Built as the first stage of a Master Plan for the full expansion of an existing industrial headquarters dating from the 1960’s, this seven-story office complex and research facility replaced a number of older buildings that no longer met the requirements of the company.
The Master Plan for the ultimate development of the site is based on two orthogonal grids superimposed and then “cranked” to align with existing site conditions. These grids, derived from the dimensions, setting and structural bays of the buildings on the site, have been used to determine the modular order and alignment of the new buildings. The standard office module is a slender, rectilinear volume based on a 7.20 x 7.20 support grid. Clad throughout with white aluminum panels, the overall envelope is given tactile depth by granite facing on both sides of the east-west axis.
Aerial bridges, extruded columns and careful detailing counteract the typical experience of industrial architecture, with its tendency towards frontal, clinically efficient surfaces. Planted courtyards and trees enliven the already active grid of white metal panels with color. Walkways and lawns elide into one another in a lattice of paving stones, with grass visible through the interstices. The overall impression created is of an imposed order, bright and new, that seems to have always been there.