Architect: JAKnetter Architects
Owner: Interstate Partners
Contractor: Nicholas & Associates
At the site of an abandoned farm in Pewaukee, WI, we were asked to design a new office building for a developer aspiring to lease space to a corporate client. The secluded land, tucked away in a small wooded area, was virtually surrounded by wetlands. The site had been in ruins for many years waiting for the right client to appreciate the hidden connection to wildlife and the natural surroundings.
Our approach was to respect the history of the parcel and design a corporate building image that was sensitive to its environment. Our first task was to site the new 21,000 sf, two-story office building with a prominent, yet discrete entry sequence. Access to the buildable area was limited to a peninsula-like connection from the main county highway. As a developer-owned building, our design solution centered on maximizing flexible rentable area, multi-tenant capability, parking counts, expansion ability and a market-driven lease rate. We selected natural cut stone from the area, modular brick and horizontal Nichiha cladding for the exterior material palette. The overall design solution created a two-story composition that respected the original estate while creating tremendous views for the open office environment. A four-sided rhythm of punched openings and ribbon window glazing was used to create a visual connection to the wooded setting as well as capture an abundance of daylight. We introduced an asymmetrical entry canopy which provides a termination from the elongated access drive and is designed to be centralized with the future building expansion. The oversized canopy defines the entry and creates a covered walkway from the adjacent parking area. Once in the secured building lobby, a conscious effort was made to use reclaimed barn wood from the existing farm structure in order to pay tribute to the past. Located on the south side of the building, adjacent to the break room, a patio forms an outdoor room that maintains direct connection to the wooded landscape. A simple translucent canopy of wood and Polygal is cantilevered over steel framing to provide overhead cover for open-air meetings and social functions.
Photos: Melissa Impellitteri