With its central location on campus, the Town Center provided an ideal opportunity to enhance the connections of the campus. To create a conference center fitting the organization’s vibrant culture, the design team created ‘life attractors’ with connectivity at four scales.
· CAMPUS CONNECTIVITY with a ‘landmark effect’ was made by peeling back brick and replacing it with glass panels. To further raise the visibility and energy inside the space, a custom architectural art installation of louvered panels and programmable LED lights serves as the backdrop of the interconnecting stair. The expansive installation extends into the exterior courtyard to draw people in.
· VERTICAL CONNECTIVITY was enhanced by adding a new monumental stair. The oversized plinth extends inside out, creating a focal point from the upper floor. Existing stairs were reconfigured to create an easy flow between the two 50,000 sf floors.
· VIRTUAL CONNECTIVITY was made by using state of the art audio visual technology in every room. Technology was optimally sized for all types of uses and maximum flexibility.
· PERSONAL CONNECTIVITY abounds. On a campus where a choice of work environments is the norm, a variety of spaces were designed just beyond the formal meeting spaces to accommodate many workstyles- heads down, quick touch down, small meetings, and large informal gatherings. With high performance and durability being a key factor, carpet was selected based on the where ability of patterning. Clear views and vistas are provided from each side and anchored Shaw carpets define each zone with custom art by local artists. The overall effect creates a lighter, brighter, high performing destination.
Designed from the inside out, natural light now fills the space generating an open and activated Town Center. The gathering space is bookended with Starbucks on one end and a bar on the other for after-hours events. This adaptable, multi-use space creates stronger personal and vertical connections. The heavily used conference rooms have more integrated technology and improved acoustical privacy benefitting the employees that use the center every week. Supporting many different types of meeting and conferencing needs, new skyfold partitions add flexibility to conferencing needs. In addition to emphasizing the functionality of the plan and program, one key piece of this project’s success was the close collaboration with the client. Partnering with them from the beginning led to an iterative design process where they were active participants in the conversation. The result of this active engagement helped to shape the ultimate design and vision for a compelling Town Center.