When TLCD Architecture set out to transform a former telephone switching building in downtown Santa Rosa into a mixed-use project called Museum on the Square, our goal was to turn the windowless structure into a vibrant, urban building with visual appeal. In order to achieve this objective, we overlaid the concrete structure with perforated aluminum panels by McNichols Perforated Metal. Working with fabricator and installer B.T. Mancini, TLCD designed a series of bent panels to achieve a unique sculptural effect. Low and behold, these “origami’ panels (as we call them) ended up on the cover of Commercial Architecture Magazine, along with an article about our use of the perforated metal panels.
The North Bay Business Journal held it’s 2016 Top Projects event in December where 20 North Bay projects were recognized and celebrated by the business community. TLCD Architecture was the architect on two distinctly different projects in the “Office” category.
American AgCredit is a 120,000 sf financial headquarters building for the nation’s largest agricultural lender. Our team worked with the client to design a flexible office environment that encourages collaboration and supports a strong company culture. Read more on our blog post “Creating Unique Spaces That Enhance Culture”.
TLCD’s new Office in downtown Santa Rosa is much different in scale but also supports workplace culture. It’s not often that architects have the opportunity to design their own space, and the former AT&T Building presented the perfect urban canvas for us. The design allows the natural character of the building to come through, while creating a very contemporary workplace.
Thanks to the North Bay Business Journal for hosting this event and celebrating the built environment in the North Bay!
From the beginning, American AgCredit challenged TLCD Architecture to design their headquarters building with “movement” in mind. Concepts like clear circulation, inside-outside views, places to connect and flex space were part of the design conversation. This allowed us to explore opportunities beyond traditional office zones and look at the spaces “in-between” as a way to enhance work culture. Interior spaces range from furnished skybridges to quiet alcoves, while exterior spaces are as diverse as a large landscaped central courtyard to a ping-pong deck. There are many examples throughout the new American AgCredit Headquarters building – and they demonstrate how carefully crafted detail, finishes and artwork can help create a truly exceptional workplace.
These concepts are not unique to the office environment. We bring many of these considerations to our work for educational and healthcare clients. The opportunity to design these “in-between” spaces for collaboration, communication and well-being at a college or medical campus has far-reaching impact.
What is your work environment like? Does it motivate and energize you? Well it should! Each workplace has an optimum environment in which to achieve maximum functionality and purpose. As architects we are often called upon to understand and develop what this might be. Most of the time this moment in the design process is called programming, but there’s an even more important stage prior to that. Analysis! Developing a strong base of information can begin to inform designers beyond the norm and make something really unique for a client (or ourselves). This process of investigation, research and critical thought allows us to map information from all influences of a project.
Reflection is another key piece of our design process. We gather all the findings from the analysis stage and move to graphic representations as tools for idea generation and critique. For instance, the Praxis infographic below breaks down one idea to it’s simplest form by graphically telling a story. In this example, “the way we work” was a key element for developing the design of our firm’s new office. Rather than just laying out how many people and offices get implemented into a floor plate, we dove into our office culture. We really wanted to understand what would empower our designers and staff. Read on after the graphic…
At TLCD Architecture’s new office, which is currently in design, we are consciously surrounding ourselves with our work – a sort of demonstration space to show what we are doing at any given time. You may visit one day and see a process of design happening right in front of you… creating spontaneous interactions between people across multiple projects. Design feeds off of strong studio cultures, and to strengthen ours, we are embracing the process of design and implementing it even further into our own space.
The practice of architecture and designing space for people is an amazing experience that TLCD gets to participate in everyday. We thought our own office space should share this process and not hide it. As we move to the next phase of design, we will begin to activate the space through the use of models, renderings and other visualization techniques. Recently, our staff got together to see what the new office space could look like using a new iPhone app and a simple cardboard box.
The built environment is in constant evolution and it’s a very exciting time for architecture and technology. Having the right team to take you to new levels means that we have to constantly be able to adapt, evolve and learn from each other. Our team thrives off the mutual respect, creative energy and ideas we can generate together. We can’t wait to show you what this looks like at TLCD’s new office, but more importantly to put it into action for our clients. Stay tuned!