Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Owner: Indie Capital
Contractor: Indie Capital
This compact urban infill development creates a cluster of nine single-family homes in a diverse and recently rediscovered neighborhood near downtown Sacramento. The design of the new homes addresses the different urban conditions and building types surrounding the site, mediating between loosely spaced commercial structures and dense low-rise residential. The development includes three three-story homes and six two-story homes. Designed around a limited construction budget, each home offers 1,500 square feet of living area. A garage provides a base for the three-story homes, with the main living spaces elevated to increase privacy and separation from heavy vehicular traffic. The landscaped front yards and generously glazed elevations of the two-story homes help to engage and activate the sidewalk like the front porches and large living room windows of their neighbors. The homes are organized as a series of volumes shifted against one another, resulting in carefully articulated building forms. The exterior of each home is complemented by window walls inserted into the wood boxes, with alternating floor-to-ceiling openings and light-orange wall panels facing the street. The restrained material palette – wood, cementitious stucco, and the black poly-ash siding of entry and garage bays – aesthetically ties together the nine individual buildings as one recognizable ensemble of contemporary houses.
Jury Comment: “We like the materiality, massing and composition of this project. The design is sensitive to the neighborhood, with the repetition helping to make it more interesting. The homes are a good solution for families – very livable and affordable. It's a great example of urban multifamily residential. There should be more of this in the world.”
Photos: John J. Macaulay
Architect: La Dallman Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Bierman Construction, Inc.
Overlooking Lake Michigan amid groves of Aspen and Black Locust trees, the new home is composed of a series of interior and exterior volumes with indeterminate boundaries. It manifests the family’s desire for a unified domestic landscape in concert with the rhythms of the site. The house is organized along a loose circulation spine stretching the length of the site and stepping between intact native wetlands. It is assembled from thickened storage walls and interlocking one-story pavilions into two primary volumes – the house and the garage-workshop. With terraced floor and ceiling levels, the primary gathering spaces are situated to optimize views of the lake and engage with the site’s topography. While significantly smaller than its neighbors, the open plan of the house expands its domain, connecting to views of the forested site while protecting privacy. Constructed of cast-in-place concrete and timber cladding, the exterior skin is modulated by a series of carefully positioned windows and doors to maximize light, view and ventilation. Openings are sliced into concrete walls, emphasizing their depth, with the shifting timber panels. Skylights are positioned to augment daylight. Stone and wood terraces extend the internal landscape outward. Walls define spatial territories, ranging from public to private.
Jury Comment: “This house is quietly elegant. The thoughtful relationship between exterior and interior and the sequencing of specific views give definition to the different spaces in the house. They relate to the scale and intimacy of the private and public areas. The use of the polished and raw concrete shows a sensitivity to different ways that a material can impact the materiality of a space.”
Photos: Kevin Miyazaki
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA)
Owner: Discovery World Museum
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
The pavilion expansion and renovations enhance educational opportunities and community access for this nonprofit science, technology, engineering and math museum located on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Milwaukee. As the focus of the project, the multi-purpose pavilion addition is designed to significantly increase orientation and lunchroom space for visiting school groups, expand space for field trips and other educational programs, allow the museum to host large national traveling exhibits, and offer additional opportunities for special events and conferences. Responding to the existing museum, the design of the pavilion addition balances the relationship of solid and void through glassy transparency and a veil-like brise soleil to deflect sunlight. Attention to detail and coordination of building systems allow the pavilion to accommodate diverse activities and to sit lightly on the landscape – an existing green roof system above an underground parking structure. The addition is integrated with the museum’s existing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Thoughtful acoustical design detailing includes a high-performance ceiling system, acoustical wall panels and window treatments. Each design decision was calibrated against its impact on views to the city and horizon.
Jury Comment: “The pure geometry and formal shapes make the design really easy to understand and appreciate. The expansion adds a kind of texture to the composition that complements the existing museum. It enhances the original design. The nicely-defined outdoor spaces create new opportunities for the facility.”
Photos: Peter McCullough Photo and Discovery World
Architects: Pickard Chilton and Kendall/Heaton Associates
Owner: Northwestern Mutual
Contractors: Gilbane Building Company and CG Schmidt Inc.
The 32-story office tower and three-story commons unite five office buildings to create an urban corporate campus in downtown Milwaukee that engages employees and the city. The glass tower’s curved form at the eastern edge of campus embraces the new gardens and terraces. With a large deck offering views of the city and Lake Michigan, the double-height mult-purpose space on the top floor serves as a special gathering space for employees and charitable events. The three-block-long commons is the heart of the project that provides training and conference facilities, meeting spaces, dining, fitness, and terraces overlooking the gardens. Nestled in the historic 1914 headquarters, a new skylit atrium knits together old and new to unify the campus. Awarded LEED-NC Gold certification, the tower’s placement, orientation and massing, along with floor-to-ceiling high-performance glazing results in over 90% of the virtually column-free workspaces to have access to daylight and views. Energy-efficient mechanical systems, including under-floor air and occupancy sensors, reduce energy costs while providing for improved indoor air quality and individual thermal comfort control. The green roof on the commons reduces the heat island effect and absorbs over 512,000 gallons of storm water annually.
Jury Comment: “The tower is an important addition to the neighborhood and the city skyline. The connection to the existing urban fabric is noteworthy. People will enjoy the new gardens. It’s a sophisticated project that sets a high bar for any new construction, which is great.”
Photos: John December and Tom Rossiter
Owner: Linden Street Partners
Contractor: Alitus Building Company
Located on a challenging site in historic Walker’s Point, the five-story apartment building with retail space offers an example of how good design and savvy development can address overlooked vacant and less desirable urban properties. Recognizing the predominant historic buildings in the neighborhood are brick warehouses with punched openings and a post-and-beam structure with steel connections on the interior, the design of the new building turns the warehouse inside-out with steel beams and natural cedar siding with large glass openings on the exterior. The compact apartment plans offer both affordability and livability, including Milwaukee’s first junior one-bedroom units. Each apartment has a private balcony. Parking is located on the ground floor, concealed by a backlit frosted glass storefront. A shared outdoor deck sits atop the parking structure. The long vacant parcel shares a property line with an active elevated railroad track, which created design, engineering and construction challenges. The small encumbered site now holds an attractive and productive addition to the neighborhood.
Jury Comment: “We appreciate the diagrammatic organization of the building and its relationship to the neighborhood. The exterior expression, with the ribbons of steel beams and the natural wood and glass between, is appealing. The composition of the materials is quite nice. The design of the compact apartment units is smart and innovative. The architect found a surprising way to solve a problem while adding interest and flexibility.”
Photos: Richard Ebbers Photography
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Piscataway, New Jersey
Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Contractor: Barr & Barr
Composed of layers of glass, metal panel and terracotta, the new Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building on the campus at Rutgers evokes futuristic imagery of a machine for scientific research. The design celebrates a world-class chemistry program at one of the nation's premier public research universities. The department’s vision was a building with exciting and dynamic form that would attract both students and faculty to the spectrum of chemistry research. The new facility creates a new front door along the north edge of campus. Reimagining the campus pathway circulation led to a generous pedestrian throughway that follows the length of the building form, before passing beneath a transparent bridge where researcher break areas look on from above. As this path emerges from the building, it forms a connection with the neighboring student center and dining hall and threads a route along other campus research buildings – including sites of future facilities. With a goal to signify the institution’s research prowess through a dynamic architectural form, the new building achieves a complementary impact of reshaping the campus identity. The facility is a LEED Gold design, supporting the university’s commitment to a sustainable future.
Jury Comment: “The materiality of the exterior is impressive – how consistent and visually interesting it is. As a large building, the scale was nicely broken down, with a cohesive design for the entire facility.”
Photos: Edward Caruso Photography
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Owner: Graceville, LLC
Contractor: Beyer Construction
This project involves a five-story multi-tenant adaptive reuse addition onto an historic building and the renovation of offices for a growing advertising agency. The building in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward District was originally built in 1909. The challenge was to design an infill office building that offers a modern interpretation of the historic neighborhood’s material use, rhythms and patterns while blending the architecture into the historic fabric of the rapidly evolving neighborhood. A lobby with soaring spaces open to the second floor provides abundant daylight with an artfully displayed exposed structure. To increase collaboration and efficiencies, the advertising agency worked with the design team on the addition and renovation that consolidates staff into one continuous space on the second floor. Clean lines and a branded palette frame the office space, transitioning seamlessly from the existing warehouse to the new office addition. The office includes adaptable and collaborative employee work areas, formal conference rooms and informal enclaves and touch down spaces. A new feature, an expansive rooftop deck with views to Lake Michigan adds to the vibrancy and vitality of the urban neighborhood.
Jury Comment: “We appreciate the way the building blends into the historic urban fabric – similar proportions without aping what was there before. The interior lighting solution is terrific. The integration of old and new is very clean and clear. We’d like to work here.”
Photos: C&N Photography
Architect: Engberg Anderson Architects
Owner: Blue Ribbon Management, LLC
Contractor: : KM Development
Nestled on the southwest side of the Brewery campus, the old German Methodist Church was rehabilitated into a micro-brewery and tasting room. Built in 1873 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the gothic-style church is designated a City of Milwaukee landmark within the historic district. The primary project goal was to renovate the building, while keeping as much of the historical fabric of the original church as possible. The new small-batch test brewery is on the ground floor of the church and the 3,020 sf restaurant and tasting room are on the upper level. An additional 1,000 sf addition was built to the south to accommodate a kitchen, elevator, storage, and ADA bathrooms. Finally, a 2,000 sf outdoor beer garden and patio completes this unique, historical, and sustainable project.
Rather than a traditional mass masonry building, the church was actually built with a brick veneer, with exception of the limestone base and bell tower. In order to stabilize the masonry, a helical tie system with a CTP clip was used to tie the brick to the studs from the back side of the brick. The original masonry was restored from a black soot covered exterior to a vibrant cream city and limestone, in a true Milwaukee tradition. With a barnlike superstructure, implementing stick-framed (not sure about this hyphen) infill and traditional residential style board sheathing, spray foam insulation was installed improving the building envelope performance significantly. Wood shingles were installed in order to bring the church’s roofing back to a more aesthetically pleasing and historically accurate building material. All the original gothic arched windows were restored to former glory and interior storm windows were custom made to add energy saving value while preserving the character of the openings. Floors, choir loft, and other features were also restored in the sanctuary space to keep the feel of a place of worship while modern finishes blended the industrial context of the neighborhood.
The southern addition was designed to be sensitive to the original architecture, without literal interpretation, to house the new services that provide code-required ADA accessibility and support for the brewery operation on the ground level. The tight space at the first floor was truly a challenge to program for the volume of beer production desired. The beer garden, featuring an outdoor bar covered by a heavy steel canopy and enclosed by repurposed iron gates,, finished the integration of this historic building within Milwaukee’s Brewery District.
Photos: Pabst Milwaukee Brewery
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: Berners-Schober, Associates, Inc.
Owner: Tricia Shay Photography
Contractor: Immel Construction
The architectural context of Green Bay’s downtown area has shifted dramatically over the years. Revitalizing the newly re-named Ferguson Family YMCA serves the Green Bay community by preserving this piece of history for future generations. A nationally registered historic building, the project was completed with oversight from the Wisconsin State Preservation Office, and met the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties.
The Green Bay YMCA engaged in a process to overhaul all YMCA program and administrative spaces in its Downtown location. The design challenge for the project was to revitalize the historic, six-story recreational community center to position it for continued use as a YMCA, and potential future lease of its upper floors.
The project goals included a more open and transparent layout, updated locker room amenities and configurations, expanded program space and improved circulation. Exterior improvements included masonry restoration and roof replacements to the original 1924 building, and a modern adaptation of its 1967 addition and subsequent renovations over the years.
The completed project brings all entrance routes to a central location, and reorganizes the program areas for better way-finding. Opened sight lines between floors and program areas modernized the feel of the workout spaces while respecting the historic character of the building.
A key element in achieving both the connectedness and way-finding was the introduction of three-story atrium at the core of the historic building. The building had once featured a skylight to the center of the 2nd floor. A floor opening to the lower level expanded this to view the locker room entrances, while re-claimed former roof area provided better circulation on 3rd floor around the top of the atrium. A 320 square-foot skylight caps the interconnected views and opens the center of the building to natural light.
Working with the Department of the Interior’s guidelines for historic structures, the design team developed a plan to provide long-overdue maintenance and masonry repair to the building’s brick and split-faced stone facades, and replace damaged half-timber details on the older portion of the building. A new accessible lift was provided at the front entry to bring all entrants in to a common lobby, with minimal disturbance of the exterior facade.
On the interior, original stone fireplaces, wood paneling and trim were preserved in the lobby and newly positioned public meeting rooms. Construction and careful demolition uncovered over 5,000 square feet of original quarry and decorative ceramic tile, ornamental plasters and trims. Finishes and furnishings throughout the project are a carefully curated pallet of modern and historically appropriate materials and surfaces.
Functional spaces to serve the Downtown Y’s business community members and local families include new locker rooms, including separate family locker rooms, multiple class/education spaces, yoga studios, and expanded youth program areas. Free-weight, stationary and aerobic workout equipment users enjoy the two-story Life Style Center, which faces a two-and-a-half story glass curtainwall, looking out over the downtown. Housed in the formerly interior-focused 1967 addition, the curtainwall re-interprets the vertical lines of the collegiate Gothic building, while flooding the interior with daylight.
Photos: Tricia Shay Photography
Madison College Truax Building
Architect: Assemblage Architects
Owner: Madison College
Contractor: Madison College Truax Building
Madison College Truax Main Building was constructed in 1984 and remained mostly unchanged until 2010. At that time a major campus renovation was supported through referendum funding. In 2012 an addition was completed to create a new entrance, and technology workshop, but the main building remained unchanged.
This project started in 2014 to reorganize the core of the building. The primary goal was bringing together multiple student service functions to create the College Commons. We created a new student food and beverage service, and provided a new home for the Culinary and Baking Arts programs. The total intervention area was approximately 120,000 SF, including a 65,000 SF addition which connected the main building with the existing administration building.
The detailed program requirements included the following:
- Culinary Arts Program: Dining rooms, lecture, labs, storage, coolers, faculty office and support.
- Arts program: Labs, storage, coolers, faculty offices, and retail outlets
- Student Life: Student radio station, newspaper, meeting rooms and staff offices.
- Cosmetology: Labs, lecture rooms, pedicure and manicure, spa, lockers and retail support.
- Child Care Center and Playground
- Shipping and Receiving Dock
- Student Food Service: Kitchen, coolers, staff locker rooms, chef’s offices, and serving.
- Student Services: Intercultural center, advising, international student offices, human resources office.
- Branch office for the UW credit Union.
- Recreational Management: Fitness center
- Parking: Childcare drop off area, accessible parking
The existing buildings were limited by adjacent streets to the south and east as well as the minimum requirement for parking and child care drop off areas. The college academic schedule required that the building remain occupied throughout the entire project schedule.
The project’s conceptual “opening” of the building core required reconfiguration of the building’s primary circulation paths and updating the building’s code compliance. The project was designed to be constructed in three phases maintain building full occupancy.
This project provided the campus with a center, and enlivened a previously outdated building. Common space is leveraged for a wide variety of uses including seating, meeting areas, food service and coffee outlets, as well as flexible interactive spaces. The addition opened up the exterior walls, bringing daylight deep within the building. New spaces were laid out to break up the existing grid-like configuration, and designed with an emphasis on spatial dynamism, transparent materials, and visual access to the new college commons.
Architect: Zimmerman Architectural Studios
This modest project uses vernacular language and local and reclaimed materials to create useful and beautiful places that fit comfortably in the ecological and cultural landscape of this particular spot in Wisconsin’s distinctive driftless region.
The project included a garage with secure equipment storage, workshop, guest rooms and gathering space, painting and writing studio, an arborplus ecological restoration and maintenance of wetland, prairie, woods.
Architect: Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc.
Owner: Froedtert Hospital
Contractor: Boldt Construction
The Froedtert Hospital Birth Center is the only birth center in Wisconsin physically adjacent to and connected with a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The significance of the architect’s organizationally change-making design is truthfully life-saving when only minutes – even seconds – are available to rush an infant from labor and delivery (LDR) to NICU.
To reach this impactful design approach, previously compact departments were expanded, redesigned (both operationally and physically) and reformed into 77,180 square feet of space on three floor plates. The Birth Center consists of 48 total patient rooms (Labor and Delivery, Post-Partum, and Ante-Partum), and three C-Section suites.
Even more important than inclusive design and operational efficiency, birth Centers demand a highly secure environment. The architect’s design strategy keeps babies safe from abduction and other patients/staff secure from potential outside threats. A secure, locked perimeter assures safety and connections from the reception desks to the team rooms allowing reception staff to swiftly exit harm’s way if needed. An infant abduction alarm system aligns with Froedtert’s emergency policies.
The architect met the challenge of creating an uber-secure environment while achieving a warm, hospitable interior. While Froedtert maintains materials standards, the architect helped lead more malleable thinking in this critical healing environment. Flexibility was granted in the development of palettes so colors, while warm, reinforced wayfinding concepts and created neighborhoods identified by color, animal imagery and illustrations. Artwork was used as protective, decorative wall panels. Durable, functional products were selected in rich, warm tones with accents of color for interest.
Photos: C&N Photography Inc.
Center for the Arts, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Architect: BWZ Architects Inc.
Owner: State of Wisconsin, Department of Administration, Division of Facilities Development
Contractor: Fowler & Hammer Inc.
Twin flights of 24 exterior concrete steps within battered limestone retaining walls led up to the lobby entrance at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Center for the Arts. As conceived in 1972 the effect must have been dramatic, but in place of the crumbling remains of the stairs the program called for a renovation and expansion of the existing entry, an elevator addition, and enhanced identity.
The new 4,685 SF addition provides an accessible route to the primary First Floor lobby level serving the Annett Recital Hall and Toland Theater. The entry vestibule is pulled back from street with an expansive terrace developed along Vine Street for vehicular and bus drop off and the arrival of pedestrians from the parking lot across Vine. Low site walls capped with a slatted black locust bench are placed in front of the masonry wall east of the entry and at the landscaped berm to the west. Limestone blocks salvaged from the original site are used to define the new landscaping.
The Lower Lobby opens off the sidewalk terrace through a vestibule, leading to an elevator on the left and a broad, cast-in-situ terrazzo stair on the right. The semi-underground space is lit from above with natural light from an overlook at the west end and from the east-facing window at the stair landing, which frames a view of the distant Grandad Bluff. The two-sided elevator is accessed from beneath the two-story overlook and arrives facing the Bluff view. The 9 ft. wide stair leads to the upper level and directly into the existing First Floor Lobby, which serves as a pre-function area for the performance venues. Both tall spaces feature the Poulsen “Patera” pendant light fixture.
Minnesota Dolomite Limestone wraps from the front facade, around the exterior wall, past the east windows and into the interior space. The limestone clad columns and elevator tower further serve to identify the new Entry as a welcoming place that embodies the theater and performing arts program at the UW La Crosse.
Photos: Fowler & Hammer Inc.
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Mandel Group
Contractor: CD Smith
A long, linear six-story wood-framed building curves slightly on the narrow block-long site, recording the slight bend in the Milwaukee River. The bend locks the building into its unique site and helps to make a distinctive building form. The building, raised on a slight plinth of cast in place concrete, takes the form of a contemporary infill-frame, recalling several nearby waterfront warehouses.
White metal clad frame elements with large glass infill panels define the large units on the fifth and sixth floors, while polished white limestone masonry units define the frame of the smaller units on the second, third and fourth floors. The white metal frame elements of the top two floors slide down into large openings created by the masonry frames, unifying the facades and creating an engaging rhythm. Infill panels of glass and warm wood-tone panels add richness and color to the facades. On the building’s city side, recessed balconies produce tall reveals that articulate the long façade into a series of pavilions in scale with nearby historic buildings.
Along the vast open space of the river, the building retains its smooth, long curving shape, with balconies cantilevered and joined together with continuous steel channels to emphasize the long curving shape. At the south end, an arcade helps to define the building entry and the major retail space.
Inside, the entry lobby forms a transparent passage from street to Riverwalk, allowing entry from the river as well as the street. A club space for residents adjacent to the lobby can be entirely opened to the Riverwalk. Upstairs, all elevator lobbies have a direct view of the river, leading to dramatic curved corridors which record the shape of the building. Unit entries feature wood paneled recesses, with the unit interiors receiving clean contemporary finishes with warm wood-toned floors.
The parking, primarily housed in a plinth of cast in place concrete reaching only three feet above the street, fills the entirety of the property. Pedestrians rise to the first floor by means of a refined Ipe wood stair and a ramp attached to the plinth. The concrete plinth is punctuated by a series of translucent glass portholes that admit light to the garage from both the street and the river.
Additional parking was designed within the first-floor footprint, concealed from the street with a series of large translucent windows printed with historic photos and maps of the immediate district, curated by the architect. Two retail spaces occupy the two street corners of the building, adding street-edge life and activity. Five first floor “liner” apartment units conceal the first-floor parking from the river, units which have their own river-front terraces and entries.
Along the river, a new public Riverwalk has been placed on top of the concrete garage plinth as a green roof terrace. Recalling a time when the Milwaukee River Estuary was lined with acres of tall native grasses, the new Riverwalk features raised cast concrete planters filled with drifts of tall grasses rather than the typical metal railing. Pedestrians experience the river through a mass of gently moving tall grasses. The planters provide private court terraces for the first floor liner units. All walking surfaces are refined decking boards of Ipe wood.
Photos: John Magnoski Photography
Architect: Partners by Design and Hendrick, Inc.
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
The new 32,582-square-foot building to house Gray TV’s WMTV studio in Madison was planned over three phases and designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification, the new facility would double their existing space, include an open environment for staff and reinforce their commitment to the community. In addition, the project would be built on their existing 10-acre site and without disruption to the live, 24-hour studio.
The building’s design solution centered on taking advantage of the site’s high visibility along the city’s Beltline highway. By adjusting the massing orientation and incorporating a glass curtain wall along the north facade, the station enjoys a strong presence to passing motorists and adds a bold design statement to the surrounding community regarding transparency of product developed within. Gray TV welcomed the parameters set forth to obtain the LEED Silver qualifications as their mission is to provide a facility that empowers staff to be energized to succeed through a thoughtful, open environment, incorporating natural light and ancillary workspaces. The modern facility maximizes transparency through spatial arrangement of offices, workstations and ancillary functions. The new space accommodates two production studios for news broadcasts and other television programming, a double-height newsroom for reporting staff and additional spaces for administrative and support staff. Efforts to expose all employees to natural light were utilized through the use of clear glass office fronts and low-height workstation panels.
Interior space finishes, including sustainable wallcoverings and wood products, were chosen to provide a timeless, thoughtful environment beyond the next decade. The design team wove Gray TV’s vision and mission statements throughout the space in a subtle yet effective architectural language which reflects, expresses, and promotes the ideals of Gray TV. Integration of branding elements throughout the space reinforces information flow between groups as well as Gray TV’s organizational overview.
Photos: Tom Harris Photography
Architect and Contractor: La Macchia Group
As the architect team engaged with the decision makers, the rich history of the town’s mill and train depot quickly emerged as the desired design inspiration. This was how the bank wanted to pay tribute to the history of the community. To achieve an authentic train station aesthetic, material selections were carefully considered. The client wanted the building to look like it truly had stood the test of time. Through material/period research, and a board member with access to reclaimed barn wood, the team was able to stay true to this historical perspective. From the exterior’s reclaimed brick, window lintels and reclaimed barn wood brackets to interior reclaimed barn wood beams, Craftsmen‐style wood trim, copper accents, hardwood floors and cream city brick, details and material selections achieved the desired historic aesthetic. While this project did not pursue LEED certification, a sustainable mindset guided the process. The use of reclaimed materials throughout the project, including 50% of the exterior materials, is an example of the owner’s commitment to sustainability.
Upon entering the bank, the grand lobby exudes the appeal of a communal waiting area in a vintage train station. A combination of flooring materials, both real wood and porcelain tile, create an intuitive wayfinding cue that guides customers through the space. Unique hexagon mosaic tiles with an old‐world pattern highlight the check desk and iPad station with a custom‐made wood bench. Here customers can read the paper while enjoying a cup of coffee or check their accounts on one of three iPads. The intuitive path leads to the focal point of the space, the teller line. This custom millwork, designed to resemble a train station ticket counter, is the hub of the building. Real stone countertops and banker green acrylic accents give a nod to the rich materials used in historic banks. A highlight of the lobby area is custom wall murals made from historic town photos, such as the first fire engine and the old train depot. Mosaic tiles that look like pennies as well as green gooseneck lamps and street lamp poles are other details sprinkled throughout the interior that offer the old train station, or Humphrey Bogart, appeal.
With the design inspiration in mind, the team also needed to address the functionality of the space. Since the bank had outgrown its previous building, the intent of the planning was to be employee‐centric. Private offices were a priority, as was including additional office space for future expansion. Offices and conference rooms were located along the window walls wherever possible so employees could have access to natural daylight. Ample glass allows the daylight to filter into the lobby which is at the heart of the space plan.
The rich textural materials, warm palette and train depot inspired details create a timeless design, a distinct retail environment that honors the past while communicating to customers that this is a modern, forward‐thinking, green‐minded, financial institution.
Photo: Landre Photography
Wyandanch, New York
Architect: Workshop Architects, Inc.
Landscape Architect: OLIN
Owner: The Town of Babylon
In the summer of 2012, the Town of Babylon, New York, celebrated the groundbreaking of the Wyandanch Village development project. Within the larger context of revitalizing the entire village, a quaint plaza began to take form. However, since opening in January of 2016, the effect of this plaza has been anything but quaint. This beautifully detailed and highly functional structure serves as a shelter and unique backdrop for the larger plaza at the forefront of the site. In tandem with intentional programming, this space has brought new life to the village as it lies on the foot path from the train station into downtown Wyandanch.
This park is part of a larger transit-oriented development the town is undertaking to revitalize the area adjacent to a renovated Long Island Railroad commuter station. Nestled within the mixed-use development, the park combines a passive green space with a flexible, hardscaped plaza that provides a venue for summer concerts and converts to a skating rink for winter activity. A canopy of glass shingles and laminated wood beams supported by structural steel tension masts embraces the north side of the concert/skating plaza. This canopy continues the S-curve gesture of the larger landscape design and provides a clear edge under which the programmatic elements of site can be placed. The program is rather simple; a public restroom shed, a ticket and concessions shed and a below grade service space that houses the mechanical needs of the park. The two sheds further reinforce the northern edge of the plaza while not obscuring views to retail spaces across the street. The material palette of the park – black locust wood and board formed concrete – is continued through the envelope of the sheds and is supplemented by a translucent glass system that allows the buildings to glow in the fading daylight but also offers ample daylight for the daily function of the buildings. This project is about providing the space for the emerging activities of an ever-changing community with the architecture serving as a backdrop and the landscape providing a platform for that crucial function.
Recently, the structure was dedicated to Delano Stewart, a community activist who sparked the village center’s regeneration. His dreams and aspirations of developing a strong community heartbeat has been intensely realized since the project’s completion. The park is a welcoming, comfortable, attractive, and vibrant place that provides the ideal platform to share the passions, ideas, energy, and culture of Wyandanch’s community members.
Photos: Kim Muto and Lifetime Photography
Architect: The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.
Contractors: China Railway Airport Construction Group Co., Ltd.and Huadu International Construction Group
Considered one of the top academic schools in China, ZhongGuanCun Elementary School operates three campuses enrolling more than 8500 students. To serve the District's expanding population base, the ZhongGuanCun Elementary School No. 3 was envisioned as the third and newest campus, serving over 2400 students. In selecting the Wisconsin-based architectural team through an international design competition ZhongGuanCun School representatives sought to create an entirely new educational environment, an approach that balances traditional teacher-directed, whole-group instruction with flexible, learner-centered work and study spaces.
The ZhongGuanCun area is located within the Haidian District of northwestern Beijing, China, a rapidly redeveloping former industrial sector home to a dense mix of urban mid-rise residential and office buildings. Frequently referred to as China's "Silicon Valley", the Beijing offices of many of the world's best-known software and computer technology companies are located within the ZhongGuanCun electronics district. The ZhongGuanCun area is also home to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and many of the country's most important higher education institutions, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and others.
Inspired by ancient Chinese Hakka walled village houses, the school design features a semi-enclosed building wrapped around a central courtyard/athletic complex on a six-acre site. This unique building geometry creates multi-level indoor-outdoor classroom and learning spaces while helping to orient students and other occupants throughout the building. A central courtyard, used daily for ceremonial gathering and athletic activities, forms the cultural and emotional core of campus. Approximately 40,000 square meters (430,000 square feet) in size, the building design includes four levels of classroom, administrative, performance and related educational spaces, plus two underground levels reserved for parking and a multi-purpose gymnasium/athletic complex.
An innovative "School within a School" design divides the building into smaller "neighborhoods" to give a greater sense of identity and pride of ownership among students, faculty, parents, and the community. This organization allows self-contained, age-appropriate learning, yet fosters interaction among all age levels. Learning Pods and studios help teachers develop student critical thinking and problem-solving skills, communication skills, self-directed skills, as well as the use of modern technology.
Bioclimatic design strategies specific to the Beijing region promote energy and water efficiency, improve indoor air quality, provide abundant natural daylight, and create spaces for growing food and plants. The semi-circular building shape is oriented to create a positive microclimate within the inner courtyard by protecting against prevailing winter winds and late afternoon summer sun. The overall building axis is oriented to the morning and southern sun. A highly insulated building shell increases energy efficiency. Building shape, overhangs, and glazing were all designed to provide outstanding natural daylight. Use of green roofs and rain gardens help retain storm water on site. Outdoor terraces connected to classrooms on each level help manage stormwater and provide planting areas for students to learn about plant growth and food production.
Photos: Bridge Three
Architect: Hirsch Group Architecture
Contractor: TC Construction
This peaceful retirement dwelling features an open plan, in a rural, wooded setting with maximum access to exterior views.
The contemporary design, free of ornamentation, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two car garage is sited on an undisturbed, unimproved wooded lot.
Working from a client sketch, the architect joined interior spaces and unspoiled woods with expansive glazing, creating an unhindered view flowing from the interior to exterior.
Designed for comfort and a long useful life, the residence incorporates universal design and high thermal efficiencies.
Photos: Paul McMahon
Architect and Contractor: The Redmond Company
This 5,100 square-foot retail branch facility features commercial and mortgage lenders, teller transaction pods, four drive‐thru lanes, a generous lobby space including customer café and waiting area, and various employee support spaces.
This is a unique site perched high on a plateau overlooking a main artery in Papillion, a suburb of Omaha. The grade change necessitated a large retaining wall on the western edge of the property which gives the site visual prominence from all directions. The parcel is a part of the “Cornhusker Plaza” development and as such is tied together with surrounding properties with a landscaped bike path and sidewalks which were part of this project.
This building is designed to showcase the interior from the street to draw in customers as a retail facility would. The architect designed a cutting‐edge high‐end facility relatively free of any major budget or space constraints. This is best evidenced by the breathtaking lobby space surrounded by a large expanse of glass and bold accent lighting, as well as the dramatic roofline. The contemporary color palette and wood branding wall, visible from the outside, creates a memorable experience for visitors.
Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Contractor: Link Builds
This project entails the radical transformation of an existing residential unit on the 11th floor of the former Terminal Storage building at the edge of downtown Milwaukee. The original apartment, built during the uninspired 2005 conversion of the long-vacant structure into a residential building, featured an ill-conceived maze of cellular, disjointed spaces and the predictable developer-driven palette of bromide finishes. The removal of extraneous partition walls, dropped ceilings, and expendable doors allowed for the spatial reconfiguration of the apartment and the creation of its new domestic epicenter, a large open space for cooking, dining, and living.
A continuous rift-sawn white oak ribbon weaves through the entire unit and serves as the principal architectural device to organize the unit. At once cabinetry, wayfinder, and spatial tie, the sculptural ribbon leads from the entry vestibule into the open living space, wrapping the existing central bathroom core and folding up into a ceiling plane to delineate the kitchen before turning into the perimeter wall of the main bedroom wing.
As it undulates between floor and ceiling, the three-dimensional wood ribbon creates openings and articulates physical and visual thresholds between adjacent spaces, intermittently framing large amber-colored glass panels that add a powerful chromatic accent to the deliberately restrained interior material palette. The glass panels act as visual filters that draw warm light deep into the unit’s core and transform into enigmatic canvases, their blurred projections subtly revealing glimpses of the life unfolding in the rooms beyond.
A series of sculptural built-ins engage the wood ribbon as it meanders through the apartment. Defining the edge of the kitchen, a continuous, varnished walnut plane peels up from the ground and turns into a long, seemingly floating bar counter, then folds up as a canopy and down again to transform into the base of the kitchen island. As it weaves through the kitchen, the walnut band cradles black-lacquered cabinet boxes, their reflective, high-sheen finish adding visual complexity to the overall composition of the space.
Echoing the formal vocabulary of folding walnut planes and nested cabinets established in the kitchen, the built-in bed in the master suite is a continuous band of walnut that serves as the mattress platform before turning into headboard and ceiling liner. Similarly, the bathroom vanity consists of a floating walnut plane that frames mirrors and a lacquered medicine cabinet box. In the media room, the wooden ceiling canopy folds down at each end to support the suspended cabinets that bracket the intimate space.
Photos: John J. Macaulay
Architect: Stephen Perry Smith Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Hunzinger Construction Company
Milwaukee Electric Tool Company expanded its current campus in Brookfield, Wisconsin and their new four‐story building adjoining to the existing facility is a direct response to Milwaukee Tool’s growth.
To maximize the increased parking requirements for the first phase of the METCO Campus expansion and given the zoning height limitations of 65’, a compact 4 story footprint was needed to incorporate the initial 202,000 SF expansion contiguous to their existing facility. METCO requested that the design of their facility “express the nature of construction” and in doing so, reflect the various applications for their power tools. The landscape design is very simple and understated with elements of construction weaved through‐out with exposed rebar, large boulders, rough concrete benches and stone beds with straight steel edging. To reduce the visual bulk of the building, a new skin was tailored that weaves the horizontal acid etched precast concrete spandrels with ribbon windows that are carried by exposed structural steel columns above a continuous full height recessed glass base with a vertical expression of full height glazing at the recessed corners and multiple entrance conditions. The vertical nature of the glazing is reinforced by deep vertical mullion fins that slide past and above the horizontal architectural metal composite panel canopy which caps the building and creates a unifying rhythm to the facade. These vertical fin elements were inspired by the famous Milwaukee Tool “Sawzall” cutting blades and have tapered ends that extend beyond the building edge. Additional layering is created with wider mullions at the ribbon windows and deeper horizontal banding at the full height curtain walls help to reinforce the grid pattern.
The vertical expression of these corner and entrance elements is illuminated with red LED lights that create a striking, impactful nighttime image that serves to reinforce the Milwaukee Tool brand. Each elevation of the expansion features a strong entrance condition of structural framing with coped ends and a frosted glass canopy that is also up lit with red LED lights.
In order to maximize the amount of natural light into the building, the floor‐to‐floor height was maximized of both the public ground floor space with perimeter training rooms and upper floor open office space with perimeter offices that are enclosed with full height glass while also providing visual transparency into the building. To provide for more natural light and visual connectivity between first and second floor, the building features a two story entrance lobby with a grand stair at the north entrance and with the atrium connector space, two bridges link the new building with the existing building with a large skylight between them. This emphasis on natural light and connectivity is continued on the third floor where two large, two‐story atriums, allow skylights to fill the third and fourth floor with natural light. All bridges and opening are a framed with exposed structural steel with wire mesh and exposed bolts to reinforce the nature of construction. In the two story entrance lobby and connector atrium, a series of suspended light sculptures expresses the materials used in construction with internally lit cylinders of each material diagonally juxtaposed to each other. The structure is exposed throughout the building including polished concrete floors, concrete block stair and elevator core walls, corrugated metal deck along with the structural steel columns and diagonal “X” and “K” bracing.
The public restrooms, in keeping with the concept of expressing the nature of construction, feature industrial strength stalls framed in structural steel columns with natural wood finish panel infill. The elevator cabs further reinforce the nature of construction by each speaking to a particular construction trade in their finish with a copper, wood, steel and concrete theme interior. The elevator hoist way is exposed at the ground level with fire rated glass and up lit with red LED lights to truly experience and see what is normally concealed from view. Similarly, the mechanical rooms are partially opened up with glass walls to allow views into them and for customers to experience the behind the scenes aspects of buildings.
The mechanical systems are not only exposed but highlighted as an integral part of the design in the orderly manner of all runs and distribution lines being highlighted through the use of a black painted structure.
Photos: Edgar Visuals
Architect: OPN Architects
Owner: Oregon Community Bank
Contractor: Ideal Builders
Waunakee Community Bank is situated on the edge of town at a prominent corner entrance to one of Waunakee’s newest planned communities. The open prairie setting provided a blank canvas as well as an opportunity to establish an architectural vernacular for future developments.
The building responds to the openness of the site with simplicity in the design and a cross‐axis floor plan. The long axis is accentuated with the rhythm of repeating dark‐stained wood laminated beams and columns that contrast with the natural finish of the wood decking. The long axis is bookended by a large window framing the surrounding farmland to the west and the bank tellers to the east.
The voluminous reception area creates a focal point upon entering the bank with a celebration of two main axis grounded with a stone wall. Large windows open to the conference space beyond offering views through the building. The flanking teller’s row celebrates the bank’s branding color with simplistic, honest, warm details.
The single‐story, 6,600‐square‐foot branch was designed to reflect the ideals of the bank and the Village of Waunakee. The building form modernizes the vocabulary from Prairie Style architecture. Use of horizontal lines, flat ceilings, horizontal clearstory windows, with strong overhanging eaves fit comfortably in the rural Midwestern setting and creates open well‐lit interior volumes that speak to the transparency of form.
Exterior materials connect to the surrounding area: indigenous stone provides a solid base, while wood panels offer contrast with warmth and variation. Exterior finishes repeat in the interior offering rhythm, balance, transparency with pure simplicity. Linear clerestory windows cast daylight into the large gallery corridor of the bank, creating a prime gathering space.
As a public building, it was important that the design and material choice create a welcoming structure that fit within the neighborhood context. The building includes: bankers offices, teller counters and workspaces, a conference room, storage and a wide corridor which also serves as a gallery space to host events that will connect the community and the bank.
Photos: Mike Rebholz
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Architect: Stelling & Associates Architects, Ltd.
Owner: Covenant Harbor
Contractor: GC3, LLC
In October 2015 a historic multi-use Carriage House was nearly destroyed by fire. The fire was extinguished with thousands of gallons of water saving the external building shell and floor/ ceiling and roof structure.
The Carriage House, constructed in the late 1800s on a family estate, has transcended both its owners and the original use. First used as a stable, its intended use with carriage storage on the first floor, and barn /storage and coachman space on the upper level. Over the next 50 plus years the property remained as a residence. In 1947 it was purchased and became a summer youth camp, which is the current use today.
In 1976, a major renovation took place formalizing its uses. The lower level conference and meeting room space with a toilet room facility for use by both floors. The upper floor was a multi-use chapel and gymnasium with mechanical mezzanine.
In 2008 a new activity center was opened in the camp and the upper level of the carriage house returned to a summer rainy day space multi-use winter maintenance and storage space. The lower level remained as a conferences space and meeting rooms.
The fire was a devastating loss to the needed program spaces for summer camp use.
The carriage house was covered for fire by the camp’s insurance for restoration replacement to existing condition. It was the intent of the camp to simply restore it to its original use at the time of the fire. However, the authority having jurisdiction and state statues would not accept simple restoration.
Documents were prepared to meet code and the authority’s requirements, construction documents were conditionally approved and work began. The twist, one of the camps owner groups offered a use option in lieu of the lower level conference/meeting room; “Let’s change the space to additional cabin space.” It could accommodate up to thirty additional campers every week, the space that needed and identified in a recent long term planning report.
Plans were revised to permit transient housing. Building use separations and egress consideration taken into account. While the Carriage House has a bright future with an assembly chapel on the first floor and a residence on the lower level.
Photos: owner and architect
Architect: Zimmerman Architectural Studios
Owner: City of Marshfield/Marshfield Public Library
Contractor: The Boston Company
The new Marshfield Public Library meets the changing needs of today’s library by creating an array of inviting places and means for people to engage in the library’s rich offerings. Linked by a new shared lobby to the former library, which will be converted into a community center, the project transforms a piece of the urban fabric that was severely damaged in the twentieth century, reintegrating the adjacent historic neighborhood and main street and providing a gateway from the new Veterans Parkway. The new building also transforms and expands the architectural vocabulary of the existing building to create a coherent complex with a civic presence and inviting, humane scale.
The site occupies a full block along Maple Avenue, one block east of Central Avenue, Marshfield’s intact historic main street, and just west of the historic Pleasant Hill neighborhood. Maple Avenue serves as a transitional zone between these districts. Historically it contained a mix of residential and civic buildings, including churches and the former city hall southwest of the library. But as the 20th century progressed, more and more buildings along Maple were replaced by parking lots, including the library’s, which was paved from building to sidewalks’ edges.
North of the site, Veterans Parkway, recently built along a historic rail corridor, provides a civilized vehicular approach to the city that avoids the pitfalls of earlier arterials and urban freeways. This moderate-speed parkway includes naturalized areas and a multi-use trail along its south side, though a rail line and some utilitarian industrial buildings remain to the north. Maple Avenue provides the first of three vehicular entrances to the downtown.
As much as possible within its scope, the project reconnects Central Avenue and the Pleasant Hill neighborhood in a more pedestrian friendly manner, while creating a civic landmark at the entrance from Veterans Parkway. The new library anchors the northwest corner of the site with a dramatic corner and rhythmically composed facades behind lawns along the streets. The existing building anchors the southeast corner adjacent to the neighborhood. The still-necessary parking lots that occupy the opposing corners are tamed for pedestrians by landscape along the sidewalks, while generous new garden zones flanking the buildings provide attractive walks to the mid-block lobby that links and mediates in scale and elevation between old and new.
The existing mid-century library building has some attractive features. Originally, two too-low support zones flanked a vaulted clear-span reading room with generous clerestories at the north and a delightful grouping of angled stone walls and windows at the south. However, from the beginning some support zones and meeting spaces were in a windowless basement. Later, the footprint was doubled; the section was extruded further, the nearly windowless low zone wrapped around the north end, and the north clerestory necessarily shortened. As a result, the original south end arguably provided the only truly inviting space in the old library.
The new building takes elements from the vocabulary of the existing, but transforms them to create better scale, a more civic presence, and many more attractive, daylit spaces. The new building’s two stories give it a scale in keeping with the traditional downtown and provide windows on all sides. The “lower” support zone is increased in height on both floors, and moved to the north and west facades. This allows a gable-roofed volume, rotated 90 degrees, to be opened to the south through a series of tall windows. At the northwest corner, angled stone walls and glazing under an upswept roof create a new quiet reading area inspired by the original, but with a greater variety of seating options. A new children’s program room below this space also benefits from the configuration.
Other details support the creation of varied attractive spaces. The west wing extends south of the central gabled volume, creating a zone with windows on three sides in a children’s play area on the ground floor and in the local history room above. Clerestory windows grace the north and west wings on the upper story. Seating areas along the south wall enjoy a view back to the old city hall.
Photos: C&N photography, Inc.
Architect: Excel Engineering, Inc.
Owner: Shoe Factor Lofts-Milwaukee, LLC
Contractor: Northcentral Construction, Corp
Shoe Factory Lofts is an adaptive re-use of an existing historic building built in two phases, the first in 1910 and the second in 1919. The 5-story building is an excellent example of manufacturing and light industrial operations with each portion of the structure being representative of the construction technology available at the time.
The owner’s vision was that of an entirely restored building with original items such as hardwood flooring and fire doors being salvaged and re-installed later in the process.
The building was partially vacant at the time of purchase and the directive was to restore each of the two sections of the building to their original character. The architect, working with the State Historic Preservation Office, worked through the details of removing paint from all of the interior brick surfaces. Paint also was removed from all of the ceilings, beams and columns. In order to leave the ceilings exposed, the architect balanced aesthetic desires, sound control strategies and code required fire ratings to arrive at a final solution.
Shoe Factory Lofts is now home to 55 residences in the Walker’s Point district of Milwaukee.
Photos: Steve Ryan Photography
Architect: Korb + Associates Architects
Owner: Cardinal Capital Management, Inc.
Contractor: Professional Construction, Inc.
The Germania Building is an 8-story steel frame structure located at 135 West Wells Street, in Milwaukee, WI. The historic Beaux Arts/Classical revival building is 117,752 square feet and was designed by German-trained architects Schnetzky & Liebert. When it was constructed in 1896, the Germania Building was the largest office building in the City of Milwaukee as well as “the world’s largest German newspaper building.” Many original character defining features still exist including the characteristic copper pickelhaube or “German army helmet” domes, the stone cladding on the lower two floors, pressed brick on the upper floors, and a light court at the center of the building. The building was converted to a multi-tenant office building and remodeled such that the interior features, aside from the entry lobby, were vastly different from the original construction. In July of 1983, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2016, a financing package was approved to renovate the building into a mixed-use building, including 90 apartments. The ground floor includes the lobby as well as office and retail space. The second floor includes building amenities and apartments. The upper six floors consist completely of apartments. The apartments are a 50-50 mix of market rate units and moderately priced units.
The irregularly shaped urban site is one block west of the Milwaukee River near the convergence of two roadways. The result is a building with three primary facades and two secondary facades. The building is bound by established roadways and underground utilities to the north, east, and west, and a surface parking lot to the south. The building has a zero set back at all five property lines. Vehicles and pedestrians circulate on all 5 sides of the building, making site and building elevation design complex and significant.
The architect was hired to retain and restore the remaining original character defining features throughout the building, introduce contemporary building systems without compromising the character of the original design and develop 90 apartments on the irregularly shaped floor plates.
While these goals were conflicting, the team addressed each one in the final design. Exploration was required to retain and restore the original character defining features. Original wood flooring is featured in the community room and replicated at the entry to the units. The remaining tile floors were exposed and then either restored or reconstructed at three of the elevator lobbies. Drawings of the original 5-panel office doors were found, and then replicated as apartment entry doors. The Tennessee marble wainscot located at some of the corridors was retained and refinished. The lobby, with its Tennessee marble on the floors, walls and ceilings was protected during construction and retained as well as the original wall sconces and entry chandelier. The original decorative handrails at both staircases were protected during construction and retained.
The entire building required mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection system upgrades. Since the building historically had a high level of finish, soffits were carefully used throughout the building to conceal these strategically placed systems.
Ninety apartment units were placed on the upper seven floors of the building. The irregularly shaped floor plates created an interesting design challenge. The design team used this to their advantage to create a variety of different one and two bedroom apartments.
As a function of the building’s financing original materials were retained and restored where possible with complimentary colors and finishes carefully added throughout the building. Most importantly, the apartments are all completed to the same level of finish and there is no difference between the market rate units and those reserved for people with more modest incomes.
Architect: Mead & Hunt
Owner: City of Manhattan, Kansas
Contractor: The Weitz Company
The new, 42,000 square-foot passenger terminal at the Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) for the City of Manhattan, Kansas. Design services included: architecture, engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, fire protection, plumbing, and special systems) and construction administration. This major terminal expansion was needed to accommodate updated TSA requirements, as well as support growth in both large charter and commercial air service. Current space needs were addressed by relocating airport administrative offices away from the passenger terminal building; expanding the building footprint to the east and west; and adding a new partial mezzanine for HVAC equipment.
The terminal was designed to be constructed in two phases, allowing the airport to operate during construction. Phase 1, which comprised the new east addition, included airline ticketing, queuing, baggage make-up, the lobby, the TSA screening and support area, partial hold room functions, toilet rooms and major mechanical and electrical rooms. Phase II, which comprised the western addition, included the meet-and-greet lounge, the inbound baggage area, the baggage claim and the car rental facilities. The two phases together completed the overall design. Extensive technology systems were also added, including a whole new security system—comprised of access control, intrusion detection, and video surveillance, telecommunications, public address, FID, cable television, audiovisual equipment, a clock, and a fire alarm.
MHK is located approximately six and a half miles southwest of Manhattan, Kansas, away from urban congestion and easily accessible from KS-18. While our firm developed conceptual plans for the airport, the final sitework and parking configuration remained outside of the scope of the terminal project. Due to the complexity of the phasing work, however, temporary roadways were set up and access was provided to all necessary functions during construction.
When designing a regional airport, it is a priority to remember three important concepts. First, that the airport is a gateway to and from a community. Second, that the airport itself is a symbolic embodiment of flight and should therefore feel somewhat ethereal in nature. And third, that the region, local community and landscape should be considered during design, so that the building becomes site specific.
MHK is in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, a large region of eastern Kansas and north central Oklahoma that contains the largest intact tallgrass prairie in North America. Close to two-thirds of Kansas is covered in rolling hills. It was this imagery of the rolling hill, tall grass imagery which was the inspiration for the building’s design.
The use of local material is also significant. The Flint Hills are composed primarily of limestone, much of which contain bands of “chert”, also called flint. This local limestone, which is dominant in all the area’s buildings, is used in both the terminal’s exterior and interior construction. Wood canopies and accent walls are also used throughout the terminal, to assist with wayfinding and to provide a visual and textural warmth.
Photos: emb photography
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: Somerville Architects & Engineers
Owner: Bellin Health System, Inc.
Contractor: Miron Construction Co., Inc.
“Team” is the theme of this state-of-the-art treatment and rehabilitation center, not only in how it is used but in how it was designed for use.
Through team-based care, a preeminent sports medicine and orthopedic care team works in partnership with patients on goals related to sports medicine and orthopedics, physical therapy, and athletic performance. biologics, ultrasound work, X-rays, MRI’s, fluoroscopy -- even urgent care open to all walk-ins, young and old – take place here in a building created through an integrated design process.
With an emphasis on “team” as the end goal, the design team tasked their own specialized team of architects, engineers and interior designers to suit-up, craft a vision, and make that vision a reality.
Balancing progressive and timeless, the architect designed a world-class 50,000-square-foot facility that is in keeping with the unique neighborhood while standing out in its own right. The building reflects the neighborhood around it. The west and south sides are smaller in scale, respectful to the neighboring houses. The east plays off the grandiosity of the stadium, the north integrates with the district’s primary play area.
Exterior features mirror the industrial roots of the city with a contemporary flair from the immediate, emergent district. Traditional materials are presented in nontraditional forms; rust colored utility brick and precast concrete merge with planes of interlocking zinc panels and an expansive skin of curtain wall. Green painted steel columns and beams assert their purpose, and collectively, the material palette reinforces the stadium aesthetic.
The exterior materials bleed into the indoor public spaces, where modern industrial meets the familiar calming and clean aesthetic of healthcare design. However, the resulting feeling here is different; the architecture speaks of energy and kinetics, with inspiring messages and images of local athletes lining the walls alongside sports paraphernalia.
The design team brought the outdoor sports indoors for performance enhancement and training, but it hardly feels “indoors” through the expanse of east facing curtain wall. Spaces are generously washed with natural daylighting, controlled by the building orientation, roof overhangs and vertical resin sunshades. The view from the facility is unrivaled; athletes get an impressive look at the stadium across the way – a motivator for their own self-improvement.
An eco-friendly turf football field, basketball court, sprinting track, pitching lane, cycling simulator and running lab are among the environments for athletes. High speed cameras and pressure sensitive force plates allow athletes and experts to breakdown and analyze every move, from every angle. The jumping, ball dribbling and weight dropping occurs overhead of the clinic space, although those below are entirely unaware thanks to the elaborate ceiling and floor system between. Through a combination of suspended drywall on spring isolators and a 12” thick layered floating floor slab, sound isolation and abatement is achieved for total noise control.
The design, layout and amenities give visitors the sense they’re in the same healing environment as the professional players – right there alongside the VIP’s. And in reality, they are. The facility serves the pro football team’s top athletes, high school prep stars, amateur runners, cyclers and ballers – anyone who needs to get back on their feet.
Photos: Ryan Photography
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Contractor: Moore Construction Services
One of the first companies to move to the Menomonee Valley, to make room for the Bradley Center 30 years ago, 97-year-old Standard Electric Supply Co. was ready to expand and upgrade their warehouse/office environment, and reaffirm their commitment to the community.
Their vision was to transform their dated offices into a contemporary, interconnected, active environment that improves the way they work, connect and collaborate with each another. This was accomplished by creating zones that are interconnected in varying degrees. Dramatic improvements included natural daylight, strengthening the connection to the Menomonee River, and development of collaborative work spaces, conference areas, huddle rooms and training offices.
This public-private partnership was benefited, by working with the city, on land expansion, contaminated soil remediation and the incorporation of bio-swales to improve water runoff quality.
Numerous offices were pulled away from exterior windows so natural light could spill into the interior. The overall color palette consisted of natural tones and materials to reinforce the refined design.
Key architectural ideas included:
–Continuous exterior glass
– Interior glass-partitioned walls and transoms
– Glass walls private offices
–Polished concrete floors accented with area rugs in lobby
–Glass wall conference rooms
–Open work space environments with access to large exterior windows
–Private rooms for small meetings and teleconferences
– Ten department areas
– Breakout collaboration areas
– Light-filled lobby to welcome guests
– Large training room for group discussions
– Employee lunch area and activity center
– Room for growth in all the departments
– Extra land for future warehouse expansion
Photos: Jim Moy Photography
Architect: Korb + Associates Architects
Owner: Achieving Education Excellence, Inc.
Contractor: VJS Construction Services, Inc.
The client, a nonprofit foundation, acquired approximately 12 acres of blighted brownfield over the course of 2014-2016. The intent behind this assemblage was to construct a new K4-12 school. The brief included both traditional classrooms and technology-based flex environments. Specialty labs, including Science, STEM, and art were also called for. Additional program elements included a robust athletic facility, including a three station gymnasium, WIAA standard track and field, and a twenty five yard by twenty five meter natatorium.
The site is bound by an interstate highway on the east and city streets on the north and west. The southern edge of the site plunges fifty feet into a river valley, creating significant topographical challenges. The site was heavily contaminated and full remediation was required. Intermittent city streets, now vacated, dead-ended into the river bluff, creating a haven for illicit activity. The site was described by the local police department as one of the most dangerous in the city.
The building comprises 192,000 square feet of new construction. It is a steel frame and precast concrete superstructure with a cladding comprised of masonry, metal panel, and curtainwall.
The challenge set forth to the design team was to convey the faith-based nature of the institution while embracing a modern aesthetic. To achieve this goal, the architects included crosses incorporated into the three main building facades. The crosses serve as sunshades by day and are illuminated beacons by night. Additionally, the school’s four “pillars” (athletics, academics, family, and faith) are translated into architectural elements as four pillars of light (visible at night) on the north side of the building, along with corresponding supergraphics in the main commons. Interior features include a skylit monumental stair which rests in the center of a twenty four foot wide “main street” connecting the main entrance and the double height building commons. The commons was specifically designed as a universal gathering space which could host not just students, but families and community members for church services, lectures, and athletic or public events.
St. Augustine Preparatory Academy is a highly sustainable facility. The campus manages all of its stormwater, reducing stress on city infrastructure. All classrooms receive extensive daylight and fresh air through oversize, operable windows. Low-emitting paints and recycled finishes are incorporated throughout. The fourth floor includes a greenhouse lab to educate what are primarily inner city students the art and science of farming.
Architect: Quorum Architects, Inc.
Owner: Wgemas Leasing, LLC
Contractor: Greenfire Management Services, LLC
Now returned as tribal land, The Forest County Potawatomi are utilizing historic German American buildings to serve as the Milwaukee home for the Nation, proceeding to make a Germanic Lutheran college, library, chapel and classrooms into the Milwaukee headquarters of this Native American Tribe. Both buildings were simultaneously restored and updated to current design standards, while still respecting the rich architectural history. This project combined the challenges of restoration, with providing a new identity for FCP in Milwaukee, and making sustainable design decisions that would support LEED certification, and thereby improve the built environment for generations to come.
The two buildings, formerly Albrecht Hall and the Library, were originally built approximately eight feet apart, but the floor elevations did not align. The design solution was to connect these buildings with a modern glass entry vestibule with a multi-stop elevator, which allows for access between buildings. The new entry connector adds a new look consistent with the FCP branding and vocabulary for “new” construction. The buildings were combined to become the Wgetthta [O-get-chee-daw] “Warrior” Building. Through research into the history of the existing buildings and an understanding of the culture of the Forest County Potawatomi, the buildings were thoughtfully adapted to meet the specific needs of the Tribe’s daily business and ceremonial activities.
Extensive exterior renovations were done to stabilize and revitalize the buildings. The existing windows where beyond repair and replaced with new clad wood windows that match existing historic profiles and daylight openings. Original arched windows had been infilled with brick and replacement aluminum windows. The brick infill was removed and new arched windows were installed matching original photographs. Existing decorative cast iron columns between the windows were exposed and restored after removal of aluminum break metal enclosures. All masonry was repointed and cleaned. The masonry parapet on the Library was completely replaced down to the first limestone belt course. All flat roofs were replaced and two new green roofs were created over the entry vestibules. The green roofs can be seen from the interior lobby balconies at multiple floors. All existing interior flat and decorative plaster in poor condition was repaired and restored. New plaster cast moldings were fabricated from the existing plaster details, for areas beyond repair.
Interior design was inspired by cultural heirlooms, elements found in nature, and existing architectural features of the building. One space that exemplifies this is the former Chapel, which was transformed to become the Community Gathering Hall. The existing stained-glass windows were repaired and restored, and the location of the deteriorated pipe organ was adapted to provide assembly room storage space. The pendant lighting was updated; both to be more energy efficient and continue the geometrical “x” motif of the original woodwork and glazing detail. The design team saw the opportunity to find synergies between the building historical detailing and FCP cultural identity to transform the space.
Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania
Architect: Architectural Design Consultants, Inc.
Owner: Kalahari Resorts, LLC
Contractor: Kraemer Brothers, LLC
Located on the campus of a waterpark hotel and convention resort, the structure is at the hub of the eight-story hotel tower and convention center. The Double Cut Charcoal Grill is a contemporary high-end steakhouse and liquor bar with a modern sophisticated vibe on the first floor .
The restaurant houses a variety of wines from around the world with private tasting room, and offers multiple private dining experiences to appeal to all guests.
As visitors enter the site of the massive adjoining building, this attractive building portrays itself as something to be discovered. Bold exterior signage hits at an old Chicago cityscape, acting as an attractant for visiting guests to the resort. The cityscape feel continues with the accompanying backdrop of old style red brick. The introduction of black brick and stone grounds the structure while a continuous band of streamline metal panels and accents of metal shingles bring continuity and a contemporary flare to the overall façade. A highly landscaped outdoor patio was used to screen the adjoining parking lot, offer pleasant views from inside dining areas and provide a place for people to lounge in an outdoor setting.
Once inside, the materials stay true to the modern contemporary vibe by bringing in the black and red accent colors of the exterior. Upon entering, guest are initially brought into the bar area that allows them to choose from a variety of experiences – bar seating, high top tables, booths and the lounge – all of which are open to experience the sleek linear, open-flame fireplace that brings warmth and relaxation to the space. The back bar is pure display of the high-end liquor. The lounge backdrop is a rhythm of chiseled stone columns with a vast expanse of large windows that look into the wine cellar and one of several private dining rooms, yet visual perception is obscured by the floor-to-ceiling mounted metal wine racks.
The corridor connecting the entry bar / lounge to the dining areas transforms into a stone-covered arched ceiling, creating the cellar experience. Steel and glass arched decorative doors lead into separate dining experiences and the tasting room.
The group dining area and secondary group private dining area which are separated by a large see-through fireplace. Flanking each side are large, glass double doors that permit the spaces to open up to one another. Rustic wood floors are softened by the undulating acoustical ceiling panels that add to the interest of the space.
Photos: JakeRost Photography
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Architect: Credo Design Architects, LLC
Owner: Lifeshape Foundation
Contractor: Choate Construction
This new campus of higher education serves a rigorous, nine month, faith-based experience for 18-20 year olds. The gap-year experience is intended to bridge the secondary-postsecondary transition by helping students identify their calling. Learning focused on Christ-centered servant leadership, rigorous examination of Christian intellectual tradition, and defense of beliefs while putting faith into action to create change in the world. Sited in the small town of Pine Mountain, Georgia, the 66-acre campus is surrounded by the natural beauty of the F.D. Roosevelt State Park, providing students with access to numerous recreational activities. A stream bisects the main portion of the property while wetlands and dense pines and hardwoods typical to the region help create place-based identity.
The campus consists of a learning center, residence hall, and operations facility. The core academic building, the Learning Center, is the heart of the experience on campus and functionally provides space for welcoming guests and prospective students, learning, gathering, dining, recreating, and socializing. Its three major zones intentionally reflect three critical student goals: Know, Be, Live. The “Know” reflects the desire to combine engagement and learning and includes a 120-seat active learning classroom incorporating natural light, writable walls and the flexibility to become an event space seating up to 400. Thirty-foot high ceilings sloping to the south create a transition into (4) 24-seat break out rooms that allow the students to collaborate in smaller groups. The “Be” focuses on student transformation beyond the classroom and is reflected in a design element called “the ribbon of learning.” This is an artery of informal and formal gathering spaces, quiet and active learning commons, a wall of resources and activities, a café, and group study rooms. The quiet and active learning commons each flank the classrooms, and each containing a large 8’ x 4’ fireplace and access to a full porch along the north side of the facility. The porch, also accessible from the classroom, provides seating options and, as a symbol of southern hospitality, contributes to sense of place. The “Live” portion of the Learning Center is the area of influence and cultivation of a servant’s heart. This area contains the welcome center, the dining area with a full servery and kitchen, and the administration/faculty-student engagement areas.
Critical architectural elements include an entry canopy with the heavy timber wood trusses guiding guests to the main entry. On axis with the entry, is the view of the open courtyard, the organizing anchor of the building.The glass “ribbon of learning,” with its wood beams radiate toward the north, offering views of the student living-learning (residence) hall and the natural environment beyond. The three zones of the building are anchored by a central courtyard, which allows individuals or groups to step outside and reflect, converse, or read and share scripture while looking up to the open sky. This glassed-in courtyard both allows natural light and views to every space in the building.
The design goal included balancing a soaring and inviting sense of learning with an intimate and natural scale. High bays, overhangs, expansive glass, and colonnades provide inspiration. At the same time, to ensure that the building doesn’t overpower the landscape, use of natural materials and setting the building within the grades help situate it within the wooded environment – at no time does one capture a full elevational view of the building.
Photos: Drone Photography and Impact 360 Marketing Photography
Lake Delton, Wisconsin
Architect: Architectural Design Consultants, Inc.
Owner: Bank of Wisconsin Dells
Contractor: Holtz Builders, Inc.
The nearly 50 year old facility required additional customer service and employee work space as well as an updated envelope with increased energy efficiency and completely modernized mechanical and electrical/data systems. Bank services would have to be uninterrupted and the facility had to fit into the existing fabric of the neighborhood and the larger community.
The design solution was derived from an evaluation of the need to create a brand that was at once familiar and new. The solution includes a low slope, roof with wide overhangs and a colonnade of local natural stone. A taller entry space draws customers into a warm, sunlit lobby. Interior finishes are a blend of tile, stone and wood materials with full height glazed partitions enclosing offices and conference spaces. The design carefully balances transparency to connect the lobby to the streetscape and the offices to the lobby within the interior. The design represents an open and transparent customer experience model.
Challenges included an aging structure with an outmoded layout, masonry walls without insulation and utilities that had been updated in a piecemeal fashion. The expansion was accomplished through a lateral building addition that increased square footage by 40% and efficiency was vastly improved by an outboard continuous layer of rigid insulation. Workflow adjacencies were simplified and improved while the service area was completely renovated with current technology.
The client goal to express their brand through the architecture led to a blend of “Northwoods,” Craftsman and Prairie styles, which are each represented in the local confluence of topography. Regional materials are represented in the interior and exterior design and colors were derived from the surroundings.
A unique highlight includes a large, detailed, laser cut tile artwork that forms the natural and sinuous silhouette of Lake Delton. This namesake geographic feature for the community, initially appearing as abstraction, becomes a point of reference for customer homes and businesses.
The complete transformation of the 42-year-old bank into a modern, welcoming financial facility was accomplished without interruption to the bank’s service hours – a commitment fulfilled through careful project phasing and construction coordination.
Photos: Jake Rost Photography and Tara Draper Photography
Architect: GROTH Design Group
Owner: Luther Group, LLC
Contractor: Beeler Construction
This project features a 9,000 square foot building that stood vacant for five years and renovated it into a new, multi-tenant building with a major façade update, small addition, new front patio, and a reconfigured site. The renovated building contains space for five new commercial tenants, three on the upper level and two on the lower level.
Part of the design directive was to create a more welcoming street presence with an updated look. A major design change was to take an unused drive at the front of the building and renovate it into a large patio with new landscaping, new lighting, and plenty of pedestrian access. The front façade was renovated to open-up large windows, removing dated stone and replacing it with brick to give the building a consistent and updated look. A tower element was added to give the building a signature signage opportunity.
Site circulation was purposefully redesigned to bring traffic around the building to activate all facades and guide visitors to the rear where two tenants have their storefronts.
Photos: Josh P. Groth
De Pere, Wisconsin
Architect: Performa, Inc.
Owner: Gary D Parker Photography
Contractor: Miron Construction Company, Inc.
Following a campus master plan that harnesses the future, the campus sports center underwent a major renovation and addition. The gymnasium is all that remains from the original $3.5 million 1978 construction and is included in the new 126,000 square foot facility that houses a new pool, fitness center, health and wellness center, performance center, locker rooms, athletic offices, classrooms, and lobby. The new building wraps around the existing gym to provide a more cohesive face toward the downtown edge of campus and takes advantage of its location facing the Fox River on the western edge of campus.
Anchoring the new center is a competition-grade swimming pool and diving area, overlooking the Fox River on the southeast corner of the expanded building. The pool is the first in the history of the college. Another significant feature of the facility is an expansive fitness center that overlooks the pool, with beautiful views of the Fox River, as well as East De Pere beyond. All of the college's health and wellness related activities, including counseling services, are incorporated in the new center. This keeps the philosophy that it is a resource for the entire campus and not just an athletics site. The expanded offices for athletics staff are housed on a new second floor.
There is a total of 1,198 lockers for athletes, coaches, visiting teams, officials, and students utilizing the pool and fitness center. Three classrooms are in the center, two 1st-floor classrooms, and one 2nd-floor classroom. The coach office suite is 4,500 square feet and includes 14 private offices, a shared office suite, three conference rooms and a break area. Health & Wellness is 8,700 square feet and includes two separate lobbies, ten private offices, six exam rooms, two treatment rooms, two relaxation rooms, two private restrooms, two conference rooms, lab, break room and resource area.
The facility has two workout spaces. The 1st-floor weight room is 2,900 square feet with views out to the north and east. Three large 10'x10' windows provide views inside the area from the corridor along the interior south wall. The 2nd-floor fitness center is 9,700 square feet and has exterior windows to the north and east providing views of campus as well as southern views overlooking the pool towards the Fox River.
The existing facility was 55,500 square feet and only one-story with the exception of the press box overlooking the gymnasium. Demolition of 17,400 square feet on the east end made space for the new pool, fitness center and a 10,000 SF partial basement to provide mechanical space below grade. The north façade is all that remains of the original exterior. The addition to the east, south, and west are two-story spaces.
Photos: Gary D Parker Photography
Architect: Marble Fairbanks Architects
Owner: Lawrence University
Contractor: Boldt Construction
This project is a 25,000sf renovation of two floors in Colman Hall, a 1950’s residential building originally designed by Frank C. Shattuck Associates on the Lawrence University campus. The design repurposes original dining and kitchen spaces for shared group lofts, introducing a new model for residential living to Lawrence University.
Four new lofts each offer a small group housing residential option for student organizations and groups with shared interests. Looking to maximize housing on campus, the University asked for innovative solutions to these underutilized spaces. Group living opportunities are primarily located in houses close to campus, so this model presented an opportunity to fold group options into an existing residential building with traditional dorm rooms and shared social spaces. The lofts, while operating independently, are also more directly connected to the social structure of the campus. Colman Hall overlooks historic paper manufacturing buildings along the Fox River, some of which have been turned into housing, and which served as a precedent for introducing the loft typology. The industrial character of manufacturing lofts (unusually deep floor plates) and structural idiosyncrasies of the existing building are incorporated into the design.
In addition to the living lofts, the project includes a range of amenities shared with the existing residence hall including a media den, a shared kitchen for communal cooking, built-in lounge seating, study zones, a living room, and a courtyard lounge. The existing courtyard offered unique opportunities for the design. Program spaces include re-envisioning the existing corridor, adjacent to the courtyard and facing a wooded slope, as a critical part of the social space in the building. The project provides new lounge seating along the path to encourage informal occupation of that busy hallway. A new stair along that corridor, connecting campus level to the lower level is a significant design element, as well as a new skylight and double-height opening bringing light to the middle of that floor.
The design approach strategically opens up the original building to physically connect interior spaces to each other and also connect it to the surrounding campus. The windows at either side of the building entry, originally clerestory openings, were significantly enlarged and the walls of the entry and lounges were removed in order to form continuous visual connections between inside and outside. Within the building, we exposed existing concrete columns and ceilings and added materials to juxtapose the raw structure with an updated palette of materials, including new terrazzo flooring, wood flooring, and a rebuilt brick fireplace with integrated seating. Furniture includes custom communal dining tables made from reclaimed wood from campus buildings and blackened steel for the shared dining room and all the lofts. The choice to first find more housing opportunities within existing buildings, along with specific material choices throughout the project, reflect Lawrence University’s overarching commitment to sustainable solutions on campus.
Work includes replacing all HVAC systems, new plumbing, fire protection updates, electrical replacement as needed, new exterior windows with façade patching, and furniture and finish selections. During construction, we uncovered significant structural damage, due to settlement on the steep slope over the years, which required micro piles to restabilize the foundations. This project innovatively updates an existing building, repurposes underutilized spaces for unique new active living spaces on campus, and demonstrates Lawrence University’s commitment to working sustainably on their campus.
Photos: ArchPhoto, Inc.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Schreiber Foods, Inc.
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
The client is an employee-owned dairy processing company with over 7,000 global employees – an understated local company with global reach. Their business to business customers include major restaurant chains, independent restaurants and retail brands. The clients desired a building that would immerse this range of customers in a newly developing innovation and research platform while supporting the company’s rapid growth.
The 250,000 square foot space program includes customer co-creation labs, test kitchens, research labs, a pilot manufacturing plant, corporate offices and amenities for 900 employees. The project consolidates seven physical locations, and is intended to encourage collaboration and foster team driven customer solutions.The project creates a new south-facing urban square, an addition to a network squares master planned by 19th century planner James Doty. The new urban space is an invitation to the public for passive and active engagement and serves as an entry sequence for visitors, as well as the building’s foreground. The space routes pedestrians from east to west toward the river and its newly developing riverwalk. The street edge building terminates at the north in a triangular glass tower. At the scale of speeding cars on the State highway, the tower’s glowing lantern dynamically displays the bold colors of the client’s brand.
The building’s narrow shape bends to define edges on both the street and the new square. This bend forms a street corner and also announces the building entry. New streets conforming to the city’s lost grid reinforce the edge of the new square. The transparent and recessed ground floor, upper balconies and building massing contribute to rebuilding the city using timeless urban principles. A tall single-story volume containing the pilot plant & central utility plant connects the primary building to the mall’s former parking structure.
Regional limestone clads the exterior. While a reference to historical local buildings, its rainscreen detailing and large scale firmly plant the building in the future. A field of tall ribbon windows is interrupted by carefully placed, large openings that address urban conditions at the corners.
At the corner where the building bends, the plan divides into north and east wings creating small workgroup neighborhoods. This corner is anchored by two solid elements: a limestone elevator core and an amenities suite clad in sapele wood. Stone and wood are balanced by a central open stair, light in both mass and color. These elements, the center of collaborative work and social interactions, rise through the building. Washed in light, they are identifiable and visible from the street below. In the building wings, work spaces benefit from an atypically narrow building width. A 90’ building width was achieved by re-using the former mall’s foundations for 60% of the building. This narrow width coupled with internal offices and low workstations panels ensure daylight for all. The project achieved LEED Gold, version 2009.
The client’s wish to pronounce its innovation and research prowess informed the placement of these spaces on active edges in the building. On the ground floor customer co-creation spaces and research kitchens front the primary building circulation. These lively idea incubators open to the common circulation artery and the urban square beyond. Innovation labs overlook the cafeteria from the second floor and benefit from direct north daylight.
Photos: Darris Lee Harris Photography
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Architect: Rinka Chung Architecture
Owner: Barrett/Lo Visionary Development
Contractor: Altius Building Company
With the rare opportunity to plan a vast area to propel the city beyond its historically suburban and industrial reputation, the main objective was to create an urban style experience that promotes density, walkability, and outdoor interaction. Close proximity to downtown Milwaukee, the freeway and other developments in southern Wisconsin counties give a new generation of residents a different option to lead an urban lifestyle with the benefits of a suburban community. The design includes first floor walk-up apartments (giving the appearance of urban townhomes lining the perimeter), abundant shared amenity indoor and outdoor spaces, and an on-site retail coffee shop and café.
In addition, the apartments were designed to capture the look and feel of a resort or a high-end hotel—a daily experience of escape and luxury when arriving home from a busy lifestyle. The entry court drop-off has the arrival feeling of a boutique hotel, and the lobby is designed to evoke a hospitality-like experience. Visibility from the front entry through the glassy lobby to the pool connects the 4-wings of the apartments through a central shared activity space.
The building’s design is intended to be of simple sophistication. White planes fold out from the façade to form large outdoor balcony spaces with directed views to the wetlands or the town square. Wood accents line the balconies to create rich personal outdoor spaces. The large-scale mass is articulated by roof variation at signature spaces, differentiation between the ground floor to upper floor facades, and smaller scale public-use structures at key corners facing the town square.
Photos: Richard Ebbers Photography and MKE Drones, LLC
Architect: Foundation Architects
Contractor: Titan Building Company
HellermannTyton’s North American headquarters is inspired by creating space that reinforces the employees’ ability to communicate, collaborate and strive toward continuous excellence for their customers. This interior alteration project transforms an existing one story office area constructed in 1977 into a world class collaborative space.
The program is organized as a string of collaborative spaces that mediates between managers and associates along secondary walkways. Glass enclosed conference rooms punctuate the walkways along the primary circulation route that connects departmental areas within the facility around a customer experience path.
The design is heavily influenced by incorporating employee engaging devices such as a variety of work spaces from informal collaboration zones; to traditional workstations; to specialized task areas. Cubicle partitions are lowered to a height that maintains privacy and fosters collaboration with neighboring associates and allows for views to the exterior from the entire open office. Workstations include custom job-specific storage, including a height adjustable main worksurface for a more efficient and ergonomic workstation for employee comfort.
The interior design is infused with artwork and branding that reinforce the company values and pride in their work. Company values such as Excellence, Innovation, Engage, and Develop are expressed as oversize graphics on the glass conference room walls which serves to also name the rooms. Company taglines further infuse the conference rooms with crisp and modern die cut aluminum letters on back painted glass trimmed in aluminum and surrounded by richly stained wood interior cladding feature walls.
Collaboration areas are home to casual seating including high-backed sofas and chairs as well as bar-height tables and video monitors. They serve as an alternative work space and provide a place for informal meetings and discussion. Carpets from each zone stitch the work areas together along an irregular path acknowledging the free flowing environment required for creative work. The structured bold blue folded planes define the collaboration zone area from above. Company patent drawings are brought out of the books and into the light to create a mediating visual screen between the collaboration zones and the work areas. The white resin printed glass panels provide a varying degree of privacy, which when visually focused upon provide inspiration and a sense of company pride.
The new office layout supports a more efficient organizational path and workflow. The mix of collaborative, focused and task specific work environments are unified by the palette, including the bold corporate colors red and blue, company inspired art and branding. Access to daylight and views outside, staff interconnectivity and future growth were intentionally designed into the renovation. The result is a contemporary, unified and efficient office that exemplifies HellermannTyton.
Photos: John J. Korom Photography
Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: State of Wisconsin
Contractor: CG Schmidt, Inc.
The dynamic imagery of the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex (IRC) is an assemblage of components, a metaphor for the research and innovation happening within. As the first new science building to be completed on campus in 20 years, the Kenwood IRC occupies a prominent location on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, making a progressive architectural statement that celebrates the importance of participation in the sciences. With a goal of continued advancement of research, education, collaboration, and outreach, this structure anchors a new science quad and sets the stage for a site that is connected, interactive, and interdisciplinary.
Located in a dense urban campus setting, the Kenwood IRC is uniquely sited along a major east-west pedestrian thoroughfare, presenting a significant design opportunity to engage and interact with the campus community. Given the cold climate that persists through much of the academic year, a two-story ground level lobby generously accommodates an interior route while an outdoor loggia along the southern façade provides a covered walking path during warmer months. The lobby has emerged as a place where students stop and study between classes; the building’s public areas are always active and vibrant.
The five-story, state-of-the-art facility is a machine for investigation into numerous scientific disciplines ranging from physics to biology to chemistry. These cross-disciplinary research endeavors are supported by flexible laboratory designs and abundant collaboration space. The facility’s design has achieved LEED-NC Gold certification with a wide range of strategies benefitting the environment, users of the building, and the region as a whole.
Photos: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessings Photography
Architect: Mead & Hunt
Contractor: Joe Daniels Construction Co., Inc.
The Madison Water Utility Paterson Street Operations Center has been a part of the Marquette neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin for more than 85 years and is part of the City’s major service to ensure the public has access to safe, clean water. The existing 1920's-era brick masonry building was undersized, inefficient and in poor condition. Maintaining large vehicle’s (dump trucks, backhoes, box trucks, etc.) was problematic due to being limited in height and space. The workshop space was inadequate; administrative functions were split apart; and having multiple levels in the building created additional stress and fatigue on their employees. The deficient space caused operational inefficiencies, deployment challenges and created work safety hazards. Safety, urban renewal and sustainability were key goals for the renovation of the Madison Water Utility Paterson Operations Center project.
The design solution offered a functional and aesthetic integration of the industrial activities of the Water Utility into an evolving, eclectic neighborhood, with inspiration drawn from the surrounding context: mixing industrial turn of the century brick buildings with modern metal panels and glazing. The program spaces are broken into smaller volumes and are tied together through the use of banding materials of concrete panels, metal panels, glazing and bookended with brick volumes. Large, repetitive punched openings create visual interest from the street and provide daylighting to the interior. Brick pilasters and a protruding canopy enhance the main entry to draw-in visitors as a public building.
The details of the building were designed to engage and enhance the neighborhood experience. The large windows allow pedestrians to view work in the office and workshop areas, creating a connection of people and activity. The street-facing, grand stairway showcases the Water Utility’s history and work through artifacts and water-main components adorning the existing, exterior masonry feature wall that penetrates the interior of the building. Water Utility artifacts were also incorporated into low curving landscape walls to break down the scale of the site at the sidewalk.
Several enhanced, sustainable measures were provided in this project, such as high-efficiency mechanical and plumbing systems, LED lighting, natural daylighting, and high-reflectance white roof. An extensive storm water management system was provided to reduce water overload in the area, through the use of a unique tank system under the parking lot. A vegetated roof also reduces storm water and provides a nicer amenity to the towering apartment complexes nearby. Finally, all-season hydration stations are provided for local pedestrians; bike racks are provided for neighborhood use; and additional landscaping and plantings soften the urban site.
This facility is a model for urban renewal and how industrial working environments can enhance a neighborhood. Its openness and vibrancy has provided a new relationship with the area, as a good-steward of the neighborhood, environment, and public service. The efforts toward sustainability, longevity, and durability for this masonry facility, contribute to a greener community while continuing the City of Madison and the Water Utility’s endeavor to be fiscally responsible.
Photos: John J. Korom Photography
Dane County Day Resource Center
Architect: Dorschner|Associates, Inc.
Owner: Dane County
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
The Beacon provides comprehensive access to resources for individuals experiencing homelessness in a purpose‐built welcoming environment.
Dane County worked with project partners for years to find a suitable location for a Day Resource Center based on desired criteria including close proximity to downtown Madison, transportation options, other resources for individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and employment opportunities. Dane County purchased and renovated the former Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce building with services actively managed by the operator, Catholic Charities. The project’s funding partners ‐ The County, City of Madison, United Way of Dane County and Catholic Charities are committed to contributing to the annual operating budget.
The project incorporated significant public input and trauma informed building design principles to support patrons, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers.
The existing building configuration along east Washington Avenue is bound at zero lot line on three sides. An asphalt parking lot accessed from east Main Street was enclosed creating a thoughtful courtyard to provide outdoor program space and an accessible pedestrian and vehicular entry sequence. While the footprint of the two story office building was maintained, the removal of suspended acoustic ceiling tile ceilings to expose structure significantly expanded the volume of the space. Existing concrete floors were exposed and burnished. Access to daylight, sensitivity to acoustics and the use of natural materials interwoven with a landscaped entrance sequence contribute to the restorative environment.
The renovation dramatically transformed the building with broad windows, high ceilings and colorful finishes giving an airy, sunlit, modern feel.
Services offered on‐site at the Center cover two overarching areas – basic needs (showers, laundry service, and respite from the elements) and connections to on‐site resources (case management, housing search assistance, employment and training).
Most basic needs services are accommodated on the first floor of the building with an area designated for families including an outdoor family courtyard.
The second floor of the building houses on‐site resource services including a Computer Lab, Flexible Resource Space, Employment and Training Space, Case Management, Coordinated Entry and Housing Navigation. Catholic Charities works with Dane County, the City of Madison, the United Way, and the agencies that offer these services to make them available to patrons on‐site at the Center.
Architect: Zimmerman Architectural Studios
Owner: Madison Area Technical College
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
The Madison College Health Education building consolidates and modernizes facilities for the technical college’s many programs in health-related professions. By using an efficient and cost-effective plan, the architects added a variety of break-out spaces in which students can work and meet outside of scheduled classes. Daylight and views are generously provided. The building’s dignified and richly textured exterior rhythmically interweaves rugged local stone with lighter glass and metal elements. Sustainable strategies include a vegetated roof, a geothermal system, and the diversion of roof water to a landscape utilizing native vegetation.
The free-standing Health Education building expands the campus west across Wright Street. It anchors the key vehicular approaches, and faces south to natural areas, east to the main building, and north to a quadrangle and planned future buildings.
It includes hands-on laboratories, active learning classrooms, computer labs, a “virtual hospital,” clinics and break out spaces.
At the macro scale, a three-story metal and glass volume appears to slide through or behind the stone-clad program blocks. Within those stone blocks, window bands and limestone-trimmed brick panels slide through deep stone columns. Alternating rhythms created by paired columns and varied but related mullion spacing and stone coursing also add subtle richness to the façade.
The building’s environmentally friendly strategies include the inconspicuous—a geothermal system, high-performing glass and very well-insulated roofs and walls—and the more visible: a transit stop, regionally sourced stone; solar shading; a green roof; extensive provision of controlled daylight and view; and, “lambs-tongue” outlets that direct rainwater from the roof to bands of native vegetation.
The overall massing strategy is key, standard construction techniques maximize effect. Smaller stone units used with conventional masonry cavity wall construction provide high performance and greater depth and detail than a flat, large-panel rain screen system on a secondary support system.
The building’s robust and richly textured exterior responds to and enhances its context in an environmentally friendly manner.
Photos: Loren Zemlicka Photography
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: ThedaCare Community Health Network
Contractor: The Boldt Company
This large one-story nursing home uses the traditional local wood-frame house form to break down the scale of the building and create a facility for 40 residents with an intimate residential character. Located on a rural/suburban field on the edge of a small town filled with historic homes, the nursing home includes a memory care wing, a wing for more active residents, a visitors and administration wing, and a dining, kitchen and support services wing. Resident rooms, living and dining spaces and the entry lobby are expressed as white steep-pitch gabled houses with dark roofs and double-hung windows. These “houses” help make the facility look “like home” and are connect by a flat-roofed building containing all services and circulation. White picket fences, which are common in the area, allow residents to spend time outdoors in a controlled environment. A series of carefully configured courtyards can be used by residents and viewed from interior circulation spaces. Major interiors spaces, such as the as dining spaces, living rooms and the entry lobby, have cathedral ceilings up into the gabled roofs, with exposed white-washed wood trusses and decking. An orange clay brick, identical to that found in the old local houses, was used for the fireplaces of the living rooms, recalling the powerful memory of the hearth as a symbol of home.
Jury Comments: “This project is a lovely response to the program for the building and its context in the community. The architect applied a very thoughtful and refined version of the architectural vernacular in the area to a very large project. The refinement carries through to the careful detailing of the simplest things, including the selection of materials and items like the gutters and the size of the windows. The architect focused on the end user and the end users’ needs. ‘Dignity’ is the word that best describes this project.”
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Architect: The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc.
Owner: The Weber Group
Contractor: C.D. Smith Construction
Constructed in 1898 as a four-story brick building to house a candy company, this important downtown historic landmark, after extensive renovation and restoration, is now a 67-room five-story luxury boutique hotel. Facing a city owned park along a scenic stretch of the Mississippi River, the hotel features an open kitchen restaurant with outdoor sidewalk dining, a main lobby bar and a fifth-floor roof deck lounge. Renovating a 117-year-old candy factory and former furniture store to meet modern hotel standards while complying with historic preservation guidelines to for historic tax credits presented significant challenges. The addition of a fifth-floor, with eight rooms, a bar and patio built onto the roof, had to be set back from the edge to preserve the building’s profile from the street. Extraordinary steps were taken to preserve and reimagine historic architectural elements and incorporate the building’s history in the hotel design. A replica of the original rooftop water tower celebrates the warehouse building’s past and provides a prominent new visual landmark. Great care and attention to detail went into breathing new life into an historic building to create a new hotel with an abundance of charm, whimsy and allure.
Jury Comments: “The details and materials connect the hotel to its history. It transforms existing urban industrial fabric into a vibrant place. The project couldn’t be duplicated anywhere else. The additions, like the new entryway and the rooftop terrace and rooms, are handled in a refined, consistent and contemporary manner appropriate to the history of the building. We want to stay at this hotel!”
Photos: The Charmant Hotel
Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Owner & Contractor: Indie Capital
This dense cluster of six small homes signals the revitalization of a demographically diverse neighborhood close to downtown. The new two-story houses are carefully proportioned to echo the massing and scale of the area’s existing housing stock. They reflect the progressive and creative spirit of the neighborhood that is being rediscovered by young professionals, artists and students. Three of the houses are grouped along the street, where they repair the ragged fabric of the block. The other three homes are accessed from the public alley. Designed around a limited construction budget, each house has just over 1,500 square feet of living area, consisting of a light-grey ground-level base and a darker slightly cantilevered volume above. Kitchen, living and dining are consolidated as one open space on the main level, with stairs leading up to the three bedrooms on the second floor. The simple exterior materials include cementitious stucco and fiberboard cladding. On the upper level, the south façade features colorful lacquered vertical louvers that act as sun screen and provide a textured dynamic cadence to this compact urban infill development.
Jury Comments: “While this project features beautiful and striking colors, it is being recognized because of its restraint and composition. The project is very well articulated and executed. There is great use of very mundane exterior materials – stucco and fiberglass. The interior layout is very clean. Even though it is compositionally very different than the neighborhood, the project has a sense of scale and appropriateness so that it looks like it belongs.”
Architect: Galbraith Carnahan Architects
Owner: Convivium Urban Farmstead
Contractor: Al Urbain Construction Management
A successful restoration of an old forgotten structure to its original charm, this project creates a new public space that fosters community, promotes sustainability and revitalizes an economically struggling neighborhood. Completed in phases, the vision was to instill a passion for locally sourced foods and healthy living by creating a fully operational urban farm. Two bays of the historic greenhouse structures were redesigned into a community space. The outdoor courtyard spills into the adjacent sidewalk, extending a warm invitation to everyone in the neighborhood and beyond. Inside, a café offers meals created from on-site harvests and prepared in the modern training kitchen. The accompanying event space features a large concrete fireplace flanked by a wall of windows. The existing structures required complex reinforcement for increased snow loads. The building also had to comply with modern codes without sacrificing the delicate beauty of its steel structure. The exiting trusses were intricately measured and replicated with a larger cross-sectional area to subdivide the existing bays. Structural insulated panels were used to span between the trusses and allow the insertion of new skylights at the building’s peak. Fostering other local urban agricultural initiatives, the greenhouses also contain fish tanks installed by a local startup hydroponics company and fed by the water of the planting beds.
Jury Comment: “This project leverages what it was given as far as the infrastructure into something that is physically welcoming to the community. The owner’s mission is commendable. The architect was very smart in the surgical removals and the additions. Technical issues were successfully resolved to be able to do something that looks like they did nothing. The approach to the daylighting is really well done. It demonstrates how a project of modest means can have a huge impact on a community through place making.”
Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Contractor: Moore Designs Inc.
A small precise architectural intervention, this project illustrates how an historic home can be re-energized to accommodate changing preferences and use patterns. While there was an abundance of space, a disjointed antechamber with winding stairs divided the home in two and caused circulation problems. The removal and gutting of this space in the middle of the home created room for the insertion that spatially redefines the entry, reorganizes the circulation and opens up the interior sightlines. The carefully designed joinery and assembly of the installation is based on a simple kit of milled wood boards, which serve as structural framing, screening fins, risers, treads and trim. The tightly spaced vertical fins pierce through the tree levels, cradling the new stairs, and transition into the ceiling of the new foyer before folding down as a screen wall, which defines the boundaries of the adjacent living spaces. On the upper level, translucent glass provides privacy for the master suite while allowing light to filter into the foyer. As the fins extend into the lower level, they become the framework for a translucent wall.
Jury Comments: “It is like a jewel box inserted into this historic home. There is a beautiful use of simple materials. All the rooms seem to open up to one another, transforming the entire home. The home environment is blended, with the dramatic high contrast tying the spaces together. The idea of surprise in the project is terrific.”
Architects: Flad Architects and Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects
Owner: Indiana University
Contractor: The Hagerman Group
Indiana University is a beautiful campus steeped in a deep wooded setting where majestic buildings of Indiana limestone speak of an enduring legacy through a material of permanence.
The Jacobs School of Music East Studio Building is immediately identifiable as an Indiana University building, incorporating this rich architectural history into the final design.
The inky shadows that fall on this rich stone describe the depth of the institution and become the pallet for artistic expression unique to this place.
As art forms, music and architecture are often compared. Rhythm, proportion, scale, movement, and delight are among the many aspects shared. We experience music through time, as if in listening we move through the music – in many ways it is like our experience of buildings as we move through and around them.
The East Studio Building was designed as a metaphor for the musical experience. A fluid movement of rich textures define our path as we move through the site, continuing into the building in a gently fluid movement. The façade of the building is articulated through the rhythm of the windows and curved stone forms which move our gaze up and around the building, intended to evoke the flow of a musical performance or the movement of a conductor’s baton.
Situated along the south edge of campus, the structure’s corner tower signals entry into the campus and entry into the building. As one of the most comprehensive and acclaimed institutions for the study of music, the East Studio Building plays a key role in educating performers, scholars, and music instructors who influence performance around the globe.
Faculty teaching studios, practice rooms, classrooms, student spaces, and administrative offices are brought together here to extend the school’s rich history into the future.
Photos: Susan Fleck Photography
Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: Northwestern University
Contractor: Walsh Construction
At the intersection of research and education, this large new university research building on the site of a former library is the result of creative architectural design and engineering. While the university needed additional research space, existing buildings occupied some of the best sites for this type of development. Since the best location for the new research building was a popular, but small and outdated, library near residence halls, classroom buildings and other research buildings, the solution was to insert the library into the second floor of the new research facility. The new building envelopes the foundation and superstructure of the old library. The glass north façade of the new building overlooks a new research quad and provides an open space view for the library and lobby. To the east, the fifth floor is terraced looking to Lake Michigan. By embracing the diverse research and library programs in a combined space, the building encourages interaction and has become a vibrant active place for students and faculty.
Jury Comments: “It is a handsome building. The interior is smartly organized, with three very disparate program pieces – public space, the library and engineering labs. Using the space between the old and new structure was a very creative solution. The interior and exterior detailing is consistent and works well together. The restraint shown in the limited palette of materials is appreciated.”
Architect: Potter Lawson Inc.
Owner: Urban Land Interests (ULI)
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
The design of this new apartment building maximizes the use of a tight urban in-fill site to create desirable and affordable housing options for young professionals, families and empty nesters. The four-story building fits the scale of the neighborhood and contains 88 apartments with underground parking. Because of the smaller private living spaces, the amount of shared common space is increased to foster a sense of community. The architecture references a combination of town home and loft building model. The raised entrances for the first-floor units activate the street level and provide a sense of security while instilling a connection with the streetscape. The outdoor greenspace connects to the common space on the first floor. The roof terrace on the second floor gives residents a semi-private place to socialize and entertain. The three-story brick volume is broken into vertical elements that define each residence. Large openings help create bright and airy interiors. The fourth floor and building ends are set back and clad in bronze anodized flat seam panels, adding a unique texture that offers a weathered patina.
Jury Comments: “The site planning and building plan are very efficient. The way the project addresses the street, creates a community pathway along the railroad tracks and connects the ground floor units with the streetscape is all super smart. The use of multiple materials is well done and very restrained. They help to break down the scale while creating a textured and contemporary feel. It all seems well composed.”
Photos: Mike Rebholz
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Milwaukee County
Contractors: Balestrieri Group and Restoric
While modest in scope, this restoration project uses a creative approach and new technology for the preservation of a significant example of modern architecture. Even though consultants felt the tall vertical wall made of single-pane glass glazed into highly customized steel fin frames could not be restored and should be replaced with a contemporary double-glazed curtain wall, the project team recommended a different approach. To overcome the requirement that the new glass be insulating glass, which would double the weight on the delicate cantilevered structure and significantly alter the look of the original fin detail, the solution was to use a new glass technology – Vacuum Insulated Glass. The insulating glass is only slightly thicker than the single-pane glass, allowing it to be glazed into the original custom fin frames with no additional weight to the system. The steel fin frames were restored and repainted in the original color, with the vacuum insulated units installed in the original glazing pockets. In the end, the restoration was completed for less than the budget established for the initially recommended demolition and replacement with a contemporary aluminum curtain wall.
Jury Comments: “This project required some tenacity from the architect. It sends an important message that modernist buildings should not be treated carelessly when their original systems reach the end of their service life. There was a detailed understanding of the technical aspects of how to address a very substantial problem. It is very well executed, with a very smart and serious approach that ended up being less expensive.”
Architect: Kahler Slater
Contractor: C.G. Schmidt
The Meadowland Research and Technology Building sits within the Milwaukee County Research Park. The building was commissioned by a local real estate developer who needed to create new office space for a growing software company that resided in one of their other buildings. The developer and tenant wanted to create a contemporary building on a strict budget, yet one that offered amenities and large floor plates. The building is largely influenced by the oddly shaped parcel on which it sits. The site has limited street frontage, and a rear yard that backs up to a tall highway on-ramp, and parking for surrounding buildings occupies both sides of the property.
The design solution broke the mold from the rest of the park by hiding nearly all of its parking behind the building in a single-level parking structure. The structure which backs up to the elevated highway ramp also halves the need for surface parking and creates the opportunity for more green space. The building is roughly parallel, but pulled back from the street, which was required to get the length and width needed for the floor plates. To fit within the wedge-shaped site, the footprint had to bend, and each wing was built perpendicular to the property line, while a slot was created to signify the entry. The bending of the building acts as a welcoming embrace to the front lawn.
The massing and material was intentionally kept simple. It was conceived as a three-story brick mass with a glass top floor. Two glass boxes which cantilever at opposing corners of the building feature a distinctive mullion pattern and are interlocked with the primary massing. The palette is reduced to a charcoal gray (ironspot brick, metal panel and mullions) and transparent glass which creates a cohesive straightforward, but elegant suburban office building.
The multi-tenant building included a modest one-story lobby, shared conference room and a fitness center. The design project extended to include the anchor tenant space - a growing software company which took the top two floors and a large first floor space for socializing in a work café. The tenant has access to an outdoor patio while all tenants have access to the generous lawn in the front of the building. The lawn has become the focal point of the overall business park with a busy bike station and food truck vendors serving lunch. The building is anticipating LEED Silver certification.
Photos: Peter NcCullough
Architect: Shulfer Architects, LLC.
Owner: The Employer Group
Contractor:Engineered Construction, Inc.
The Employer Group provides HR services for small and midsize companies. In outgrowing their existing facility, the client desired a new modern office that would fulfill their needs and also match their fun and energetic work environment.
The project is located along County Road M in Verona, Wisconsin. This area has recently seen a lot of new development, with new mixed-use buildings and hotels being constructed. However, many of the existing buildings in this area are simple industrial buildings. This project provided an opportunity to put more of an emphasis on design, helping to lead the quality of development in the area.
The project site is situated at the top of a hill, where the elevation drops off to the south and west creating great views to the landscape beyond. The initial concept for the building was meant to capitalize on this unique perspective. The idea was to have open workstations with a glass exterior wall backdrop that gently curved at the southwest corner, providing a wide panorama of the landscape afar. Outside the building the deep roofline would continue straight, with the glass wall curving below. This curve provides a dynamic feature while entering the site, and also a structural element for covering the outdoor patio space below.
To fit within the context of the neighboring buildings, the exterior incorporated different tones of metal wrapping in two directions, utilizing a composite metal panel. A masonry base wraps around the building to provide warmth and contrast with the metal. The masonry pulls back in serval locations, exposing the glass volume behind. Tower elements are located on opposite faces of the building and connect over the top of the roof with a short wall. The combination simultaneously creates a defined entrance at the tower and a perfect space to screen rooftop equipment.
Inside the building, subtle curving hallways echo the exterior design. The company had a need for a breakroom that would function for both meetings and parties, including a full-service bar. The solution was to place the bar and gathering space on the second floor, to provide a great view along with a large enough space for a range of entertainment activities. The client’s unique interior design contributions led to the incorporation of fun decorative accents, including their love of the Wisconsin Badgers, which further incorporates the surrounding community. The building form aims to respond to the specific site, and provide a fun and engaging space for The Employer Group staff.
Photos: CR Photography
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Owner: Siepmann Realty
Contractor: Accent LLC
The design challenge for the exterior was to create a mixed-use commercial building that fit in with the village scale of the lakefront neighborhood. The site was narrow and deep with the grade dropping 10’ from street level to the river. The design challenge of the interior was to create a comfortable corporate environment for an investment company. Good use the natural views of the lake, as well as, the shingle style architecture to create working environments that connect with the natural context. Hexagon Investments directive was to maximize private office exposure to the lake and river and make sure to provide efficient access to required common spaces.
- 10,000 sqft. Two-story mixed-use building on Pewaukee Lake.
- First floor vestibule with shared access to first floor tenants.
- Provide large sidewalks along street to allow for seasonal community use.
- Provide future access to community parking lot along north property line.
- Corporate office space for Hexagon Investments on the second floor.
All employees get a private office
Every private office gets a view
Create warm and inviting space for guests to visit.
Board room with convenient access to kitchenette
Open space for filing and copying
On the exterior, the building was designed to withstand the harsh beachfront environment. The stone base anchors the buildings and protects it from the blowing sand. The wood canopies add scale and dimension to the building and screen the lower retail windows from glaring sun. On the interior, 9 private offices line the exterior walls of the building maximizing views to the lake and river. The interior offices walls are designed as divided lite windows to allow the views and the diffused light to flow to the interior spaces. We created a central collaboration space at the heart of the project with faux fireplace. We used sloped ceilings along the outside walls add to the open feeling of the private offices. The location of the kitchenette was separated from board room and hidden away from guest views to help make it more convenience for sharing. The overall color palette consisted of cream colored walls, trim, and ceilings against a dark wood floor. Soft Furniture and oriental rugs add color and texture for visual interest.
Photos: Jim Moy Photography
Architect: HGA Architect and Engineers
Owner: Ascension Health
Contractor: The Boldt Company
Earlier updates to the facility included upgrades to the surgical unit, ED and central plant, which laid the ground work for the completion of the 180,000 SF Bed Tower expansion. The project includes 10 intensive care beds, 80 beds for medical and surgical patients, a new dining area, as well as expanded imaging facilities and pharmacy. This project represents the culmination of a decade long effort at reshaping the campus.
The campus is located on a 17-acre site surrounded by residential neighborhoods. Effective use of the limited space available for expansion was critical to planning the Bed Tower. The location on the north side of the campus helped redefine the perimeter of the campus. Corridors connect the Bed Tower to the campus and shape a new facade, bringing cohesiveness across the campus.
The ground level of the Bed Tower features the Marketplace, a large public space designed much like a “farmer’s market” offering fresh produce and “while you wait” prepared food choices. The market is colorful, inviting and provides an area of respite inside, or in the outdoor courtyard.
The four-story Bed Tower is organized around three 10-bed units on each floor, designed as “neighborhoods,” with everything needed to provide care located within a “work cell.” At the center of each neighborhood a team hub allows views to each patient room and fosters collaboration among caregivers. Spaces frequented by staff, such as nutrition and medication rooms, are located adjacent to the team hub to minimize steps and increase time with patients.
The exterior aesthetic of the building features natural materials, maximizes daylight and provides connections to nature through large windows. An enclosed courtyard with fountains, gardens and sculpture, located in the heart of the Tower, provides outdoor space for patients, visitors and staff. The surrounding roofs use a green roofing tray system with varied depths to create a second level of plantings visible to patients and family on the upper floors of the Bed Tower. The use of locally sourced rough cut Fond du Lac limestone on exterior columns and entry ways, and honed buff limestone in the first floor public spaces, brings natural elements inside.
The Bed Tower Expansion project is the culmination of a multi-phase, multi-year, regeneration of a campus that has been providing services to the community for more than 100 years. The centerpiece of the project is the 180,000 SF inpatient facility, featuring 90 patient beds, a dining Marketplace, and expanded imaging facilities. The project brings high quality healthcare services to the area and reaffirms a commitment to the community.
Photos: Darris Lee Harris Photography
Architect: Kahler Slater, Inc. and CIAP Architects
Owner: NUH Medical Centre
Contractor: Penta Ocean Singapore
At National University Hospital Singapore, a campus gateway building is shaped by three significant challenges/drivers:
· A site with multiple, complex limitations
· A diverse mix of building uses with strict technical requirements
· Achieving the nation’s highest sustainability award in an intense tropical environment
Open parcels are at a premium in the densely populated tropical city-state of Singapore. This was no different for the National University Health System (NUHS). An existing 900 bed teaching hospital and outpatient services covered 90% of their existing 16 Hectare campus which needed to modernize and expand. This drove the need to transform an expansive horizontal campus to an efficient high rise campus. The NUH Medical Centre was one of the first projects implemented in the masterplan.
The owner’s program consisted of a mixed-use development with combined total area of 88,000m2 (947,000sqft). Comprised of 60,000m2 of specialty outpatient clinics, the National Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS), 10 room outpatient surgery center, integrated research and medical education, 12,000m2 of retail space and 16,000m2 of integrated parking (400 cars).
The broad masterplan challenges were only increased by the site which proved to have many challenges and limitations. The site is oddly shaped, sloped with over 40ft of grade change, bound by major roadways, and has an existing active MRT subway station positioned directly at its center and occupying over 50% of the site area.
The subway station itself proved to be one of the greatest design influencers. The station structure was only designed to carry10 floors. Strict tolerances dictated where structure could be placed near train tunnels and fixed vent structures defined available building footprint shape, setbacks and size. Existing tunnels required intensive monitoring to insure deep foundation construction did not create movement or vibration in active train lines. The station serves as the Medical Center’s main entry, and is the primary public transportation hub for the entire medical campus and for the National University of Singapore. Thousands of diverse users commute daily through this campus gateway requiring distinct separations for access and pedestrian movement.
The design solution was a direct response to the many unique and complex site challenges. The NUH Medical Center is a 19 floor, mixed use development requiring a floor area ratio of over 6 times the available site area. Two times the available buildable area was created by spanning the existing subway station with (5) 150 ft long, 26ft high transfer trusses. Solving strict clinical technology requirements led to a unique exterior massing expression. A direct response to vibration concerns from roadways and trains required a unique solution to the typical below grade radiation oncology bunkers. Massive 9 ft. thick concrete encased structures were elevated and expressed 65 ft. above ground to create key clinical adjacencies, and allow cancer patients access to daylight and gardens. The bunker roof expresses the sustainable goals with a landscaped green roof amenity for all to view. Retail spaces immediately adjacent to the subway entry create a vibrant campus gateway and destination.
Singapore has a key national objective to be a “Garden City”. The exterior design is influenced by the intense tropical environment where heat gain must be minimized, daylighting maximized and integrating nature is mandatory. The building orientation with long facades facing north and south minimizes solar heat gain. Sun shading devices on each façade are a direct response to sustainable requirements. This includes the “5th elevation” where every low roof is landscaped to integrate tropical nature. These features ensured the NUH Medical Center would receive Singapore’s highest sustainability award - Greenmark Platinum.
Bold structural moves overcome the extreme limitations of the challenging subway site and maximize area potential where land is premium. The facade’s tropical response controls the sun exposure while helping to express the diverse program. Green roofs and gardens are integrated for sustainability and to enhance the patient experience. The building establishes a clear campus gateway, is a catalyst for transformational change and reinforces the national aspirations of being “the greenest city in the world.”
Photos: Skewed Eye
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Owner and Contractor: River Place Lofts
The project is located on an industrial site in the Walker’s Point neighborhood nestled between the 6th Street Viaduct on the east, a major rail line on the south, and the South Menomonee Canal on the north. Preparing the site for construction required removing/relocating various underground utilities, regrading, constructing a retention pond, and 95 parking spaces.
River Place Lofts – The Historic Beam House - represented a unique opportunity to bring four connected 1870’s-era cream city brick industrial buildings back to life. Design challenges included overcoming non-aligning floors, a variety of structural systems, and repair of damage caused by a major fire in 2005.
The design solution highlights the cream city brick, exposed wood columns and wood beams, arched-top windows and other historic industrial elements of the building. The design of the common circulation creates a complex, yet efficient, method of connecting the different levels while accommodating accessibility. The building was transformed into 64 distinctive loft apartment units that take advantage of the buildings’ aesthetics and city views. Each unit features one or two bedrooms ranging in size from 750 to1570 sq. ft.
The design solved the complex challenges by first creating a circulation system that efficiently connects each level and provides accessibility. Individual apartment units were designed with equal emphasis on creating a livable plan and maximizing views of surrounding features. Innovative code solutions achieved required fire separations while maintaining exposed structure mandated by National Park Service as a condition of receiving historic building tax credits. Wherever possible, existing building elements including brick arches, columns, beams, rolling fire doors, and floor structure were left exposed. New exterior design elements including the steel and wood entry canopy complement the existing building architecture without creating a false sense of history. A ramp and stairs provide inviting access to a sunken entry plaza. Throughout the design process, careful attention was given to balancing the design challenges to achieve a coherent project that transforms a long vacant building into its highest and best use.
Procuring Historic Tax Credits required strict preservation of many of the original building elements including floors, walls, columns, beams, and rolling fire doors.
Finishes were selected to complement the industrial feel of the project, make the apartments desirable in a competitive market, and maintain the project budget.
Photos: Jim Moy Photography
Architect: Zimmerman Architectural Studios
Owner: Sojourner Family Peace Center
Contractor: Mortenson Construction
Domestic violence is an epidemic in this country and Sojourner Family Peace Center is emerging to combat the problem in Milwaukee. Sojourner expands on the proven, collaborative Family Justice Center paradigm, designed to accommodate multiple service providers in one location in order to provide victims of domestic violence and their families access to integrated, streamlined and cost efficient services. Sojourner Family Peace Center is the largest co-located child and family violence advocacy center in the country and serves as the reference standard as communities around the world as they shape their own Family Justice Centers.
The architectural design team established a project mission based on the studied principles of the Family Justice Center concept. Core project values are built upon words repeatedly heard in programming meetings with administrators and counselors; develop a sanctuary for victims of domestic violence and create a place where Sojourner and their partner organizations can effectively administer wrap-around services in a safe and dignified atmosphere.
In addition to Sojourner programming (crisis housing, system advocacy and individual support), the Family Peace Center accommodates a number of co-located and visiting partner organizations and service providers including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Police Department Sensitive Crimes Unit, Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, child protective services, wellness and healthcare. Families receiving services at Sojourner have access to a wide array of services to support their efforts to achieve healing, self-sufficiency and freedom from abuse in a safe and supportive environment.
Privacy is of paramount concern and fosters an “on-stage/off-stage” design attitude toward security for clients and staff. This approach informs the design process and is reinforced through a hierarchy of sub-lobbies off of the main street corridor. Victims are made comfortable in private rooms appointed with living room furnishings. Children and families seeking help from the Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center have similar private counseling rooms surrounding a light-filled shared play area with exam and child interview rooms near their parents.
The off-stage circuit of corridors allows counselors and staff to circulate between office areas and the victim counseling rooms discretely. These back of house staff areas and shared amenities like the Partner Café are intended to foster a true collaborative atmosphere amongst co-located agencies, enhancing the services each individual organization provides victims.
The nurturing theme continues into the emergency shelter. Shared living rooms and dining room, with expansive views over Milwaukee’s downtown, surround a reception desk strategically positioned as a hub with views around the entire shelter. From this central location, Sojourner staff works closely with victims to rebuild their connection with the community in a warm and welcoming environment. Mothers and children have access to a playground, laundry, workout room, serenity chapel, day-care and a nursery all within the secure shelter.
22 Bedrooms named after Sojourner’s family accommodate 56 people and range in size from singles to family rooms. Passage doors between adjoining rooms afford flexibility to house large and small families with a modicum of privacy. Porches outside each family room allow for social interaction and discreet access to bathrooms.
Sojourner Family Peace Center will host the International Family Justice Center Conference in the spring of 2017. Counselors from all over the world will convene in Milwaukee to network, share best-practices and visit a working model that embodies fundamental Family Justice Center principles. Sojourner Family Peace Center is influencing the Milwaukee community with positive solutions to domestic violence from a building that serves as an effective medium for victim services.
Photos: Greg Gent Studios Inc.
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Mandel Group
Contractor: Greenfire Management Services
Located on a suburban site, the long-closed and vacant Agricultural College is now surrounded by a nature preserve for Monarch Butterflies. Four extremely dilapidated historic buildings remained on the site, some vacant for more than a quarter century. Three of these buildings surround a historic green quadrangle with century-old trees. A major freeway passes by downhill, only ¼ mile southwest of the site.
The developer-driven apartment project contains 180 market rate apartments as well as community gathering spaces, an outdoor swimming pool, gym, billiard rooms and amenities such as bike repair, dry cleaning and a doggie spa. Of the four dilapidated historic buildings, the main building was restored for tenant amenity spaces, while the smallest was restored as a private home. The remaining two buildings were demolished, but memorialized in some way.
A horseshoe shaped grouping of six apartment buildings were placed as a “frame” around the old campus of historic buildings, with a dense and compact layout of new streets, squares and blocks which shields the historic quadrangle from noise and visual impact of the nearby freeway. Within this frame, the main historic building and its green quadrangle were carefully preserved and restored, while two minor and dilapidated buildings were demolished down to “ruins” in the form of walled gardens. Deep historic entry arches-- three in all -- were left intact and are now garden gates. A historic fireplace sits within the garden and is used by tenants for outdoor fires. The walled gardens have been maintained in a rough and “ruinous” character, emphasizing that these are lost buildings, preserved as romantic ruins.
The apartment buildings that form the horseshoe crescent are set lower down the hill from the restored main historic building, and feature underground parking with three stories of apartments above. The top story of each apartment building is accommodated with a steeply pitched roof with dormers to lower the scale of the new buildings and work with the character of the restored historic buildings. While the new buildings match the historic structures through brick and roofing, all new windows and metal work are done in black to contrast the historic crème windows. The new buildings have a simple and distinct contemporary character to contrast the original structures.
Photos: Lacy Landre Photography
Architect: HGA, Inc.
Owner: Blue Ribbon Suits
Contractor: KM Development Corp.
The vast Pabst Brewery closed its doors in 1996, leaving blocks of historic buildings vacant. Currently undergoing a rebirth as a multi-use National Register Historic District, most of the buildings that have been easy to renovate have been restored, while the most dilapidated and difficult to renovate buildings remain vacant. The historic Bottling Plant was the largest of the old historic buildings, and one of the most difficult to renovate due to its huge solid foot print, lack of first floor day lighting, and its advanced state of dilapidation.
A developer asked the architect to renovate the historic Bottling Plant into student housing to serve several nearby Colleges and Universities, with studio to 4-bedroom apartments including true lofts, floor-to-ceiling windows and a full set of community features such as a fitness center, food court, and theater. The developer was pursuing federal historic preservation tax credits, which severely limited any alterations that could be made to the exterior envelope of the old building.
To solve the significant problem of lack of window-wall perimeter for many housing units, two atriums were cut into the historic building by partially dismantling the second floor in these atria, allowing daylight down to the lowest level of the building. With the National Park Service not allowing removal of any of the historic exterior form of the building, lost skylights and roof monitors were restored to allow daylight to flood these spaces with light. Student apartments were located not only on the historic building perimeter, but were designed to face the new atriums as well. Existing tall floor to ceiling heights allowed for numerous units with 2-story living rooms, featuring internal stairs which access upper level bedrooms. Existing timber and iron frame structural elements were preserved and exposed in most of the student apartments, as well as in public and circulation spaces. Fragments of old exterior walls that had been trapped inside the building (as later additions were made) were restored and preserved as “ruins” inside the building. The highly dilapidated and damaged brick and stone exterior was restored to exacting federal standards, with alterations made after the period of historic significance removed and repaired. Many remaining historic windows were restored, while lost windows were reconstructed. Evidence of the three phases that make up the historic whole was carefully preserved.
Photos: MacRostie Historic Advisors, LLC
Architect: John Van Rooy Architecture
Owner: Advanced Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, SC
Contractor: Triad Construction, Inc.
With a sensitive hand and thoughtful details Advanced Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists transformed an obsolete, undesirable building into a work of architecture that is inviting, efficient and exemplifies contemporary architectural detailing. This thoughtful transformation allowed a building destined for a landfill to live a new life as a vibrant medical office and business headquarters for a young growing company.
Located on an active retail corridor in Wauwatosa, Advanced Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists (Advent) purchased this 10,000 sqft building of the 1960’s vintage for their expanding medical practice. The building as purchased was most recently a fitness center with few interior walls and a surplus of mirrors. The exterior was painted masonry with limited windows. The street façade was made up of storefront and an applied mansard roof with a central single gable reminiscent of a storefront church. The site was paved tight to the building in almost all directions. It was a tired building on a prime piece of real estate and ready for a new life.
Advent desired a facility as an iconic brick and mortar location to represent their innovative practice. They wanted a building that spoke to their brand as well as met their programmatic requirements of housing exam rooms, procedure rooms and their business headquarters. The interior experience was to be contemporary while being inviting and warm. Patient comfort and experience were paramount.
The rehabilitation began with stripping the building to its structural shell and the street facing bay being completely removed so it could be reconfigured in a more desirable composition. Where space allowed, the asphalt was cut away for plantings- softening the experience inside and out. New openings were cut into the existing masonry, allowing views out and natural light to penetrate the previous dark space. Large limestone bases were added at the sills of the new opening to provide visual interest on the exterior and unify the existing building with the new street facade.
The new street facade is composed of a tall glass volume with edges of aluminum panels all resting on a base of locally quarried limestone. It houses a multipurpose meeting room and event space. The curtain wall uses airfoil louvers as both a compositional element and to harvest or block solar heat gain. Just outside the glass volume a grid of dwarf flowering crabapple trees was planted in place of asphalt- giving the inhabitant of the space some privacy from the busy road beyond and creating a sense of tranquility being near nature in an otherwise active location. The remaining portion of the street façade is composed of large panels of Corten, fastened with stainless steel rivets and holding the polished building signage as a purposeful contrast to the rugged Corten background. This all floats over a continuous inset of butt glazed storefront. The existing masonry was painted white and a Corten clad entry tower was added at the parking lot.
The interior brings an entrance and lobby with accent areas of wire brushed, rift sawn, white oak boards stacked like Lincoln logs- complimented by limestone insets matching that of the exterior. This touch of wood is picked up throughout the facility in 8’ tall matching rift oak doors. Areas of interior glass were strategically placed to allow natural light to penetrate the previously dark space.
The renovation improved energy efficiency with a significant increase in insulation at the walls and roof while incorporating new high efficiency mechanical systems and LED lighting throughout.
Photos: Alloy Photography
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: Dental Associates and Stephen Perry Smith Architects
Owner: Dental Associates Family Specialty Care, LLC
Contractor: DeLeers Construction, Inc.
The client, a group dental practice, sought a building site to serve its expanding patient base in the Green Bay area. A highly visible stand-alone location with adequate parking was required for a dental clinic to house 18 operatories.
An existing vacant restaurant was identified as matching most of the requirements established by the client. Once home to a Max & Erma’s, the site had plenty of parking and was located in an area with easy access for the residential patient base.
The biggest challenge with the building was taking a building form with distinct corporate branding from one industry and altering it to project the brand identity of a completely different end user. The existing spaces were designed as a restaurant and bar, and the new space had to accommodate interactions between patients and doctors on a more intimate scale.
The footprint of the existing building was considered too small at 5,000 sf, so a 3,300 sf addition was designed to accommodate the patient reception and payment areas, employee offices and dental equipment room. There are several easements on the property that make an addition difficult. The solution was to offset the new and existing volumes to fit the site, which created an interesting floor plan. On the exterior, the offset volumes were used to disguise the fact that the major portion of the project was built a decade prior.
Rather than construct a new building, Dental Associates was able to reuse a site that was constructed with a very specialized program, and adapt the building for a completely different use. Modifying a restaurant for use as a dental office proved to be cost effective and environmentally beneficial.
Photo: DeLeers Construction
Architect: Bruns Architecture
Contractor: Yahara Builders
Located at the bend of a meandering river, Rock River House is designed to provide its owners with panoramic views of the glistening water below and forested nature preserve beyond. The family had admired the small, overgrown site for years, recognizing its potential at the end of a quiet street a few blocks from town. The program is deftly organized on the narrow wedge of land to create a delightfully functional collection of outdoor spaces while conserving the narrowest tip of the parcel as a view corridor for the community.
The house is assembled from a collection of stepping volumes that recall the nearby crescent shaped waterfall edge. With two distinct personalities, the composition modulates its apparent scale. From the street, the construct fits amicably into the modest fabric of the neighborhood as a series of furniture-like wood boxes, but unfolds into a transparent lens affording uninterrupted views to the water beyond. Wall and ceiling planes are arranged carefully to display protean reflections of sunlight off the water. The entry sequence begins through a solid wood door affixed with a custom handle shaped as an abstract of the site. Once inside, a scenic view is framed by wooden millwork elements. As circuitous as the river below, a ribbon of mahogany weaves the two levels of spaces together. Beginning in the sunlit conservatory, the wood band continues over the kitchen and entry before wrapping down to become a folded wood stair that ascends to the art studio and terrace above. Commanding views of the flora and fauna inspire the owner’s own artwork.
The façade is clad in reclaimed redwood salvaged from a decommissioned local civic building. Varying in dimension, the original boards were re-milled to achieve maximum yield. Portions of the material were then wire brushed, creating subtle texture and depth that is composed into larger surfaces to further reduce the scale of the structure. Stone harvested from a neighboring Wisconsin quarry completes the succinct exterior palette.
The glazing is specifically engineered to reflect winter heat inward while rejecting summer solar gain, while maximizing visible light transmittance for optimal views to nature. The opaque envelope is insulated with continuous insulation and closed-cell expanding foam to reach average R-values of 31 and 56 for walls and roofs respectively.
Photos: Tricia Shay Photography
Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
Architect: Jewell Associates Engineers, Inc.
Owner: Wollersheim Winery
Contractor: Lake Wisconsin Construction
This project is a part of a facility that is owned and operated as a family business, including agricultural operations, award winning winery, tourist and mercantile spaces, and now brandy and whiskey distillation. The project included in this submission includes a significant addition to the facility that provides new spaces for a distillery, grain fermentation, new bottling and shipping areas, spirit barrel aging room, new mercantile and tour spaces, and a consumption patio garden. The owner required that the project provide spaces for the anticipated expansion of operations which were to include new distillery operations. The new building addition also was required to respect the context of the existing buildings and the historic winery buildings. Minimal disturbance to the site vineyards, improvement to existing bottling and shipping spaces, and improvements to the site stormwater management system were also key elements of the site design program. The pragmatic nature of the project is expressed throughout the design. These spaces are multi-functional and expressive of the character of this family business. For many years to come they will use these spaces to create award winning wines and spirits. They will also share the experience of the building and art of their work with thousands of tourists every year.
The site is located on a sloping topography that is a part of an operational family owned vineyard and winery. The existing buildings on the site were designed to provide pragmatic and functional structures that complemented a historic three story stone winery building that commands the upper portion of the site. The existing operations were constrained by the location of shipping and receiving docks that required semi-trucks to back up a steep slope and impact the view of the site and buildings for visiting tourists. The bottling area located in the existing buildings was also developing to be a major constraint to operational expansion.
Master planning concepts were developed during a design process with the Owner that identified the flow of operations and areas of conflict or congestion. A plan was developed to facilitate operations by creating new shipping docks at a lower level and moving bottling operations down to this level. This move allows trucks to have easier access to the shipping docks and also allows the owner to use gravity to assist with moving aged wine and spirits toward the new bottling line. This relocation also reduces the potential conflict on site between visitors to the winery and operational vehicle maneuvering.
The massing and materials for the building addition were chosen to coordinate with the existing building structures. Split faced integrally colored concrete block was used for exterior walls. The color selected was a dark brown, complementing the existing light tan but creating a separate identity for the distillery spaces. Dark pre-finished metal siding was also used to further enhance the unique character of the building and new distillery operations. Daylighting is provided to the majority of the spaces in the building, enhancing spaces that are primarily used by the public as well as functional spaces such as the grain fermentation room and tank storage rooms. Even the interior distillery is provided with natural light borrowed thru and over the Tour/tasting room.
This project required a fire suppression system for life safety concerns. As the site is located outside of municipal water sources the design required a significant source of water to supply the new system. The design solution includes a subsurface reservoir that was placed in the hillside behind the building foundation. This solution provides significant safety features for the new distillery with minimal visual and operational impact on the site.
The addition is connected to the main visitor path via a winding landscaped trail. This trail leads to an exterior consumption patio and garden space sheltered by the masses of the addition, provided with a view of the historic winery building and shaded entry valley. This area provides a comfortable area for tourists to enjoy the setting after a tour and for celebrations for many years to come.
Photos: Abby Demorett and Nicole Thompson
Architect: Aro Eberle Architects
Contractor: CG Schmidt
EatStreet is a tech company that has developed a location-based phone app connecting users to area restaurants facilitating easy ordering and delivery options from one platform. The fast-growing company has outgrown their office space annually for the previous five years. The goal for this project was to create a workplace that could handle their growth needs for the foreseeable future as well as create an atmosphere that would attract and retain talent in a very competitive employment marketplace.
The driver of our design was simple: Technology companies must provide a work environment that is unique and enjoyable to attract and retain talent. To accomplish this, we were sympathetic to the need of the business to attract talented and productive people, but also sympathetic to its users by providing amenities that satisfy their daily and long term needs.
A variety of work spaces were provided to suit user’s needs, including seated and standing work stations, collaboration areas and quiet spaces for heads down work. Providing access to daylight, nourishment, activities and fresh air throughout the day were highly prioritized. Some of the building amenities outside of the tenant space--like a fitness center--reinforced the program without having to be included in the project.
The design team created five different zones in the plan for the various departments by using meeting rooms, private phone booths and the connecting stairs to break up the orthogonal shape of the original shell. The forms of the fixed spaces were then distorted to create clear traffic patterns throughout the space.
When entering at the seventh floor, visitors are realigned to a new axis at the reception desk. This angle was introduced to diminish the presence of the original rectilinear grid. Off to the side, the large open staircase and floor opening were added to create a sense of connection between floors and a center of gravity for the space. The bottom landing was designed with three sides to reinforce this idea of connection and centrality.
Meeting spaces were placed throughout the office. Their dimensions and features were planned to cater to the unique needs of each department. Floor to ceiling writeable coatings were used on strategic walls in both enclosed and open meeting spaces to maximize the space available for writing and sharing ideas.
Open benching workstations were used in nearly all departments because of the collaborative nature of the work taking place. Phone booths near each department offer a space for privacy when needed. The sales department was the exception to this as small, private offices were needed due to their rigorous on/off working style. The enclosed offices support heads down work as well as create acoustic separation for continuous sales calls. The layout of the offices along the perimeter of the exterior create an open lounge environment at the center for sales staff to utilize during down time.
On the eighth floor, the stair opening is flanked by the dining area and game room on one side and the large board room on the other. The board room provides sound separation between the noisy dining space and the product development department. The dining area fills the need for quality down-time during the long hours that employees sometimes work, as well as the desire for communal activity among staff. Access to two large outdoor patios, both with excellent views of the city, offer opportunities for employees to break away for fresh air and sunshine throughout the day.
The EatStreet office blends current office design trends with the specific needs of the client. The design takes advantage of the features and proportions of the existing shell to create an attractive and unique solution on a rather limited budget. The project embodies the culture of the company and serves the users and the business well.
Photos: Michael R. Conway
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Owner: Pabst Brewing Company
Contractor: Inland Construction
With such a rich history, a location within the Pabst Complex was the ideal location. The recently completed Pabst Professional Center had available floor space and was conveniently located across the street from the Pabst microbrewery that is currently under construction.
The program consisted of two major functions. One, have an open area that would be large enough to host company functions and be used as a satellite office for out of town Pabst employees while in Milwaukee. Two, have private spaces for meetings and for the individuals that would operate and manage the microbrewery. The image that Pabst wanted to convey was an industrial feel with just a trace of corporate.
With the largest program space being centrally located, the ability to host company functions and still provide desk space for transitory employees was achieved. The open area, which is accessed directly from the main entry, eliminated the need for a customary reception/waiting area and provided flexibility for the room to be utilized in any manner and configuration.
Two offices and two conference rooms were positioned on opposite sides to accommodate private functions but yet still have a strong visual to the open space. The two conference rooms have the ability to be turned into one large one when needed.
Recycled wood, exposed steel, copper, wire glass, and saturated tones were selected to reflect the desired industrial atmosphere.
Linear lighting fixtures, luxury vinyl tile, carpeting, and acoustical ceiling tile give the space a slight corporate feel.
Given the smaller scale and the very specific directive, the end result was a design that addressed the programmatic items, functionality was achieved, and the desired atmosphere stands proud.
Photos: Jim Moy Photography
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
Contractor: C.G. Schmidt
After revitalizing their corporate headquarters, this financial client was looking to bring their neighboring offsite IT location up to new standards. The existing setting was not conducive for future growth and lacked the amenities required to attract top talent. The client needed a space that would capture the innovative nature of their business through a modern aesthetic.
Located in downtown Milwaukee, the tenant had just under 22,000 square feet of space within an existing, high-rise building, featuring 360 degree views of the city.Reconfigurable workspace with dynamic intersections of teamwork in an era of rapid technology development were requirements for this financial IT client. The design team was challenged to transform an obsolete floorplate of exterior offices, dimly lit workspace and underutilized amenities into a transparent, adaptive environment. Exterior offices were relocated inboard with full glazing to increase reconfigurable perimeter workspace, providing mobility for future growth. Lowered workstation panels and mobile furniture components were designed to accommodate custom group configurations and amenities were strategically placed to enhance the 360-degree city views. This dramatic shift in workspace layout increased the amount of natural daylight for all while strengthening communication with improved visual transparency.
Open circulation creates collaborative "cubes" and alcoves that emerge throughout the plan, encouraging socialization and knowledge sharing for innovative growth along with privacy when necessary. Vertical surfaces lined with writable glass foster instant idea-sharing and interactive methods for code development. A variety of conferencing spaces with robust technology solutions allow seamless international communication. Layering these communication and collaboration elements provided the tools to improve productivity.
The east-west circuit of travel terminates with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan that is reserved for all employees in the work cafe space. Designed for refuge to energize, inspire and connect employees, the cafe serves as a multi-functional gathering place and workspace. Equipped with custom millwork detailed to house beverages and snack amenities along with integrated technology, every detail was planned to form this inspiring space.
Technology influences inform the aesthetic providing a modern look and feel while respecting the timeless quality established by the headquarters. The entrance sequence is guided by a canopy of perforated light, drawing attention into the open office and view of the cityscape. Inspired by pixel units of programmable color from a computer display, this corridor of light travels through the space wrapping surface elements, creating a larger picture of intersecting zones of group work symbolizing visual and virtual connection. Illuminated hues of green and blue indicate a positive market and bring energy to the minimal palette composed of glass, metal and pure neutrals. Natural wood tones common to the headquarters provide warmth, while activating the brand. This space distinguishes the client within the Milwaukee marketplace meeting attraction and retention goals while effortlessly paying homage to the brand.
Focusing on enhancing flexibility and collaboration, this space was designed to adapt as the IT industry evolves. Pure forms and simplistic materials will outlast trends and retain the sophisticated brand.
Photos: C&N Photography
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Owner: Klement's Sausage Company, Inc.
Contractor: InLand Constuction
Klement's had outgrown their dated and inefficient corporate office that they called home for years. With great visibility to thousands of passerby’s on interstate 43 and the resurgence of the neighborhood, the recently completed Pabst Professional Center was an ideal location to relocate the historic company’s offices. The directive was to take a program that functioned in a two story structure and unite them into a 12,100 S.F. one level floor plan and create a cohesive, modern, sleek and efficient environment.
Klement’s wanted a corporate office that would have two zones. One, being a public area open to clientele and a private space that would house the operational side. With the abundance of windows that the structure provided, the concept of uninterrupted natural light was vital in the layout of rooms. The image that Klement’s wanted to convey was a clean and refined atmosphere, but would still expose the structural elements.
Partitioned spaces were positioned along the exterior walls and full glass entries were incorporated into the design so the natural light could spill into the interior. Low panel furniture systems maintain the path of light and views. The use of a frosted glass panel provides required privacy. The overall color palette consisted of muted tones to reinforce the refined feel. Dark navy blue was used modestly. Klement’s chose not to have their red logo as an accent color, but instead use as a “pop” of color throughout the suite.
The use of materials, placement of private versus open spaces, and office flow, all contribute to a successful environment and show piece for the Klement’s name.
Photos: Jim Moy Photographer
Architect and Owner: Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Berghammer Construction Corporation
Seizing upon an opportunity to create a more meaningful connection to nearby Lake Michigan from Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, the roof terrace provides this client a spectacular new multipurpose commons for their employees and community.
An architectural and code compliance feat, the elevated rooftop structure offers sweeping views of the Milwaukee skyline and Lake Michigan. Through numerous variances, including char testing of the building’s Douglas fir heavy timber structure, the architect was able to add a sixth floor to the historic building. The existing roof membrane was quickly peeled back, allowing steel connections to be pinned on top of existing timber columns and back to the load-bearing walls. A new steel floor level was carefully framed at approximately four feet above the existing roof decking. Exit stairs clad in muted zinc tones, and the building’s elevator, were extended to this new floor level.
To spatially lengthen the pavilion’s volume to the exterior environment, the design extends the steel roof framing to the south stair mass, separating this occupied space from existing air handling units by extending the wood slat decking up, performing dual function as an acoustical barrier.
The pavilion’s center movable glass wall and expansive glass curtainwall wrap an interior space of polished concrete with steel, warm Douglas fir decking, and flexible furnishings - providing a simple environment capable of accommodating multiple uses and needs. Integrated technology supports the multi-modal nature of the space & facilitates a seamless extension of technology to the outdoor environment. Salvaged fir beams, taken from the elevator extension Work, were ripped and fastened to a minimal steel frame on industrial casters to create a pair of large moveable tables.
Overcoming code and construction sequencing challenges, the terrace provides a beautiful gathering space - a place that supports socialization and knowledge sharing necessary to enhance the company’s vibrant culture of collaboration and community outreach.
The elegant steel and glass roof terrace quietly translates the building’s heavy timber structural system into a completely harmonious, yet modern, extension of the historic building below – all while allowing the extraordinary Lake Michigan views to take center stage.
Photos: C&N Photography
Architect: Foundation Architects, LLC
Owner: Milwaukee Public Schools
Contractor: Nicholas & Associates, Inc.
The project is a 21,500 sq ft addition and 11,000 sq ft alteration to address overcrowding. Constructed in 1927, the original four story brick masonry building has a strong connection to the quiet Bay View neighborhood.
A two-story masonry addition was programmed to house eight classrooms, a gymnasium, and an interior courtyard. At the onset of design, a charrette was held to identify meaningful aspects of the educational program for the site. The client was very concerned with maintaining a traditional connection to the surrounding neighborhood, while also providing an interior environment uniquely tailored to the Montessori leaning method. Consequently, the solution resolved both of these seemingly diverse ideas of traditional and modern design in a sensitive urban addition while bringing increased usability and visibility to the existing building.
The traditional exterior design of the addition takes cues from the character and detailing of the original 1927 brick masonry school building. The brick blend was selected to match color and texture and is a modern interpretation of the common bond pattern and decorative basket weave panels of the original building. The traditional masonry massing wall is opened up to reveal a modern entrance with views through the lobby and into the interior courtyard beyond, creating a safe urban portal for parents and the public.
The compact massing of the addition frames a new secure outdoor courtyard that allows light and air deep into the enlarged building in a useful and programmatic way, connecting the exterior as an extension of the interior educational experience while maximizing the outdoor educational space of the remaining site. A two story design reduced sprawl and increased continuity with the 1920’s Bungalow neighborhood while creating a simple and elegant framework for connecting the addition horizontally with a continuous corridor circulation loop and vertically with a six-stop double sided elevator providing ADA accessibility to the entire facility.
The interior architecture was designed to maintain a fruitful Montessori learning environment that “Exceeds Expectations.” Early in design, the decision was made to expose the building’s structure and mechanical systems to serve as a learning tool for the students. Ceiling clouds provide acoustical treatment and allow the inquisitive a chance to peek into the components that make up the building. Large informal classrooms and extra-wide twelve foot corridors provide ample space for students to engage in the self-exploration that is integral to the Montessori learning method. Each classroom is equipped with a large bank of windows that both create views into the neighborhood and allow in abundant amounts of natural daylight. Artificial lighting is rarely used in the classrooms throughout the school day as indirect daylighting pours into the classrooms until the early afternoon. The extra-wide corridors on each level function as additional informal classroom space. Along the perimeter of the corridors, custom benches were designed to provide informal study opportunities while reusing the original wood strip flooring from the repurposed gymnasium within the existing building. Painted soffit elements and floor patterns reinforce the building structural organization. Opposite the classrooms, the corridors overlook an interior courtyard through a two-story modern curtainwall that contrasts the adjacent historical brick building. When viewed from the existing building during the day, the curtainwall reflects the 1927 building and begins to take on its masonry character. In the evening, the curtainwall emanates light and the interior spaces are revealed.
The courtyard functions as an exterior classroom, a gathering space for school events, and it allows access of natural light into all 4 stories of the existing building. The bottom tier of the stepped courtyard contains brick pavers designed into a swirling pattern to create a playful environment for the Montessori children to follow as part of their curriculum of self-exploration. At the center of the courtyard is a partial-height curved concrete seat wall that plays off a series of concentric circles. These circles are composed of donor recognition pavers that were designed for the fundraising campaign with years of expansion available for future Alumni. The pavers are laid in a herringbone pattern which draws from the herringbone brick accent areas above the original entrance vestibules. This area functions as an informal gathering space and amphitheater for class discussions and presentations. The courtyard also incorporates a sand pit, area for water play and a custom designed sundial.
A south-facing vertical sundial is mounted to the brick wall at the north end of the courtyard. The sundial consists of aluminum hour lines, two sets of numbered plates for both Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time, and a large circular gnomon plate with custom painted labyrinth design. The labyrinth is used as a Montessori learning tool and ties the sundial to the school. The sundial’s asymmetry is derived from the hours of the day in which it receives sunlight.
The new gymnasium was designed to be used for physical education, extracurricular sports activities and as a space available to the surrounding community. The acoustical design of the space incorporates acoustical masonry units, acoustical fabric panels around the entire perimeter and acoustical metal roof deck. Purposeful implementation of these design elements maintain speech intelligibility and allow the multi-purpose gym to be used for athletic events, school assemblies, large meetings and musical concerts.
The existing 1927 school building alteration features ADA upgrades and the repurposing of the original gymnasium into a dedicated cafeteria and multi-purpose parent center mezzanine that is open to the space below. The old gym is divided horizontally with an open area to allow natural light onto both altered levels.
Photos: John J. Korom Photography
Architect: Partners in Design Architects, Inc.
Owner: Racine Unified School Distric
Contractor: Riley Construction
Project architects extendexd the school’s primary east/west corridor eastward, and then wrapping it tightly along the east side of the building. New classrooms lined nearly the entire corridor length. Natural daylight flows throughout the building, even interior spaces, where large round skylights fill the two story atrium and corridors.
By making the addition two stories, this compact solution provided an additional 80,000 square feet of space and 30 new classrooms, while only expanding the original 140,000 square foot footprint by only 47,000 square feet. Additional new programmatic spaces included administrative offices, a K-3 gymnasium and a K-3 cafeteria.
This compact building solution also allowed architects to deal with the inadequate and congested parking situation. By avoiding building expansion to the north, they were able to move parking northeast of the building, where the parking lot could be much larger and remote from the site access points, providing significantly greater vehicle queuing space along the driveway.
Also, by wrapping the addition around the more visible southeast and east sides of the existing building provided the added benefit of showcasing their investment to the community and its taxpayers.
Photos: Areo-Fotografik, LLC
Architect: Ramsey Jones Architects
Owner: Jonathan Montessori School
Contractor: Engelsma Construction, Inc.
As Phase 2 of the initial project, the architects were charged with adding two more Casas / Classrooms to the Phase 1 renovation of a 1980s brick church building into a Montessori school.
Situated on a steeply sloping natural area, adjacent to the original fill for the church building pad, minimizing the scale of an engineered fill pad had to be balanced by critical requirement of engaging the children with the courtyard spilling into the spectacular Outdoor Classroom.
Organizing each Casa into a regular and legible rectangle, connected to form an L, and linked back to the renovated Phase 1 formed a sheltered courtyard, establishing a micro-climate for close-to-class outdoors engagement. This in turn, left a controllable narrower opening to the larger 5 acre Back Yard, a natural area, including prairie, woodlot and wetlands and related activity spaces.
The simple yet durable shell of the building volume is offset by the multitude of active, hands-on Montessori materials spread throughout the space. Consistent with the multi-sensory and experiential learning of the Montessori method, building materials are exposed and honestly expressed in the form of wood roof framing and decking, a pigmented and polished concrete floor and naturally weathering A606 steel sheathing.
Direct engagement from each classroom with the closely managed inner courtyard, peppered with primary source learning activities, from a cascading water management system to weather stations and gardening activities, further connects the structure with its Owner's educational goals.
Repurposing the existing church building into a school is the ultimate in sustainable practice. The addition was constructed as a durable and high-performance and low-maintenance shell, to be filled with children and Montessori materials. A ground linked hydronic slab radiates warmth, while abundant natural daylighting via clerestories and ventilation maintains interior comfort consistent with the local climate.
Charged with creating not just a building, but also a place supportive of the Montessori teaching methods, the architects tamed challenging site topography by wrapping a perimeter-building wall around a welcoming courtyard micro-climate. The courtyard necks down, then releases both children and a water management system into the broader and more natural Back Yard, creating a unique and expansive educational experience consistent with and supportive of the Montessori method of teaching.
Photos: Tim Davis
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
Owner: Waunakee Community School District
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
The new 156,000 square foot Waunakee Intermediate School can accommodate up to 800 fifth and sixth grade students, and the non-academic spaces are sized for an eventual student enrollment of 1,000 students in a future phase.
The Waunakee Community is experiencing rapid community growth. Embracing the community’s long farming history, the school is set on a 39-acre rural site that addresses the need for flexibility and future expansion.
Cohesive from outside in, the building design is connected to the site and scenery through its extensive use of glass to bring in more natural light and complementary color palettes that reflect the surrounding farm fields, prairies and meadows. The horizontal emphasis and rectangular patterns in the brick and carpeting emulate the surrounding long lines of crop rows, intentionally forming a relationship between the building and its community to instigate conversation and inquiry about the local farming heritage.
The new school is organized into learning neighborhoods representing natural elements necessary for growth – earth, wind, sun, water – as a means of wayfinding and student identity. Social interaction is cultivated through abundant breakout areas for discussions, wide multi-function corridors, and a social stairway with amphitheater-style setting. The library, media and technology center (LMTC) is in the middle of the building and serves as the heart of the school.
The interior design supports the educational programming, promoting an active learning atmosphere. Flexible furniture gives students the ability to form a variety of different group learning spaces, while the structure allows for future re-purposing as education evolves. A variety of graphics designed by local artists were used throughout the building, including a student-designed display of art glass tiles representing the four natural elements of the learning neighborhoods, and art panels reflecting the agrarian heritage of the campus setting.
The philosophy that “learning happens everywhere” extends to the exterior of the building, where spaces and habitat are specifically designed for student exploration. Directly outside the art area is an outdoor painting garden, where students can set up easels or work on other messy art projects. Outside of the LMTC, is a reading garden, formed with a gentle berm and rock steps that serve as a quiet respite. Under the large canopies are rock outcroppings that form a make-shift classroom in good weather. Much of the surrounding landscape that is not used for play or athletics has been designed as a natural prairie habitat for students to explore.
A sustainable project is more than a collection of green features; it is a network of systems working together for greater impact. With a focus on the environment, the new intermediate school became an educational story for energy savings and use-conscious design and construction. Utilizing geothermal heating and cooling systems with L.E.D. light fixtures throughout the building creates energy savings for the district. Solar panels on the roof generate power and high performance glass allows natural light to come in, while minimizing solar heat gain and glare. Daylight analysis modeling was completed to create window to wall percentage ratios, optimizing the amount of natural light within the learning environments. An online tool allows students to see how the mechanical functions are operating, including how much power is being generated and how the mechanical system is working.
Designing a school where students want to come back day-after-day because learning is exciting and rewarding, parents are thrilled with the continued development of their children, and the building represents financial stewardship of the community’s investment showcases the impact that good design can have.
The school addresses the next generation of learners while structurally being a teaching tool for sustainable, low-energy consumption, leading to a program loved by the district, students and community. The purposeful planning of spaces, forward-looking flexible design and thoughtful integration of the surroundings into the design has made this building a unifying landmark for this growing community.
Photos: C&N Photography
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Architect: HSR Associates, Inc.
Owner: Western Technical College
Construction Manager: Kraus-Anderson
The Integrated Technology Center (ITC) in center of Western Technical College’s La Crosse Campus is a 125,000 GSF education, training, and presentation facility with a total cost of $29.9 Million. The ITC programming effort lead to a building project that included a ground floor expansion and renovation, total second floor renovation and the addition of a third and fourth floor to the existing two-story building. The building is LEED Platinum certified, the highest rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The architect designed an advanced manufacturing training center for the region. The building succeeded in bringing all the WTC programs together, and also broadened the teaching perspectives of all those involved.
The integration of these programs allows for co-location of similar courses for more efficient use of space, faculty, and student time. It has also eliminated redundant equipment, and created shared training opportunities which allows for the programs and students to interact with each other side by side to improve the overall student training curriculum, exposure to related industries and the overall experience at the campus.
Additional teaching and learning environments were created including a sustainability ab for teaching concepts in sustainability and testing methods; a rapid p[rototyping lab used by architecture and mechanical design; a green roof and two-story interior green wall for agriculture and horticulture that also serves as a training lab for related services; and a self-contained HVAC system that heats and cools the HVAC and Refrigeration program’s building area.
The ITC was constructed to be a “living laboratory” for students. The building design integrates teaching and learning opportunities at every turn; thoughtfully exposing building components including cable trays, piping, and power and air distribution for teachers and students. Some of the other special features that broaden the number of learning opportunities include a building mechanical room with color coded piping and duct work and visible monitoring and controls systems to be used as a lab, a wall that was sheathed in clear polycarbonate sheets that allows students to see everything in the cavity, and open lab spaces that are flexible and suitable for many different applications as they are thought of.
The Western Technical College Integrated Technology Center is a forward thinking building that shows how sustainability can be achieved in a challenging renovation/expansion project and how it can be integrated into the learning environment to the benefit of all. The project brought together multiple program areas, while leading them into a forward thinking thought process that improves the student learning experience at WTC and their value in the future work force.
Photos: Fleig Design, Inc.
Architect: Hirsch Group Architecture
Owner: Wingra Schools
Contractors: Supreme Structures
This well thought-out structure integrates innovative and standard materials, seamlessly merging form and function simply and forcefully.
The client, Wingra School, an elementary school in Madison, Wisconsin, requested a structure designed to advance their goal of students learning from nature. What was envisioned was a fun place to sit, think & learn, adaptable, light and airy.
With a first glance this outdoor classroom structure immediately delivers what is asked of it: providing a pleasant, sheltered, flexibly defined outdoor classroom for young learners. Beyond that goal, it delivers additional design value on several levels: aesthetic, psychological, architectural, structural, and educational - it is a classroom first, and last.
Aesthetically, the structural use of the repurposed trees, with inherent natural shapes and textures, echoes living trees in the wooded neighborhood. Trees in their original form make the structure a welcome neighbor.
Psychologically , the use of repurposed trees as roof supports conveys feeling of a sturdy sheltering atmosphere, a legacy of trusted association with trees, even among the youngest intended users.
Architecturally , the tree supports and their geometry in plan effortlessly define the space as they might in a clearing in a forest.
Structurally , the vertical wooden supports remain intact as trees and retain and repurpose every bit of the strength grown into (or built into, said another way) by the tree itself. The trees are structural elements, capable of load bearing equal to conventional timbers.
Educationally, as an outdoor classroom suggests, teaching about the natural environment will be on the lesson plan.
Photos: Paul McMahon
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
Architect: Hanno Weber & Associates
Owner: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Contractor: J.P. Cullen
Long years of exposure to weather and deferred maintenance caused the existing Milwaukee train passenger concourse, built in 1965 to deteriorate beyond repair. Together with non-complying accessibility and life safety code violations, an unkempt public presence, accentuated the need to reconstruct the facility.
A new concourse using the existing wood pile foundations and occupying the 125’-0” gap between the recently renovated bus and train terminal building and the blank wall of a US Post Office mail distribution center had to maintain with minimal relocation the existing 5 tracks and 3 platforms serving 16 Amtrak passenger trains and 25 Canadian Pacific Railroad freight trains each day and maintain all existing passenger and freight traffic during construction.
The Station elegantly meets American with Disabilities (ADA) requirements and considers level boarding on passenger trains; as well as meeting the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 130 Code egress and evacuation requirements from fully loaded trains on all 5 tracks in less than 6 minutes.
The design accommodates expected Amtrak passenger growth and frequency plus anticipated commuter traffic while maximizing sustainability by relying on daylight and natural ventilation.
The presence of freight trains caused the NFPA 130 Life Safety Egress Code to become a determinant variable. The exit width for over 2,400 passengers required a second crossing to supplement the refurbishing of an existing tunnel. A new overhead mezzanine avoided disruption of freight traffic during construction or having to contend with a high water table required by a tunnel. By extending the queuing area within the station the mezzanine serves the three platforms via stairs, escalators and elevators, while enabling passengers to see their destination within the concourse and thus becomes a formal focus to which passengers are attracted when crossing the tracks.
As a circulation appliance, designed to meet all the required ADA , NFPA and FRA clearances, the mezzanine was developed as a “blue” composite metal sculptural embedment within a “white” structural armature of columns and trusses sheathed in a by-passing metal and glass skin. Within the new white shell, the three-dimensional V shaped trusses in each bay , are fabricated of HSS welded steel tube sections . The top chords are infilled with skylights and the roof segments are spanned by a sheet metal box roof deck punctured by wind driven gravity ventilators over each pair of train tracks. The roof has also been equipped to accept a future photo voltaic array that exceeds the demands of the concourse. The day lighted space is complemented by night lighting that washes the walls and ceiling surfaces of the shell and stairs.
In addition to the Station's functional, technical and sustainability accomplishments, the reconstructed concourse demonstrates that a pragmatic program can engender a significant public presence as an appropriate gateway and welcoming arrival and departure space for Milwaukee.
Photos: Hedrich Blessing
Architect: Madisen Maher Architects
Owner/Contractor: Sendik's Food Market
The complete renovation of an early 90’s industrial office transformed the space into the corporate headquarters for Sendik’s Food Market, a family-owned grocery store since 1926. The exterior design challenge was to open up the front entrance of the building and allow more visual access to the guests and employees. The interior design challenge was to create open workspaces that balanced the relationships between public and private activities. Sendik’s corporate culture reinforces that a tight, clean, streamline work environment for employees will help improve concentration and production. Open office environments allow for more employee interaction, but required private spaces for formal and informal meetings of two or more employees. Private offices need to be close to the open environment, but don’t distract from the open concept. Different departments required different levels of acoustic privacy and security.
On the exterior, a large section of the precast walls were removed on two sides of the building and replaced with a glass curtain wall system to create a more sophisticated office entrance. On the interior, open office space was pushed to the outside walls and the conference rooms were grouped in the middle. This allows natural light across the entire room and both departments can share the conference rooms. Private glass offices are tucked into the corners not to distract from the open feeling. Collaboration spaces with comfortable seating is provided in between departments to allow employees multiple areas to have meetings and get work done. On the second floor departments are larger and natural light is only available from the west, so the conference rooms were located on the east wall. The executive board room hovers above the entrance lobby and the executive offices have mostly glass walls that filter natural light across the room. The break room has a two story space that allows for a more open feeling in a space with no windows due to its location in the building. The room is tiered with the kitchen area on the upper level and the game room on the lower level.
Photos: Jim Moy Photography
Architect: Johnson Design, Inc.
Owner: Hendricks Commercial Properties
Contractor: Corporate Contractors, Inc.
The concept of this interior and limited exterior remodel was to create an unanticipated surprise upon arrival to a building of very traditional character. This project is located in a boutique hotel in the lake country area of southeastern Wisconsin. The exterior of the remodel begins to breakdown the early American proportions of the existing hotel by the introduction of more modern and exaggerated metal and glass elements, suggesting an alluring curiosity to what is inside.
Upon entering the restaurant, the architecture contains an eclectic mix of high and low-tech materials. Reused wood barn beams and repurposed salvaged industrial elements, have been juxtaposed with contemporary interior finishes. Artisan based handcrafted elements exude creative thinking through the blending and use of materials that make the experience of dining a much more edgy experience. Acoustically the interior was intentionally designed to not control the reflection of sound throughout the space, thus adding to the energy level of the restaurant.
The floor plan of the restaurant encourages interaction between the public and the back of house functions by opening up the kitchen area and allowing patrons to watch the preparation of the cooking and plating of the food. Community tables mix with traditional seating encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zone and interact with others in the restaurant.
The edgy interior space represents creative thinking that explores the emotion, rather than just the function of a space, and celebrates the experience of dining not only as a “taste good” event, but also as a visual, interactive experience.
Photos: Jim Spellman and Lindsay Good
Architect: Kahler Slater
Owner: Chicago Street Holdings, LLC
Contractor: CD Smith
The Kimpton Journeyman hotel is the boutique chain’s first entry into the Milwaukee market and the first hotel in Milwaukee’s bustling Historic Third Ward neighborhood. The project was conceived by a local real estate development firm who partnered with Kimpton to create a unique property.
The corner site, at 0.38 acres, had been vacant and used as a surface parking lot for more than twenty years. The 158-key hotel fills the entire footprint and has activated both the block and neighborhood. The program includes a basement level with back-of-house spaces, mechanical, and valet parking spaces. The first floor is dedicated to lobby and lounge space, a destination bar and restaurant, and back-of-house spaces. The 2nd floor contains guestrooms, a fitness center, and meeting and ballroom space. The 3rd through 8th floors are configured in an L-shape to front both streets, providing guests both street and courtyard views. The 9th floor steps back from the primary massing and houses a bar with access to year-round outdoor roof deck space.
The Third Ward is a local and national historic district with strict design guidelines to reinforce the neighborhood’s traditional architecture. The design guidelines are in place so that any new architecture seamlessly blends in with the historic fabric, including regulating lines, massing, height and proportion. An exhaustive analysis and design process yielded a building which fits perfectly within the context, yet has its own personality and character.
The exterior design strategy created a 2-story stone clad base with vertically proportioned window openings, awnings, painted steel brackets with integrated lighting, and a canopy to mark the main hotel entry. The typical guestroom floors are clad in a modular smooth ironspot brick selected to blend in with the neighborhood palette. The guest room floor plans were modulated to create a historic rhythm of window openings and façade depth to emphasize corner and end bays. Full brick returns and cast stone lintels were detailed such that the texture and depth of the façade was consistent with the buildings built in a different manner a century earlier.
The top floor was pulled back from the street edge and clad largely in metal panels and layered with dense hardwood slats. This strategy allowed the rooftop bar and penthouse to feel like a contemporary addition to an older warehouse building, similar to others found in the neighborhood. An exposed steel structural trellis provides shading and an armature for speakers, lighting and glass canopies. The trellis helps define different rooftop zones, shading, and from the street beckons patrons upstairs. The edge of the building is softened by built seating which backs up to plantings and a glass railing which doubles as a windbreak. The terrace faces south and west, captures great city and lake views, and its season is extended by the addition of firepits and hotel provided blankets.
The Kimpton Journeyman is expertly designed to fit in with the historic neighborhood through massing, proportion, materials and detail. It straddles the historic architecture of its context and is firmly rooted in the present.
Interior design (FF&E) was handled by another firm and not part of the base building design.
Photos: Whit Preston
Architect/Contractor: MSI General Corporation
Owner:Guardian Software systems
The original building had been home to a number of different businesses, most recently a grocery store that shuttered over 10 years ago, only to leave the building’s first floor empty with occupied residential apartments above. The design team was given the challenge to transform this empty, dated building located in a visible section of the city into a structure that represented the technological advances of the business of Guardian Software Systems.
The site of this existing building has traffic patterns that converge at this location, making this a very impactful and visible site of the neighborhood. This visual impact was very important to the client to not only create a building with a street presence, but to give definition and direction to where the front door of the building is as well as adding green space to the existing sea of concrete enveloping this building. The existing building had no hierarchical presence or elemental balance of material or fenestration alignment. The use of the primary materials of metal panel canopy enclosure, LP Smart Siding, E.I.F.S and masonry block and brick are designed to intertwine and layer to create visual interest, hierarchy of function and balance the overall façade. Likewise, the exterior colors were selected to create a cool, clean and technological aesthetic complementing each other with the warm wood tone siding to respect some of the adjacent residential structures and to balance out the overall building presence.
The interior of the building is a basic layout using the focal corner of the building as the entry point and the location of the public areas of the office with the most exposure to the natural light and the street presence. The “core” element of the toilet rooms, coffee area and janitor closet are tucked against the stair case that goes up to the residential properties and will eventually be the access to expanded office work space as the company continues to grow. The balance of the space is designated to office component of private offices around the perimeter and an open office space central to the operations of the office. Materials and colors selected for the interior of the space are complimentary to the colors found on the exterior of the building, creating a cohesive aesthetic to the entire facility.
Architect: Architectural Design Consultants, Inc.
Owner: CBK Lodge, LP
Contractor: Muermann Engineering
This articulated structure conforms to the curving, undulating site while accommodating four major facility functions within a single structure, maximizing scenic views and crafting an alpine ski lodge aesthetic – all within a challenging budget. the design creates a sense of grandeur in group gathering places such as lobby and conference center juxtaposed against pockets of compressed intimacy at bars and food venues where conversations and relaxation are meant to be expressed. The choice of materials provide extreme durability, yet remains true to the fanciful “Sire Kartrite” explorer story, which the themed elements of the resort enforce. Guest units provide a “comforts of home” space by use of nooks and crannies, deeper colors, accents and homey features. With over 24 unit types, guest rooms provide a range of experiences over many visits.
Camelback Lodge offered tremendous potential while presenting significant technical and architectural design challenges. The first challenge was site topography – a curving mountaintop surrounded by steep slopes. The solution was to not fight the site, but embrace its serpentine qualities. A highly irregular-shaped building design incorporates many angled and radiused components to articulate the curves of the mountaintop parcel. Doing so added significant complexity to the structure, but resulted in a building perfectly adapted to its location. Additionally, vertical undulations were utilized to allow four floors to be at-grade at various points along the length of the structure. This provided opportunities for creative interior layouts that would otherwise not be available with a level site. Topography inspired a building configuration solution that is beautiful, nestled into the mountain beyond and expresses consideration of the surroundings.
A second challenge was successfully integrating the new lodge with existing ski slopes. Carefully orienting the building to adjacent ski run contours allowed for a ski in/ski out food and drink venue with outdoor patio to be strategically located at one end of the lodge as a place for skiers to warm up and recharge around the gas fire pits.
Capturing the majestic views of the Poconos Mountains was paramount. Working within the constraints of the topography, key venues, such as restaurants, ballroom, spa and premium accommodations, were situated within the lodge to showcase prime vistas. Window walls and other expansive uses of glass frame those “million dollar views.”
A soaring, clam-shell shaped indoor waterpark conceived by the client presented both challenge and opportunity. Structurally, the unusual shape required balancing the desire for clear-span space against support requirements of the 1.5-acre Texlon® roof system. Overcoming those opposing demands resulted in fulfilling the potential for a dramatic, multi-story tall space covered by the largest Texlon® installation in North America.
In homage to the awe-inspiring natural surroundings and in keeping with the client’s desire for a contemporary ski lodge aesthetic, mountain-modern architectural style was infused with industrial influences. Exposed ductwork, clean lines and corrugated metal live comfortably alongside craftsman architectural details and finishes – a surprising combination of contemporary details combined with exposed timbers, dark woods, stone and an organic color palette for warm sophistication.
Arriving beneath the grand porte-cochere, guests are welcomed by soaring heights of the lobby that builds excitement with a panorama of lodge amenities. A large fireplace and other architectural details were used to reinforce the theme of exploration and adventure on a worldly scale. Camelback Lodge comforts guests, creating an environment that functions, yet its very architecture, fit and finish gives wing to a fantasy vacation – the ultimate goal.
Camelback Lodge’s design optimizes the design opportunity by harnessing potentialities of the topography, existing resort arrangement and beauty of the surrounding mountainscape to guide the design. The result is a mountaintop structure that’s perfectly suited to its setting, captures the spirit of an alpine ski lodge and fulfills the client’s goal of transporting guests to a place of adventure and exploration. The project was built at a budget of $130,000,000 in 18 months – a true feat!
Photos: Paul S. Bartholomew Photography and Camelback Mountain Resort
Architect: Partners in Design Architects, Inc.
Owner: Kenosha Unified School District
Contractor: Camosy Construction
Following nearly a forty year wait, Mary D. Bradford High School finally has a multi-purpose stadium complex of their own for football, soccer and track & field…and based on community and alumni feedback, it was well worth the wait. Spectators and participants are greeted by a team building which naturally integrates the school’s branding into its architectural features, including their black and cardinal red school colors.
Besides the game itself, this building is the center of game day activities, with its generously scaled plaza where vendors sell spirit wear and related goods and services, and where hundreds of home and visitor fans congregate without obstructing access to the bleachers and grandstands. This building provides a large concessions area, public toilet facilities and bright, generously sized team rooms.
The building's three part composition wraps the perimeter of the 400 meter track and is clad in a combination of ground face concrete masonry units and architectural metal, with a sealed finish, which not only provide a clean contemporary appearance, but also resist graffiti and vandalism.
Attention to detail does not end at the team building. Positioned along a well trafficked arterial street, it was important that the grandstands not turn its back to the street. Here the same branding materials used on the team building are also integrated into the grandstand’s street façade, creating an attractive monumental appearance. Lower portions of its exposed structural columns are clad in the same ground face concrete block and the unsightly under-structure, so common in similar pre-engineered structures, is enclosed with an economical metallic gray siding, which not only creates a clean and refined appearance, but also encloses generous amounts of storage space for physical education and athletics activities.
Arched trusses, a design element featured prominently at other campus athletic facilities, are also integrated here to create even more visual interest. The three center bays of the grandstand structure include a steel framework for interchangeable graphics, which then screen the unremarkable backside of the press box. A deep wide flange beam below them creates a custom “retro” appearance and provides a bold backdrop for the school’s illuminated signage. Integrated team pennants recognize conference rivals and emphasize the festive game day atmosphere.
Typically, the design focus of high school sport athletic facilities like this are centered on the activities which take place on the field. This project provides a well-coordinated composition of site planning, unique expressions of architectural and structural elements which provides a remarkable backdrop to its athletics activities to enhance the game day experience.
Photos: Kenosha Unified School District
Architect: Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP
Owner: Bemis Company, Inc.
Contractor: CR Meyer & Sons Co.
Bemis Corporation, a worldwide leader in flexible packaging, required the transformation a non-descript 1980’s canning facility into a world class research and development center. The 125,000 square-foot program included extensive research labs, R & D office space, a machine show room and client experience spaces.
The project was limited to an interior remodel exterior work limited to introducing new point supported glass at the entry to allow views into the facility and a new signage element to refresh the existing entrance. The interior remodel occurred in 11 carefully orchestrated phases to keep the facility operational during construction, which took a total of 23 months.
The existing building entry was redesigned with clear, point-supported glass to create a high tech image and show activity inside the building. In addition, a curved surround and reclad columns incorporates new signage. A key function of the Innovation Center is to function as a sales tool to perspective customers. To accomplish this, a formal visitor experience with a series of designed tour stops helped shape the plan beginning at the new two-story lobby. The focal point of this space is a flexible orientation room which opens to the lobby for visitor interface with a touch screen wall or it can be closed for a private presentation. Throughout the design, a clean, high tech aesthetic with glass, stainless steel and branding colors creates a branded visitor experience. The former canning space was transformed into a packaging machine showroom. In this space, new clerestory windows flood the space with natural light. Surrounding the showroom are new research labs with glass fronts and graphics, which become visual stops on the visitor tour route. The showroom functions to display a variety of packaging equipment serviced by overhead power gas and vacuum. The showroom and labs allow visitors to experience Bemis’ design and research capabilities. Additional tour stops include a cooking lab to test product, environmental chambers and an analytical lab. Visiting clients are also provided a client suite available for long days at the facility with a living room, kitchen and luggage room to create a first-class visitor experience and a break space.
The new open office plan features a greatly reduced number of enclosed offices and an increased number of small meeting rooms for acoustical privacy when necessary. The typical workstation was reduced to 6’ x 9’ with shared work islands and sit-stand desks. The new open plan fosters teamwork and collaboration. A new atrium and skylight links the two R & D floors to foster communication and forms a “Town Square” for all company meetings as well. Two “work cafes” are strategically located in the building to be convenient meeting spaces for not only eating but also an alternative work environment with writeable walls and access to technology.
Careful planning was required to keep the facility operational, which resulted in a project with 11 Phases of construction within a 23-month schedule.
Extensive coordination between Bemis staff, the architect, consultants and contractors was needed to orchestrate the multiple moves of Bemis employees to accomplish this project.
Photos: Tricia Shay
Architect: Flad Architects
Owner: UW Health
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
UW Health at The American Center is a new 42-acre health and wellness campus. With a strong focus on preventive care and wellness, the campus is the new home to UW Health’s orthopedic practice, as well as providing high-quality ambulatory, clinic, and emergency services.
The overarching vision for the campus was to create a wellness community, supportive of the healing process and fostering continued healthy lifestyles. The campus was designed to be easily navigable, walkable, and incorporate transparency to healthy activities. The new environment presents an atmosphere and experience that inspires patients, family, and staff alike to the benefits of healthy lifestyles.
The project site offered unique opportunities to preserve open space, views, and other natural features. The desire to preserve mature trees and a wooded knoll created a need to strategically place building structures and the helipad to avoid conflict. In order to optimize the project’s final build-out potential, future phases were taken into account when incorporating the site’s natural features.
Understandable and intuitive wayfinding was essential in creating an exceptional experience for patients, visitors, and staff. One main point of arrival was created for visitors by means of a teardrop court and a focal healing garden. The 280-foot long entrance canopy is curved with multiple columns to match the center wing’s curvature and is cantilevered off steel columns in both directions, designed to facilitate the drop-off sequence and provide both inpatient and outpatient entries. Between the two entries is a dedicated interior promenade that becomes the primary building circulation. This welcoming two-story promenade features a full-height curtain wall glazing that bathes the lobby area in natural light and serves as a focal point for the entire facility. Sports and wellness programs such as the gymnasium, demonstration kitchen, and pool are placed along the arrival court to increase visibility through the transparency of the building and encourage healthy activity.
The design vision was to create opportunities for accessible outdoor spaces and to take advantage of any opportunity to bring natural light and views into the building. Other elements such as natural colors and materials, artwork, and comfortable lighting further support reduced stress and anxiety. The interior design and selection of materials are compatible with the exterior building and site design to provide a cohesive and seamless whole health design. The connecting passageways between various departments are wide and take advantage of natural light whenever possible, creating an airy and dynamic aesthetic.
Central to the entire design process was the commitment to a completely patient-focused care model. Many areas within the building were designed with outward viewing opportunities. The built environment and landscape design provide relief, respite, and easy pedestrian-level access. All inpatient rooms have a view of the carefully preserved tree line and pastoral landscape or of the beautifully landscaped green roof on the southwest end of the building.
The building’s modern exterior is made up of a combination of natural-colored building materials to highlight various components of the facility. Warm-colored terra cotta cladding is used throughout on the lower levels and the east and west vertical building cores. An indigenous gray limestone base wraps the entire facility and white acid-etched architectural precast panels accent the upper floors of all three wings. Expanses of curtainwalls are used to provide a high level of transparency and connection between interior and exterior environments.
The interior design complements the exterior architectural features and materials. The use of large expressions of clean and modern materials such as terrazzo, glass, metals, and wood veneered walls and ceilings reinforces the high-technology procedures to be performed in the new facility. Warm wood tones and soft hues of sky blue accents create a relaxing calm environment.
Design elements were configured to create a comfortable, inviting, and dynamic rooftop garden adjacent to the dining facility. Decoratively curved concrete walls provide additional seating for diners to separate walking paths throughout the garden and green roof, backing up the stone landscape walls. At almost an acre in size, a green roof and associated landscaping was designed as an integral part of the facility’s user experience and highlights UW Health’s commitment to sustainable design and construction.
Photos: Hedrich Blessing Photography and Philip Prowse Photography
Architect: Bray Associates-Architects, Inc.
Owner:Middleton-Cross plains Area School Distric
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
In 2012, the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District passed a $60 million referendum for District-wide improvements. The most significant component was a $50 million addition to Kromrey Middle School which was completed in August 2015. This stunning solution greatly reduced overcrowding at the District’s elementary and middle schools.
Kromrey was built utilizing 21st century design techniques, with no disruption to the school year and the result is a high-performance, sustainable school that assimilates the natural surroundings of the adjacent Pheasant Branch Conservancy into its curriculum. Natural light pours into classrooms and corridors from every direction through tall clerestory windows. Through these improvements, Kromrey was transformed into a thriving community for all students, teachers and staff.
In order to address overcrowding issues, a two-story academic wing was built for 5th grade students, located away from the 6th-8th grade three-story wing. This resolved overcrowding issues and respected the wishes of the community to gently integrate younger students into an environment with older students.
The design team also utilized different color schemes for each grade, providing cues for students, staff and visitors to navigate the school. These color schemes were used throughout all finishes in the academic wings and converge in the Library Media Center (LMC) illustrating a united space for all grades.
The design process involved significant input from district leaders, curriculum directors, the principal, department heads, and students on how learning environments could be improved and enhanced. As a result, each classroom incorporates an operable glass wall which is oriented towards a shared collaboration space. The glass wall creates a blurred line between traditional learning spaces and non-classroom spaces encouraging collaboration and maximizes flexibility while still providing visibility for teachers. Similarly, a variety of flexible/reconfigurable collaboration spaces can be found throughout Kromrey and incorporate flexible and engaging furniture as well as whiteboard paint on the walls, encouraging students to be visual and creative learners.
The design team utilized a rare and beautiful opportunity to integrate an outdoor learning classroom and amphitheater into the adjacent Pheasant Branch Conservancy. The building plan and organization closely follows the natural edge of the nature preserve without encroaching on it. Spectacular views of the outdoor amphitheater/classroom can be seen from a variety of vantage points in the school, including the full two-story glass wall of the LMC, Cafeteria, and an outdoor balcony.
Photos: Harper Fritsch Studios, Inc.
Architect: Stephen Perry Smith Architects
Owner: Dr. Thomas Manos & Cynthia Manos
Contractor: Berghammer Construction Corporation
The client, a group dental practice, was responding to increased demand at its first and oldest location in Milwaukee. It was decided to move the practice into a newly remodeled facility and to close the original location. The model of the organization is to house general dentistry and specialty care in one facility. A highly visible stand-alone location with adequate parking was required for a dental clinic to house 42 operatories.
A vacant “big box” store which was available in a prime location lent itself to adaptive reuse. The location and parking were adequate, but the existing building was a bit smaller than needed to house the existing doctor teams.
To provide the area needed, a mezzanine was added to the existing building since the open structure was much taller than what was needed for the practice of dentistry. A 4,000 square foot steel structure was constructed down the middle of the existing volume to house all of the employee including locker rooms, lunchroom and dental equipment room. This created two higher volumes flanking the mezzanine, and a lower space underneath the mezzanine. These areas were used to create differing volumes that define the major functions of the practice- general dentistry on one side, and specialty care on the other.
Because of the high number of dental operatories, the design strives to break down the program into smaller clusters of chairs, which are organized along the major corridors.
The client has been building a brand through the construction of multiple facilities, elements used consistently to distinguish the brand include cut stone, dark fenestration, warm brick and metal panels. The exterior was changed extensively to eliminate the big box feel, and to provide a more human scale to the entry sequence.
Photos: Mark Demsky, AIA. and Josh Hugo
Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania
Architect: Architectural Design Consultants Inc.
Owner: Kalahari Resorts, LLC
Contractor: Kraemer Brothers, LLC
Phase one of this African-themed hospitality resort includes 457 guest rooms, 120,000 square foot convention center, 110,000 square foot indoor water park, 30,000 square foot arcade/family entertainment center, three signature restaurants, luxury spa and retail, and totals just under 790,000 square feet.
The 150-acre site of rolling terrain and sits on a hard layer of stepped bedrock. Surface water sheds into a neighboring creek and on-site water retainage was necessary and embraced by the design.
The exterior façade embraces visitors with an African Safari Water Park Resort feel and a stepping facade. The elevated porte cochere with hut structure and branch support brackets overlooks a beautiful pond with rock outcroppings and cascading waterfalls. The hotel and convention centers are materialized into works of art through an array of colors and African-themed patterns and murals. Exterior lighting assists with the evening experience with the use of intense, high-efficiency LED lighting that casts light down the entire eight story high-rise.
The architect designed different themed guest experiences at each of seven restaurants, three retail shopping centers plus candy shop, coffee shop, full-service spa and swim up bars both indoors and outdoors. Design elements for wet environments and wet swimsuits throughout the resort include heavy-duty, leather-look vinyl at all guest seating, high impact wall coverings at all public areas and within guest units, scrubbable paints throughout, corner guards, specialty grouts, diagonal ceiling tiles in long corridors, log chair rails while maintaining a sense of Africa.
The functionality of the interior spaces was key as over 80% of guests never leave the resort during their stay. A village unto itself, the resort provides guests with a transforming vacation experience. When traversing the resort, wayfinding is critical. Icons such as a giant metal acacia tree, life-size elephant, and a bronze gorilla appear everywhere while genuine African art weaves authenticity into the fantasy.
Back-of-house operations are efficiently and effectively integrated through well-conceived design, attention to the smallest detail, thorough understanding of project needs and goals, and a desire to set a new standard for indoor waterpark resorts.
Photos: Paul S. Bartholomew Photography
Architect: Ramsey Jones Architects
Contractor: Common Advantage
This high performance and purpose built residence is a highly livable, durable and low operating cost home comfortably nested in an older urban neighborhood. Material textures and details hint at existing Craftsman bungalows, while low-slung linear masses lend modern lines to the structure.
Constrained to the rear corner of the property, and lacking an alley for car access, of great concern was limiting the negative impact of a garage on the front elevation and the interior dead zone often created beyond.
Embracing the ample southern exposure with a U-shaped building abutting setbacks on all four sides, a semi-private entry courtyard was created which buffers the public realm substantially via raised elevation and a planted screen, while still maintaining a light, glassy and transparent façade.
Wrapping these narrow building volumes around the perimeter establishes well day-lighted and naturally ventilated spaces, and cradles the entry courtyard, expanding the perceived square footage of the 1700 SF residence with the direct connection of 16'-0" sliding door panels. This masonry flanked and sheltered space also stretches the seasons as a solar-warmed microclimate in the shoulder months, whereas the covered exterior space provides welcomed shade in the heat of summer.
Depressing the garage and locating it tight against the western edge and tall neighboring building minimized its focal impact on the primary facade, while limiting the interior space adversely affected by its bulk.
Deeply green, the residence incorporates extensive passive and active techniques and systems to minimize initial impact and ongoing costs. Passive systems include natural day-lighting, cross ventilation, ground linked thermal mass concrete floors, green roof systems and microclimate spaces for comfort. Active systems include solar thermal hot water and solar photovoltaic panels on the low-slope roofs.
An existing dilapidated residence on the property was deconstructed and donated as building materials. Reclaimed / repurposed materials include Cream City brick from the Schlitz Brewhouse in Milwaukee, wind-felled pine glu-lams and decking, pickle barrel cypress siding, maple flooring and cedar lined closets.
Photo: Daniel Kabara Photography
Architect: Johnson Design, Inc.
Owner: Hendricks Commercial Properties
Contractor: Corporate Contractors, Inc.
The concept of this interior and limited exterior remodel was to create a juxtaposition between a modern interior infill in a 19th century industrial building. This project is an incubator environment for start up businesses. The goal of the client was to create a space that is a collaborative and dynamic co-working space for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers a variety of memberships, ranging from dedicated desks to private office space with an exciting environment that is sure to inspire creativity and collaboration. It also can be utilized for workshops, client presentations or employee training. Open desks, event space, office space and conference rooms are available.
The response to the clients program was to keep the space open and clean, allowing the older structure to be expressed. The new interior offices and conference spaces do not compete with the complexity of the existing elements. The infill is meant to be simple, lacking hierarchy of place.
The space has been designed to be flexible, so an occupant can have both privacy and be able to interact with others. The large open interior acts as a “street,” apart from the row of infill, which speaks to the breakdown of levels of public and private zones, much like the street in a city or neighborhood. The simple lines of the infill allow and add strength the local graffiti artist wall, focusing visual emphasis on the art, and community aspect of the space.
The new space respects and brings life back to a building important to the history in the city it is located in. The architecture of the infill becomes subservient to the notion of the importance of interaction within the community of the public space. Through the creation of a clean, modern feeling infill element, the emphasis of the design allows the start up business the economic advantage of a small leasable office footprint, while having the advantage of a larger, more collaborative community space for the sharing of ideas and interaction with others.
Photos: Jim Spelman
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Architect: Kahler Slater
Owner: University of Wisconsin Department of Facilities Development
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
For decades, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Nursing lacked a true home. Despite ranking among the nation’s top nursing programs, it was located within borrowed spaces and a former dormitory dating to the 1920s. As the School’s administrators realized that the lack of architectural identity and places for student interaction would ultimately impact the School’s growth, a new dedicated center for nursing education became an essential requirement to ensure continued and future success.
The new Signe Skott Cooper Hall nursing education building reflects the School of Nursing’s significant history as well as its vision for the future of the profession, by emphasizing its focus on research, innovation, and the creation of collaborative teaching and learning opportunities. It features a variety of shared spaces, from intimate to spacious, that promote student interaction. An engaging palette of materials, comfortable furnishings, and thoughtfully selected lighting enhance the learning environment throughout.
To support the School’s primary mission of training future nursing caregivers, classrooms were designed to complement progressive teaching pedagogies by incorporating cutting-edge technological tools. The School’s conference rooms, research offices, and active learning classrooms are among the largest and most interactive in the state, and the program highlights a realistic simulation suite which allows future nurses to practice procedures in hospital, clinic, and home settings. A 300-seat auditorium, a café, and multi-use rooms for exercise and wellness programs are among the many student and faculty amenities which enrich the teaching and learning experience, and act as community resources which draw in the School’s academic neighbors as well.
In order to foster connectivity with the adjacent Medical and Pharmacy Schools, as well as the University Hospital and the broader campus, the design revolves around a well-defined green space at the center of the site. The quadrangle establishes a collaborative hub for the academic medical campus, while the building’s overall siting at the street edge strengthens outward connections. A welcoming sequence of lobby and gathering areas, flanked by the major program blocks, seamlessly draws users from street to courtyard, while the landscaped plaza and additional green roofs form a cohesive planted tapestry, which enhances the project’s LEED Silver status. The building takes additional advantage of its site by incorporating a recreation path that encircles nearby Lake Mendota, and by providing dramatic views of the campus and city from its upper floors.
In setting the stage for the future, it was important to recognize the School’s history and celebrate its addition to the University campus within the legacy of the Wisconsin Idea, which fosters the importance of public universities’ contributions to the state. Original architectural elements from the 1924 nurses’ dormitory were repurposed throughout the interior, and exterior materials were chosen to reflect the traditional UW-Madison vernacular. Lower levels, carved away to create large communal spaces, are clad in stone in order to anchor the school to the site, while the building’s signature profile feature, a cantilevered wood ‘eyebrow’, shades upper floors and gathering space with its gaze fixed firmly on the horizon.
Representing one of the most innovative nursing education and research facilities in the nation, Signe Skott Cooper Hall School of Nursing enhances collaboration across disciplines with its open design and large teaching and learning spaces. It proudly announces a new era of nursing education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will impact the future of healthcare in the State of Wisconsin and beyond.
Photos: Todd Brown, Kate Joyce
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Architect: Performa, Inc.
Owner: Skyward, Inc.
Contractor: Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Skyward is an international software developer for school systems and was faced with the challenge of rapid growth. Created at the family kitchen table in the early 80’s, Skyward has grown to the point where they needed more than just a facility that houses employees. The company needed a way to recruit and retain young software programmers to central Wisconsin and believed a new headquarters would be a catalyst to this need. The building needed to be a tool to facilitate highly collaborative and team-based software development. The existing facility lacked progressive amenities and was a menagerie of buildings and additions that couldn’t be efficiently renovated. The new design incorporates natural light, ergonomic furnishings, access to on site health care, fitness, dry cleaning, concierge service, and food service that gives employees the opportunity to bring home evening meals. These amenities allow their employees to concentrate on work and not the little things in life that slows them down.
Performa helped Skyward determine their current and future facility needs and designed a solution that brought together the entire company under one roof. This consolidation allowed for increased production by creating better functional adjacencies, greater employee collaboration, and an open, clean, well lit, high performance work environment.
The new 181,700 square foot world headquarters is located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and sits on a 40 acre site adjacent to Highway 39. The facility houses nearly 1,000 employees on 4 floors with subsurface parking for 20 vehicles.
The interior of the facility is very open and transparent. The common core, considered the heart of the building, has three “wings” that converge into a central area that has collaboration spaces, conference rooms, food service and restrooms that encourage impromptu or informal chance encounters. Other break out areas allow employees to step away from the intense and highly-focused task of writing code at a computer all day. The wings are designed to enhance a “scrum team” operating model. This model requires maximum flexibility and the ability to adapt to rapid team formations.
Photos: Jackson & Co.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Architect: Somerville Architects & Engineers
Owner: The Automoblie Gallery
Contractor: Schuh Construction Inc.
When you’re housing a 1959 Buick Electra 225 or a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 you want simply to showcase the beauty of the vehicles, complementing the exquisite precision of their design. The Automobile Gallery does just that, seamlessly spotlighting the historic integrity of this former Cadillac dealership while modernizing its utility.
The result is an 18,060 square-foot vibrant backdrop that stuns, yet takes a back seat to the prized automobiles. It began with the rejuvenation of a building that had served as storage space for nearly two decades. The exterior’s prominent rust stains and dark bronze features belied its glory days as a flagship facility for Cadillac. Updated heating, cooling and plumbing systems are kept unobtrusive and are incorporated into the original structure, modernizing and re-energizing the building.
Part gallery, part event space, the modern and minimalist atmosphere serves both roles perfectly through design cues similar to those found at Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari museums around the world. The overarching theme throughout the building is secretly functional but with versatility fitting a facility with uses ranging from elegant receptions to informal parties. The gallery also houses a catering kitchen and outdoor terrace able to accommodate up to 350 guests.
Candy apple red cars stand out against the white walls and are reflected in the polished concrete floor. Chrome rims shine down from stark white lifts in a room of precisely crafted acoustics. And there is a significance behind each touch of color. Red hues woven throughout pay tribute to founder William “Red” Lewis. Brilliant red glass walls provide reference points guiding you through the gallery, where automobile artwork and a custom engine coffee table complete the look.
The upper-level executive conference room is fully loaded with a state-of-the-art meeting space sitting atop the grand gallery. The former parts mezzanine has a series of sliding glass doors overlooking the showroom. Extensive thought and planning behind even the most minute detail create a harmonious flow, maintaining the building’s original form and function but using it all in a new way, for an aesthetic that takes its cues from the machines it houses.
Photos: Ryan Photography
Architect: Isthmus Architecture, Inc.
Owner: Al. Ringling Theatre Friends, Inc.
Contractor: Joe Daniels Construction Co.
The rehabilitation of this historic landmark theatre returns an important cultural icon to its original elegance while incorporating a complete upgrade of building systems and new technology. The intimate 785-seat Al. Ringling Theatre, constructed in 1915, is widely acknowledged as the first complete example of the American Movie Palace. Through extensive research, thoughtful collaborative design and careful integration of new technology, the successful rehabilitation and restoration revitalizes the theatre into a highly efficient, sustainable and much more comfortable facility. Beginning with a comprehensive Historic Structure Report, the overall project focused on the restoration of all the elaborate historic elements, providing code compliant life safety upgrades, tightening of the thermal envelope, expanding public restrooms and improving universal accessibility. The central portion of the roof at the auditorium was replaced to mitigate further damage of the extensive gilded plasterwork, hand-painted canvas murals and fire curtain, and lavish velvet draperies on the interior. A staff of decorative finishes specialists and several conservators were on site fulltime to restore the interior. The original interior lighting and the prominent entrance marquee were carefully restored. The theatre reopened with a sold-out performance. Reflecting the strong community support and value of state and federal tax incentives, the rehabilitation ensures the ongoing viability of a significant local gem of American culture.
Jury Comment: “This is a beautiful execution of a thoughtful and incredibly sensitive restoration of an important building. It lets the building continue to be the star. It is really good architectural work that too often does not get the recognition it deserves. The project was intellectually driven. It feels celebratory, like the architecture of joy, where everyone involved couldn’t wait to get to work.”
Photos: Bill Johnsen
Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Owner: Mandel Group, Inc.
Contractor: Greenfire Management Services
This mixed-use development combines an indoor rock-climbing gym with 46 small apartment units on an urban brownfield site at the northern edge of downtown Milwaukee. A simple four-story volume, the building’s exterior materials – weathering steel, accentuated by fiber concrete panels, aluminum and glass – reflect the site’s industrial history and the influx of young professionals interested in the urban environment. The modular apartments take advantage of expansive views of the adjacent community green space and the Milwaukee River basin. The 60-foot high gym space accommodates a pair of vertical glass walls that effectively advertise the climbing activities on the inside. The exterior of the gym’s windowless north wall is an articulated cadenced plane organized by a series of oblique aluminum fins that create an animated vertical texture. The fins are spaced by horizontal light strips, with their green acrylic lenses adding a splash of color. At the top, a five-foot continuous clerestory provides the gym with natural light throughout the day and the neighborhood a softly glowing beacon at night.
Jury Comment: “This is a beautifully articulated and sited building. It is wonderfully detailed and very minimally expressed, with one window leading to the next and one vertical material leading to the next. The architect was in control of their material, knowing how to manipulate the parts to reinforce and play off one another as necessary in the different parts of the building. The architect was able to squeeze a tremendous amount of effect out of what most likely is a minimal budget.”
Photos: John J. Macaulay
How to get published . . .
Submit your best work to the annual AIA Wisconsin Design Awards program.
Along with the winners, submitted projects will be unveiled throughout the year and featured in the Wisconsin Architect Gallery.
Design Awards Deadline: mid-January
Materials Due: mid-February
Architect: The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.
Owner: The Edwin E. & Janet L. Bryant Foundation, Inc.
Contractor: Vogel Brothers Building Co.
The architect was hired by the Bryant Foundation, Inc. of Stoughton, Wisconsin to design an interpretive center that traced the history of Norwegian emigration to Wisconsin during the 19th century. The vision was to create a symbiotic balance between architecture, artifacts, and contemporary media in a highly integrated fashion to inform both a regional and international audience. The main exhibit hall contains visual and audio interpretations of the journey from Norway, narrated stories of individual immigrants, plus physical displays of cultural artifacts brought to America. A temporary exhibit space offers displays from other Norwegian heritage and arts organizations. A 68-seat auditorium provides high-definition video related to Norwegian culture and geography. Livsreise is home to a public genealogy research center. The center employs 4 full-time employees and 45 part-time volunteers.
The Center is located on a challenging and highly constrained city lot along downtown Stoughton’s main thoroughfare. An existing single-family residence located adjacent to the southeast corner of the lot constrained building footprint options. The site of a former gas station, soil contamination and a high groundwater level presented additional development challenges.
The site location created a significant opportunity to strengthen and enliven a primary entry point into the historic downtown. The building was brought forward to the street edge and reinforced by a pedestrian friendly covered walkway that also serves as tour bus staging area. To further reinforce pedestrian scale and walkability a modest offstreet parking area was placed to the rear of the building. To mitigate groundwater infiltration an elaborate drain tile system and fully waterproof basement was incorporated into the design.
Livsreise (lifs-rye-sa) translates to “Life’s Journey.” It is a generational journey, encompassing not only the physical journey Norwegian emigrants traveled, but also the continued journey as current generations embrace their Norwegian Heritage.
Livsreise features a contemporary building design inspired by the geometry and bold colors of traditional Norwegian vernacular architecture. The rhythm, scale, and proportion of building elements harmonize with adjacent historic buildings. The building shape allowed the creation of a secluded outdoor rear patio area, enhanced by the thoughtful decision to preserve several large maple trees during construction. Douglas fir timber interior structural elements were shaped to reinforce overall building geometry. The design and location of windows provides abundant natural daylight while strategically controlling light within the main exhibit hall. Douglas Fir tongue and groove ceiling trim is accented by maple interior wood siding. Local Norwegian Rosemaling artists painted wood tiles for the interior. Design of fixed interpretive displays was closely coordinated between the architect and the project’s interpretive design consultant. The Norwegian emigrant story is shared through a host of static and interactive exhibits including the largest array of Planar Mosaic Salvador monitors in the world.
The building is successful on two levels: First, it is an outwardly focused building that meets the Bryant Foundation's goal of supporting and reinforcing the downtown community of Stoughton. Livsreise averages over 1000 visitors (both new and returning) each month, curious to explore their roots or learn more about the story of Norwegian emigration. Busloads of Norwegian tourists, including delegates from the Norwegian government and the Norwegian ambassador to America, have made the journey to Stoughton to see and experience Livsreise.
The design of Livsreise reflects the best traditions of Norwegian architecture, yet it is clearly contemporary in expression. Building details, large and small, have been carefully considered to create a beautifully interlocked and seamless visitor experience. The building connects both emotionally and physically, to visitors young and old. Livsreise is a finely crafted jewel of a building that creates new life and activity in an American community justly proud of its Norwegian immigrant heritage.
Photos: The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.