20 Sep Contractor Office and Warehouse
A prominent glass atrium sets this warehouse and office building apart.
Industrial park architecture tends to be uninspiring—boxy prefab buildings with little concern given to creating attractive, thoughtful environments. The real selling point is affordability. So when a plumber asked us to design a new facility for his growing business, we saw it as a challenge to create something far more compelling while still remaining cost-effective.
Our client expressed particular interest in having an open centralized lobby. We let this wish-list item drive the overall design, and conducted various massing studies to determine a scheme that balanced function and aesthetics. We also made use of prefab structural systems—the very same systems that normally produce those boring stock industrial buildings—and modified them enough to create a custom building form. This allowed us to keep the building affordable.
The result is a tall glazed atrium partially enveloped by a lower, concrete block office volume. The bright and expansive atrium welcomes visitors and provides easy orientation and access to the various offices and support spaces of the building. The lobby volume also minimizes the visual impact of the warehouse, which is offset and tucked away behind a simple concrete block plane at the far end of the building.
The client leaned towards a modern industrial style. We selected durable, attractive, economical materials: textured concrete block, aluminum storefront windows, polished concrete floors, and exposed steel trusses spanning the high atrium ceiling. A louvered entry canopy and sunshades on the south facing windows minimize solar heat gain. The large atrium allows in natural light, and creates the identity of the building.