most of those dramatic moments when we could,” said Mottola, who noted that Square was drawn to BCJ’s clean work for Apple’s stores, but not its purely monochrome palette. As the company grows at an exponential rate, the airy, collaborative, and flexible spaces will no doubt come in handy. “We want them to be able to grow and shift over time,” he added.
Prescient’s new office in the Prudential 1 Tower in Chicago is exactly what you might expect from a high-tech global security firm’s office, and a bit of what you might not. Designed by Chicago-based Perkins+Will, the space is specifically designed to facilitate both human and technological collaborations.
Transparency may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a security firm, yet Prescient’s office is predominantly an open space: The main area of the office is filled with staggered standing desks, and there are glass-encased break-out areas around the periphery. Framed windows that once made up the former exterior facade of the building are now used as dividers and are specially coated to act as transparent dry-erase boards for impromptu conversations and meetings. Along with the open lunchroom and break areas, the entire space is specifically designed to encourage free interaction between all of the employees.
“We use elegant technology coupled with human analysis to identify and manage threats for our clients,” Prescient CEO David Walsh explained. “Our vision for the office was to be able to stand anywhere and take measure of the energy of an adaptable, team-oriented company in a space that fosters collaboration and transparency.”
Along with the spatial considerations of the office, material details play an important role in Perkins+Will’s design. At the entrance, a continuous line of fluorescent light fixtures guides visitors to the reception area. The linear lighting and corresponding linear detailing throughout the space is a nod to the movement of digital information. In addition to the extensive use of glass, steel and walnut make up much of the designed surfaces and furniture. Perkins+Will worked closely with small Chicago-based furniture maker Modified Originals on using an extensive amount of reclaimed wood for the custom furniture. Other custom components were designed by Perkins+Will and built by MTH Industries and Imperial Woodworking. The design called for exposing the ceiling and brick of the original 1955 modernist office tower to contrast with the clean lines of the new dark finishes. The result is a high-tech, loft-like space with expansive views of Millennium Park.
“The clients wanted to have a sleek modern office that communicated strength and stability, but still had a feeling of warmth and comfort,” Perkins+Will associate principal Eric J. Mersmann said. “This balance was achieved with the use of the hot-rolled steel panels and concrete floors combined with the liberal use of reclaimed wood paneling, reclaimed wood on the furniture, and pops of bright color in the casual furniture.”
Not all of the office is bright and open, though. Dedicated to Prescient Traveler, one the company’s main offerings, a hushed, dimly blue-lit amphitheater is dominated by a full-wall digital display of the world. Here, employees monitor international security issues 24 hours a day.
From the more serious Prescient Traveler space to the more casual and comfortable meeting areas, every part of the design is an aspect of Prescient’s new brand. The company specifically moved from the more suburban McLean, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., to this highly visible space in downtown Chicago to complete its new image. Not only does the space bring the company in closer contact to a bustling commercial center, its newly designed officealso plays a role in attracting the best young tech workers, who often expect to be able to live in an urban area. With their new office, those young tech workers can watch over clients while also enjoying one of the most envied views in the city.
ResourcesGeneral Contractor Clune Construction Project Management The 4M Group MEP Engineers Kent Consulting Engineers Custom Furniture Modified Originals Furniture Arper Lighting Metalumen Carpet Interface
Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX, led by Marcus Prize winner Joshua Prince-Ramus, has announced plans for a new 450,000 square foot "premium" office complex for real estate company Tishman Speyer.
The building—which AN first reported on last year—will be located on 2050 M Street in Washington D.C. and aims to "set the new standard of trophy office buildings" in the district's "golden triangle," a renowned business hub.
The project will feel light given its surrounding buildings—which range from Beaux Arts, Neoclassicism to Art Deco and Brutalism—feature heavy masonry exteriors. 2050 M Street's distinction will be further accentuated by its lack of ornamentation.
In this respect, REX's office building could be considered a contemporary take on Mies van der Rohe's high modernist style. While 2050 M Street avoids Mies's trademark use of steel structure, the principles of openness, proportionality, and legibility (in renderings, at least, the floors remain clearly visible) remain. As REX described in a press release, the project employs "hyper-transparent, floor-to-ceiling glass" that hide the view of "impending mullions."To achieve this, the glass will use "subtly-reflective pyrolytic" coating on the exterior. A relatively new advancement in glass technology, the process involves applying the coating while the glass is in a semi-molten state, allowing the chemical composition to form a bond and become part of the glass surface. The coating provides enhanced durability against scratches and other forms of degradation. In addition, a low-e coating will be applied within the glass’s insulating cavity to improve thermal performance by reducing solar heat gains. Both coatings will be applied to the curving panels that repeat 900 times along the building's facade to create a shimmering, kaleidoscopic effect, thus hiding the mullions. The panels' curvature also has a structural purpose: the "curve’s inherent rigidity in compression" means "only the top and bottom edges of the panels are supported from the floor slabs." Meanwhile, the "‘mullion-less’ vertical edges are flush-glazed for a minimalist aesthetic that improves sight lines, while gaining useable floor area." The lobby will also house site-specific art that has not yet been commissioned. The project has not broke ground but REX, in press release, stated that completion is due for 2019.
Turning mirrors into ceilings, tables into flooring, and blinds into walls, Brooklyn-based design and development firm ASH NYC isn't playing by the standard rules of workspace design. Known for mixing chic interior design and property development, the firm exhibited Office Space at this year's Collective Design held in New York earlier this month.
Covering 1,250 square feet, their installation was situated in the VIP lounge and café at the fair featuring a 60 foot long modular table named Office Table that was made using reclaimed heart pinewood used for the new floors at the Whitney Museum.
Connecting the lounge to the cafe within the fair, the space was encapsulated by an extensive horizontal blind system that doubled up as walls. Also tracing the space's perimeter, an array of sculptural seating cubes—or Office Chairs—offered gathering spaces for visitors to the exhibit.
Keeping with furniture, ASH also produced a limited-edition WC4 chair that was available for purchase on-site. These chairs were interspersed within the vicinity alongside planting that offered a natural counter to the prefabricated space.
A dropped ceiling was also incorporated into the design, employing ceiling panels wrapped in reflective mylar to articulate space seldom—if at all seen in office environments.
Original Architect: Davis Brody Architect: REX Steel manufacturer and installer: Permasteelisa Date of Completion: 1970 Date of retrofit completion: expected 2016
Before BIG built its pyramid on New York’s west side, there was the concrete ziggurat at 450 West 33rd Street, designed by Davis Brody (now Davis Brody Bond) and completed in 1970. The 16-story office building lost whatever Brutalist charm it possessed when, in the 1980s, its precast concrete facade was painted beige and covered with brown metal panels and it gained the dubious honor of being one of the ugliest structures in New York. Now known as Five Manhattan West, the building is undergoing another makeover, spearheaded by REX, to update its facade with the latest in form-fitting fenestration.
The client, Brookfield Office Properties, was committed to transforming its ugly duckling into a swan. “If anything, our initial design sketches weren’t ambitious enough,” said REX founding principal Joshua Prince-Ramus. “We were trying to do something innovative and exciting thinking that we were pushing the envelope, and then they said ‘it’s a bigger envelope.’” REX ultimately devised a “pleated” glass facade that ripples down the building to flood the large, open interiors with light. These pleats are composed of panels angling out toward each other from the floor and ceiling, a design driven by the need to mitigate the structure’s slope, which limited the leasable space along the interior perimeter. But the unique form is more than just window dressing. According to Prince-Ramus, “What’s interesting about the geometry is that the sun doesn’t hit the lower piece of glass, so we can have a building that is transparent and simultaneously energy efficient.”
Every adaptive reuse project presents unique and unexpected challenges. To compensate for weakness or irregularity in the nearly 50-year-old concrete slabs, REX devised an unobtrusive steel substructure to support their new facade. Beyond re-cladding the building, the architects dramatically reconfigured its lobby and improved its core and mechanical systems. Impressively, this was all done while tenants continued to occupy the building.
The glistening glass pyramid will anchor Brookfield’s adjacent Manhattan West development and its investment and ambition seem to be paying off. The massive floor slabs and floor-to-ceiling windows are attracting tech companies and other businesses looking for nontraditional office space. The anything-but-retro retrofit will be completed by the end of this year but the transformation is already profound. At street level, Five Manhattan West feels brighter and less imposing. Though its edges may have softened, the once-Brutalist building still cuts a distinct figure among the increasingly anonymous glass towers of Manhattan.
Early this March, online travel giant Expedia released a first batch of renderings of its new campus. The company, founded in Redmond, Washington, in 1996, and now headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has grand plans to move close to downtown Seattle on a site overlooking Puget Sound.
The company hired Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), of Seattle, to lead the design. BCJ is working on a new four-story, 600,000-square-foot building and has plans to renovate four existing buildings—once laboratories for the biopharmaceutical company Amgen—into open-style office spaces. Expedia bought the 40-acre Amgen property last spring for $229 million.The images reveal lots of glass and green. Details are reminiscent of major West Coast tech campuses: There are hints of Apple’s curves and courtyard, along with Google’s openness. For Expedia, BCJ collaborated with PWP Landscape Architecture, campus landscape architects on projects for LinkedIn, Pixar, IBM, and Boeing. Expedia’s campus will connect to the Elliott Bay Trail—a biking, running, and walking path that links Ballard and the Olympic Sculpture Park.
If all goes as planned, construction on the first phase will start late this year, with a target move-in date of 2019. The new and renovated spaces from this phase will total 1.2 million square feet. There are two more phases under development, which could include a total of 730,000 square feet of office space, built over 15 years. The final cost of the project has not yet been set.
"Every time we build or renovate a building, we make a public act." - DaeWha KangBy combining contemporary material processes with organic principles, DaeWha Kang Design has transformed a 1980’s-era office building into a new dynamic headquarters for Communique, a public relations firm in Seoul Korea. With a very limited budget, the project team focused on four key points throughout the design process: the production of a human-oriented design, an environmentally responsive facade, a collaborative working environment, and evaluation of design through simulation and measurement. The renovation scope includes retrofitting a ground level parking area into an indoor/outdoor café, re-programming of the office area to maximize daylight for employee desk locations, and a rooftop terrace inspired by traditional Korean hoerang, or circumambulatory walkways. One of the most eyecatching elements of the project is an existing column, on the ground level, clad with a tessellation of silver leaves. The mirror finish stainless steel panels reflect the activity of the street while also visually doubling the height of a relatively low existing space (less than 9 feet). A curved surface between the column and the soffit is realized with singly folded diamond shaped panels, producing a triangulated effect. The pattern expands beyond the intensity of the column, into larger flat shaped panels. This geometry wraps up the facade, producing a primary grid which further warps in response to sightlines of the building from the surrounding urban context. The architects incorporated new high-performance double-glazed units and provided insulation at the exterior walls to combat significant thermal and condensation issues in the existing building. MaCheon grey granite panels regionally sourced provide a strong gray coloration to the facade. DaeWha Kang, Principal of DaeWha Kang Design, says the panels are attached to the facade with a simple bracket and pin anchoring detail allowing for future removal for maintenance if necessary: “That means that even if the building facade needs to be maintained in thirty or forty years time, it will be possible to remove each of the panels from the brackets without damaging them.” Digital analysis tools were employed during the design process to correct existing glare and daylighting issues in the existing space. Solar radiation analysis helped to determine the optimum quantity and location of windows in the office floors, while various window opening directions were tested in a fluid dynamics simulation. The team ended up with a series of casement windows that produce gill-like openings in the building envelope. These openings are paired with louvered blinds on the interior for further glare reduction without blocking air circulation. One of the significant findings from the analysis was that the lower floors required larger openings than the upper floors. Establishing an optimum window opening size allowed the panelization of the facade to geometrically integrate with the openings, creating what Kang calls “a completely organic integration of aesthetics and building performance.” The patterning of the facade was further influenced by standard block lengths from the quarry where the stone was sourced, constructability factors such as the maximum weight for a one-person installation, and the reduction in quantity of more costly curved panel geometry. These constraints produced secondary panelization geometry. A hierarchy between the two grids was visually reinforced by a chamfered corner cut all at primary grid lines, producing a shadow gap along the panel edge. Kang says this architectural process has produced a project that “has content and character, not just branding and image,” and is aligned with broader community ideals: “Projects like this are crucial in Seoul. We must move beyond the city as an accumulation of isolated buildings that do nothing for their surrounding neighborhood, and instead support clients who have a vision to do something more with their ambitions.”