Posts tagged with "Office Buildings":

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Unveiled> SOM Designs Mashreq Bank Tower in Dubai

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) announced last week it would design a new headquarters for Dubai-based Mashreq Bank. The 32-story tower is “a quiet sculptural form within Dubai’s skyline,” SOM Design Director Ross Wimer said in a statement. Its L-shaped floor plate is cantilevered around an empty volume between the building’s eight-story podium and its top levels. The building’s massing shields that courtyard from solar gain, while opening up views to Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Khalifa to the east. Executive offices occupy the top two floors, where the square floorplate resumes, with Mashreq’s Board Room suspended from an interior opening at the middle.
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Unveiled> AHMM Designs Google’s New London HQ

London-based Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has applied for planning permission to build a 67-acre headquarters for Google in London’s King’s Cross, a swiftly evolving district. The firm’s designs incorporate a steel-framed structure with cross-laminated timber panels complemented by bold primary colored exposed steel elements. The plan integrates a rooftop garden along with shops, cafes, and restaurants on the ground level. Construction is set to begin early next year. The new £650 million command center will unite Google’s London operations by replacing its existing offices in Covent Garden and Victoria. The one million square foot structure will stretch 330 meters from Regent’s Canal towards King’s Cross Station. The building varies in height from seven stories at the south and 11 stories to the north. The new headquarters will consist of 725,000 square feet of office space and approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Taking inspiration from the area’s distinctive industrial heritage, the building will feature innovative technologies that will provide a sophisticated setting for Google’s staff, according to Simon Allford, Director of AHMM, in a statement. Google’s planned London headquarters has been designed to satisfy high environmental sustainability standards. Ensuring minimal energy consumption and integrating high-tech materials, the goal is to attain BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum ratings and an overall carbon savings of 40%. The building is expected to be complete in 2017. [Via Dezeen.]
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Tietz-Baccon Dials Down The Volume in a Textural Chicago Office

Fabrikator

Tietz-Baccon fabricated a 7-foot by 23-foot freestanding wall, and a 10-foot by 160-foot decorative wall for Enova's Chicago offices.

As more and more companies embrace open workspaces that support collaborative and impromptu group work, acoustics are of utmost importance to employee productivity. To craft sound-absorbing feature walls for the Chicago offices of financial firm Enova, Brininstool + Lynch turned to fabrication studio Tietz-Baccon. Their six-person facility in Long Island City, New York, makes bespoke solutions for a variety of design-minded clients who appreciate—and ultimately benefit from—the founders' architectural background: Erik Tietz and Andrew Baccon met as students at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. "On the fabrication end, we take nonstandard projects and make them achievable by relying heavily on our digital capabilities," Baccon said. "Brininstool + Lynch had a concept that was worked out very well and was looking for someone who could execute on a tight budget in a short period of time." According to Baccon, the architects came to the fabricators with a family of shapes and a way of aggregating them, which was then applied to different materials, helping Tietz-Baccon deliver finished projects very close to the firm's original requests. "There was good collaborative discussion, and a back-and-forth to tweak and bring the concept to realization. They didn't have to compromise their idea that much."
  • Fabricator Tietz-Baccon
  • Architect Brininstool + Lynch
  • Location Chicago
  • Date of Completion July 2012
  • Material 3/4-inch MDF, 3/4-inch Micore, aluminum laminate, aluminum
  • Process Rhino, CNC milling, water jet cutting, assembling with screws
A free-standing "stack" wall serves as a spatial divider that doubles for heavy-duty sound mitigation. Realized in Micore® mineral fiberboard, 3/4-inch strips of the porous and lightweight material were CNC-milled to form a 7-foot by 23-foot wall between a cafe area and workstations. Selected for its acoustical absorption, exceptionally light weight, and varying density availability, Micore® had an appealing tactile quality that agreed with the architects' design. "All the selected shapes are related and contribute to material efficiency," Baccon says. "We extrapolated [from that premise] to tweak the scale and amplitude of the surface but tried to remain true to their initial approach." The "fin" wall, the larger of Tietz-Baccon's contributions at 10 feet by 160 feet, also serves to soften noise from bouncing off the preexisting wall. Three-quarter-inch strips of MDF in dozens of individual sizes are installed as a series of sets to produce a unique rhythm. Raw material was juxtaposed against lacquered MDF at the bottom that alternates for textural variation as well as durability. Each "rib" can be removed to replace bulbs in the concealed lighting scheme or for necessary repairs, and the lacquer safeguards the MDF from task chair run-ins or related daily impacts. "The most interesting part of this was trying to use the material in a slightly different way without affecting the durability or lifespan of the project," said Baccon, referring to the unconventionally exposed edges. "There is a strong presence of other materials, for example bespoke concrete next to highly refined acrylic panels with backlighting, so it's the juxtaposition of the really refined next to the raw that helps us understand the materiality." The architects introduced their concept for the fin wall with 2D drawings. Tietz-Baccon modeled the third dimension in Rhino and realized the final product with a CNC router. Each rib fits within a registered slot on an aluminum laminate track, and is locked into place with a shelf plate at the bottom. The entire system is secured with a series of water jet–cut aluminum mounting fins screwed into the preexisting wall.
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On View> The Outdoor Office at the Art Institute of Chicago

The Outdoor Office The Art Institute of Chicago 111 South Michigan Avenue Chicago Through July 15 Jonathan Olivares takes a human-centered approach to industrial design and research. His 2011 book A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, published by Phaidon, provides an encyclopedic history of the office chair from 1840 to present day; building on this research, Olivares presents the speculative project The Outdoor Office (above). The advent of mobile communication means that work can be done outside of traditional offices and that the utility of outdoor space is no longer limited to recreation and leisure. Olivares examines how productive work environments can be created with new types of outdoor furniture and architecture, with consideration of privacy, shelter, and adaptability. The exhibition showcases the research and results of his findings, with images drawn from television, film, and existing offices, in addition to conceptual projects and models developed for new outdoor work spaces.
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Synthesis Design's Bespoke Office

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A carefully detailed private workspace conceals office equipment behind birch plywood ribs

It’s a reality of the modern work world that many people work from home. But a home office need not look like a corporate cube. That was the idea behind a customized workspace designed for a personal investment advisor by Los Angeles-based Synthesis Design + Architecture. Located in the client’s Chelsea home in London, the design conceals storage units and office equipment behind a sculptural work surface.
  • Fabricator Cutting Edge
  • Designer Synthesis Design + Architecture
  • Location Chelsea, London
  • Status Complete
  • Materials Birch plywood
  • Process Digital design, CNC milling
With a total budget of approximately $11,000 and a room barely measuring 11 feet wide by 8 feet high, the project team was constrained by cost and space. After considering all of the elements to go into the home office, the team morphed traditional rectilinear office furniture shapes—like filing cabinets and wall-mounted shelves—into fluid forms using Rhino and Grasshopper. The piece would be built as a series of birch plywood ribs with horizontal spacers to provide lateral stiffness. As a nod to their globetrotting client, the Synthesis team applied the spacers in the pattern of a world map created by converting an image into a high-contrast graphic bitmap, then culled points from a regularly spaced grid to define the center point of each spacer. Synthesis collaborated with UK-based fabricator Cutting Edge, with whom they have partnered on several previous projects, to build the design. The shop took Synthesis' 2-D vector drawings of cut files for milling, as well as its 3-D file representing the entire piece, including its support structure and assembly details. “We exchanged ideas to refine cost constraints, optimize the amount of material being used, and decide on installation and finish details,” said Synthesis design principal Alvin Huang, who worked with teammates David O. Wolthers, Thomas T. Jensen, Jurgen Strohmeyer on the project. “It was a very collaborative process and the project would not have been possible if it were not for their ability to understand our 3-D models and their expertise in woodworking. The use of Grasshopper allowed us to quickly respond to required geometric revisions.” Cutting Edge CNC-milled the structure's profiles and assembled them into modular components, which were installed along a series of horizontal channels mounted to the existing wall. In addition to sliding storage drawers and hinged cabinets, the piece conceals wiring and recesses for lighting. Using a fabricator who worked directly with 3-D files allowed the team to realize all of the design's carefully detailed geometric shapes, said Huang, even as the Synthesis office made a transatlantic move from London to its new headquarters in LA.
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a+i's White Veil Wall: Ceilings Plus

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A custom-perforated screen balances lighting and privacy in a three-story New York office space.

Ceilings are not just for the ceiling anymore. “With architecture becoming more organic in shape, we are becoming the architecture, not just a ceiling or wall,” said Nancy Mercolino, the president of architectural ceiling, wall, and enclosure manufacturer Ceilings Plus. This fall, the company completed a 33-foot-tall painted aluminum feature wall at the Manhattan offices of a global investment management firm. Designed by New York-based a+i design corp, the project was a consolidation of the firm’s offices in the city, adding three floors to the company’s existing three-story office space in a Midtown building.
  • Fabricator Ceilings Plus
  • Architect a + i design corp
  • Location New York, New York
  • Status Complete
  • Materials Aluminum, steel
  • Process Custom perforation design, CNC turret press, brake-forming
With the desire to screen conference rooms from the central reception area while still allowing light transmittance, a+i based the screen's design on a moire pattern that they translated into three perforation sizes. “The pattern a sweeping curve that has some regularity,” said Phil Ward, one of a+i's project designers. “It has a little movement to it, but it was still fairly easy to repeat.” The screen as a whole blurs the normal transition between wall and ceiling. On the ninth, topmost, floor, it "unites the conference suite in one move," said Ward. The architects worked with Ceilings Plus to achieve as much transparency with custom perforations as possible while making sure the .063-inch-thick aluminum panels were strong enough to install with minimal structural supports. Folds in the panels are more severe on the top floor and ceiling, but their projection over the staircase had to be less than 4 inches to meet code requirements. Ceilings Plus used CNC turret presses, which can make up to 7,000 perforations per minute with some patterns, to perforate the panels. The machines worked at a slightly slower pace to create a+i’s custom pattern because of the size and variety of hole shapes. With each shape, the turret press automatically switches dies. Automated brake forming equipment folded the panels and their edge returns. Lighting is integrated into a structural system of custom welded steel channels, through which cables power LED strips on the vertical and horizontal sections of the wall. While the aluminum panels don’t provide acoustic insulation on their own, noise transmittance was not a concern for the double-glazed conference spaces behind the feature wall. A 2-inch fiberglass liner adhered to the structure above the perforated ceiling absorbs sound. With the same machining equipment, Ceilings Plus has also been able to create new micro-perforation designs, which have holes that are nearly invisible from the floor but still allow acoustic insulation and ventilation. Even fire sprinklers can be integrated into the system.
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Pictorial> A Nature-Dominated Office in Denver

It might be the latest trend in creative modern eco-office design or, more likely, it's a tongue-in-cheek reminder to avoid letting work take over your life. In the typical modern office with row upon row of geometric cubicles, the closest a worker might get to nature is a small potted plant, a faraway glimpse out a window, or a rainforest background on his or her computer. But a new installation in downtown Denver quite literally breaks down this man-made environment in an effort to promote outdoor activity and a connection to nature during the workday. Boulder-based architecture firm Tres Birds Workshop created the five-part installation called Natural Systems Domination in July from old office furniture covered in live plants, evoking an office—perhaps abandoned by workers who left to find nature—where nature has found a way back into the work environment. From the architects:
Domination implies taking over. If we had it our way, natural systems would dominate entirely. Natural systems operate in perfect efficiency. Humans are both part of those natural systems and also somehow separate (by choice). The further we stray from connections with nature, the more alien we become.
The installation is part of sustainability-minded Keen Footwear's "Recess Revolution Tour" and represents a collaboration with Green Roofs of Colorado and the Fabric Lab. All of the office equipment from chairs and tables to an old copy machine was purchased from second-hand stores and was donated back after the installation was complete. Plants were also reused in the community. (Via TreeHugger.) Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
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Crunch Time for Morphosis Offices

  We know Thom Mayne and Morphosis are moving. Now we know they're moving REALLY soon. Their new headquarters, located just next to the new Expo Line tracks in Culver City, started construction last summer and are wrapping up this month. They need to move in by July 1, said Mayne, because the lease to their rented warehouse space next door is up. That should get things moving, despite some delays because of this year's heavy rains. The double-height building will soon be clad with perforated metal panels, plywood, and a network of trellises containing vines and other plants, said Salvador Hildalgo, one of the project managers/architects/jack-of-all-trades. Inside it will contain not only offices but a large gallery to show off the firm's work, and Mayne's own artwork. It will also contain large shop areas and a zone to show off in-progress mockups. Several skylights will keep the firm from having to turn on the lights during the day.  The firm moved out of its old Santa Monica offices, where it had been for about 20 years, last August. Mayne calls the building, which he says will be grid-neutral thanks to its efficient envelope and PV panels, a "neutral armature," and "anti-formal." Below see the progress of the building since it began construction.
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Morphosis HQ Surprise

Our friends at Morphosis just moved into an interim location (as posted on their website) at 3440 Wesley Street in Culver City. The firm has been hesitant to give many details about their upcoming space, a former commercial building right next door that they say they are remodeling, merely stating that it will “be sustainable” and “bring back the integration of the shop with the studio space.” But when we checked out the location we were surprised to find the approximately 13,000 square foot building razed except for the north and east walls. No one mentioned that they were constructing a new building! Of course, it could still be a ‘remodel’ because they didn’t completely destroy the building. The site has been cleared and whatever interior restraints had existed are now gone.  So who knows what really is going to pop up here?  It’s a key location next to the new Exposition Rail Line (going from downtown to Culver City), putting it in the heart of the pedestrian and commuter traffic that will follow after the rail line’s completion.  Our contact at Morphosis stated they are hoping to be complete with the space by the end of the year or early in 2011.