Concours Office BuildingEdit profile
The vision of the Concours office project was to inspire and engage it’s energetic staff, by creating an open, dynamic center for innovative thinking, engineered for interation and collaboration. The Owner established the following design objectives to help make the vision a reality: • The building should be a cost-effective office building built at a similar construction cost as other office buildings in the area. It will be treated as a major economic investment for the company. • The interior work environment and aesthetic should be the main priority and focus. Therefore, the interior environment should be healthy, humane, and conducive to productivity. • Landscaped and shaded exterior seating and gathering areas should be provided for staff to enjoy. • The building should provide the maximum amount of diffused daylighting. Thermal comfort and control flexibility is a high priority. • The company should set a good example to clients and the community by providing energy efficiency and environmental sustainability within a cost-effective model. The vision of the Concours office project was to inspire and engage it’s energetic staff, by creating an open, dynamic center for innovative thinking, engineered for interation and collaboration. The design was inspired by the inhabitants’ need to work collaboratively with one another and the building’s responses to its natural surroundings. From the project’s conception, a team approach was enlisted to the design effort which matched the philosophy of its future tenants. The goal was to provide the building users ample space for collaboration while focusing on light qualities, solar orientation, sound, finishes, and sustainability. The interior palette, consisting of metal and concrete finishes is contrasted with warmer materials, including walnut, maple, modular carpet tiles, and natural stone. The geometric rigidity of the visually spare main lobby is articulated by materials expressed in their natural state"raw steel, raw and stained concrete, soap-finished maple and walnut, and unfinished stone. A striking counterpoint to these straight-lined forms is the large, circular seating that encourages discussion and serves as an impromptu gathering spot. The first level includes several shared spaces for social interaction and collaboration, such as an oversized combination lobby and connecting courtyard designed to host community and charitable events, presentation space, training room, break room, gymnasium, and various support spaces. On the second level, large meeting rooms overlook the lobby, giving collaborators plenty of natural light and extended views. One of the largest challenges the team faced was incorporating sustainable design techniques while adhering to the project budget. Some of the secondary spaces naturally lent themselves to sustainability, for example: The building design was expanded to include a gymnasium and showers to reduce the number of trips to off-site gyms during lunch and also to benefit bicycle commuters. A large employee kitchen was designed for maximum comfort, further encouraging the number of trips offsite during the work day. In another case, the two largest meeting rooms were outfitted for teleconferencing to allow for large-scale meetings between offices without the cost of travel, reducing the use of fossil fuel. The building is seeking Silver LEED certification. The designers were challenged with maximizing employee comfort. The building’s interior Oversized glass doors in the lobby open to an outdoor relaxation garden, further removing the boundaries of a once confining workspace and providing an environment for breaks and conversations. Lutron lighting controls were added to monitor the levels within each room or space. Timed, motorized shades balance the southern glazing. Mechanical systems were selected to provide the best possible occupant-controlled thermal comfort, while providing reduced operations costs. To help with in-door air quality, all finishes such as paints, wood products, recycled wood products, flooring, and furniture were selected for their low VOC characteristics. The end result is a LEED silver (certification pending) 57,000-SF office building, brought in well under the client’s budget at $158 per square foot. Given the owner’s priority that this project be driven first by a quality work environment, a successful indoor space required a working relationship with the architectural design team that was open, honest, and always mindful of the owner’s desired outcomes…budget priorities on this cost-efficient project were constantly driven back to ensuring a healthy, humane, and productive work environment…building approach and a close working relationship with the contractor helped ensure the most cost-effective building type, allowing for the optimization of the interiors budget.