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MUSEUM ON THE SQUARE

Santa Rosa, CA | Complete

In 1973, AT&T constructed a 5-story, windowless concrete building on Courthouse Square, the heart of Santa Rosa’s downtown. Because the building was designed to handle trans-Pacific calls, its importance to national security dictated that the structure be able to withstand a nuclear blast. 

Modifying an industrial eyesore into a building appropriate to its urban setting presented a daunting challenge for TLCD Architecture, who acted as the architect for both the bulding renovation and the design of its new offices on the 2nd floor. Instead of concealing the existing structure with a new cladding system, it was decided to transform the building without concealing its industrial character.

As many of the concrete wall panels as possible were removed and replaced with large windows that fill the entire opening, from floor to floor, column to column. A veil of perforated aluminum panels was overlaid upon the existing concrete structure. The number of panels was kept to the bare minimum necessary to transform the building, creating tension between the skeleton of the existing building and the new, overlaid facade.  

Near the lobby entry the cladding is bent at a 90-degree angle to form a large sign blade that gives the building a presence from the east and west. Twenty-four of the perforated panels are folded to create an origami-like sculptural sunshade. A new, covered outdoor court provides space for outdoor dining overlooking Courthouse Square. 

The juxtaposition of the existing industrial loft structure with its new, sophisticated façade offers a bold addition to Santa Rosa’s downtown.

Read more about TLCD Architecture's new office