Architect: JAKnetter Architects
Contractor: Capital Construction
The transformation of a dark, windowless, concrete box lower level shell space into a new dynamic workplace environment presented some challenges for the architect.
The new open-air environment maximizes the 18’ clear height available within the space. To offset the absence of any natural daylight, the architect used a creative spatial design and lighting approach. A conscious effort was made to locate rooms around the perimeter of the space while utilizing an existing concrete stair shaft as a focal point of design and energy. In lieu of forcing the typical views to the outdoor scenery while maximizing daylight into the space, there is an abstract interior-focused solution. Featured element offset the original “basement” atmosphere.
To address program requirements, a full-height glazing system provides separation between the “secured” open office functions and the “public” café and conference area while providing lighting and visual cues of a larger unified space beyond. As part of the glazing wall separation, social seating areas offer the ambience of electric fireplaces viewable from both sides of the wall. Decorative 3-Form components (used on the ceiling and wall planes) and custom digital wallcoverings bring personalized detail to the client.
The live plant wall showcases and establishes a visual connection to the unseen outdoors. Additionally, a great level of attention was given to the lighting solution of the workspace. Wall grazing fixtures at all perimeter rooms give the illusion of exterior windows and create depth in the space. To expand on the theme of open, airy, and surrounding light, various LED lighting solutions are throughout the design; half-inch reglet pin lights on the canted soffit walls provide an accent stream of light from above, indirect pendant fixtures over the open office workstations supply task illumination while accenting the ceiling plane forms with indirect light, decorative pendant fixtures in various casual gathering spaces and color changing LED wall washers were incorporated at the stair core focal point walls to assist in the development of a more dynamic vibrant setting.
Through the innovative and clever use of spatial connectivity, finish materials and lighting, the lower level shell space was converted into an exciting, energetic, and most importantly, functional work place. Employees are happier and more productive given the design solution integrated with the use of collaboration tools and spaces, personalized work place solutions, and an aesthetically dynamic environment.
Photos: Tricia Shay