Joseph Passa Architect as a previous partner for this firm designed this 2-bay alteration of an existing 6-bay warehouse for a new architectural and engineering office of approximately 3,600 sq. ft. Due to the nature of the large open space reaching upwards of 23 feet and the firm’s demand for regular public contact for a variety of individuals and their disciplines, a central focus was determined.
The created sphere directed the locations of the built forms to allow guests to be drawn into view of only the receptionist upon entry. Office inhabitants then emerged from behind various barriers or down a converging stair to achieve the drama of visual contact. This concentric juxtaposition of public entry, reception, and the private encounter was utilized to enlarge the relatively compact arrangement of the plan.
Inside the entry sphere, two points were used to determine the majority of wall locations by being either on a radius line or 90 to it. The complication of the additional center point provided offset complexity to avoid direct translation of the implied sphere yet was still within the reservation of the Party.
Within the context of a design practice; structure, material, color, and form were displayed to be functional and telling. The multiform use of painted metal exposed wires, couplings and screws, galvanized ductwork, punched steel shingles, anodized frames and brushed aluminum (reception desk) continued the shed aesthetic. Various clear stained woods for doors, handrails, furniture and trim provided grain description. Different textured tiles and a conference table of granite samples contributed to flaunt the exhibition.
All existing components of the shed’s walls, roof and structure were painted white as the clear palette from which to begin. Encompassing elements such as the mezzanine and entry vestibule were painted grey to reflect the continual grey skies of the area, while private areas under the mezzanine were green imitating the ground plane. In view from above, in the double volume area, was a village of forms vibrantly coloured and textured to explain human diversity and openness.
The circulation patterns within the space were based on being as direct as possible for the users. The centralized copy area under the stairs with an adjacent fax booth were readily accessible. Short corridors tended to finish at display walls of artwork or certificates to assist the urban quality and hence the village aspect.