Completion Year: 2005
Program: 4.800 sf Office Building, Adaptive Reuse
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield FAIA, Mark Goodwin AIA, Tricia Izzo, Shanna Telesco
General Contractor: A. Pappajohn Co.
Landscape Designer: T. Palmer Landscaping Co.
Structural Engineer: David Seymour, P.E.
Awards & Honors:
2007 American Institute of Architects, Connecticut Chapter
Business Architecture Award
The Client wanted its new headquarters, located in an existing, dated structure, to reflect the innovation it has brought to the window manufacturing industry and to have a significant street presence on a busy thoroughfare. Zoning required that the building’s existing volume and roof-line be maintained, so the challenge of creating a dynamic image for the building was great.
The panelized exterior cladding system provides a strong underlying order for an abstract composition of exterior materials. The structural glazing and the solid panels are flush with each other to equalize their importance as cladding materials, creating a modern wrapper. From the outside, a solid vertical “core” wrapped in plywood is clearly visible, hinting at the program within.
The same materials, glass, metal and wood, are also used throughout the interiors to create a sleek, open and luxurious environment. Originally housing three businesses, the new design unifies and organizes the space around an open central atrium within the core. A steel diamond-plate stair inside is wrapped in glass while circulation rings the stair. The “solid “core” zone wrapped in plywood houses storage cabinets, office equipment and kitchen appliances to free up the floor space of the offices, which line the perimeter of the building. An inner ring of glass panels holds the office walls away from the plywood, creating another layer of transparency and visual continuity within the building. The concentric layers of transparent and solid materials evoke a duality of public and private that reflects the program.
A new stair from the parking lot is treated as a sculptural piece, making the defacto entrance more architecturally significant. The exterior cladding expresses some of the hierarchy within: service spaces are clad in zinc panel, and “wood” while the partner’s offices are entirely glass. The “wood” exterior cladding straddles the line between natural and manufactured, as it is actually metal panel with an imprinted plywood pattern.
This project has succeeded in giving what was originally a small local company an identity befitting its goals of an expanded presence in the global window industry. In addition, this radical renovation of a derelict structure is a striking testament to the transformative power of building materials and architectural vision.