Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Building Renovation / Case Study #2 – New Life for Outdated Office Buildings

A large, suburban, 105,000 square foot office building, located at 3033 Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa, California, stood mostly vacant for several years.  It’s fortress-like, single story brick appearance rendered it unattractive to lease and was in jeopardy of being in the path of the wrecking ball.
Several years ago, Redwood Credit Union decided to acquire the property for their corporate operations rather than build a new building.  We were subsequently commissioned by them to design a complete exterior and interior renovation.   The result was a dramatic transformation of this 45 + year-old building.  Our design introduced major exterior and interior design elements that gave the building a new identity.  The progressive exterior design, natural light filled interiors and adaptable floor plan created a highly desirable environment that is in tune with today’s workplace. 
The new exterior metal framework provides visual height and elegance to an otherwise long, flat and bulky façade. Canopies have been added to enhance the sense of entry from Cleveland AvenuePlazas, patios, an exterior fountain, walkways and outdoor seating were added for the enjoyment of RCU’s employees and visitors.  
and the main parking lot. Surrounding 5’-0” high screen walls were removed from the Cleveland Avenueelevation.  New full –height dual glazed windows have replaced the original institutional looking high windows, providing more daylight and openness to the outside. Three new banks of clerestory windows were added to the roof, bringing in much needed daylight to the windowless open office interiors and central mall. 
Archumana’s new interior design transformed the previously monotonous, low ceiling, 288- foot long central mall into a public galleria with naturally lit vaulted ceilings, a waterfall/reflecting pool and seating area for RCU’s Welcome Center and Member Services. The use of rich materials including natural limestone, granite, patterned carpeting and vibrant colors in combination with stepped wall planes and translucent glass create visual interest and warmth that makes this an inviting space to experience.  
Redwood Credit Union’s commitment to the environment is reflected in the sustainable strategies implemented with this renovation. This is the first Commercial Interiors project in Sonoma County to achieve a Silver LEED certification.  The renovation was also recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as the “Top Green Project” for 2007 in the North Bay.   
The more the public hears about local success stories, the more likely we will begin to transform suburbia towards better, more livable communities.  We’d like to hear about any recent, noteworthy renovation projects that add to this discussion and warrants our readers’ attention. 
Your comments and ideas are welcomed…
Tony Battaglia, AIA (tony

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