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