American Institute of Architects CT | 2007
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 roofline be maintained, so the challenge of creating a dynamic image fro 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.
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.