SOM’s Commercial award entry demonstrates innovative thinking for Californian suburban office space
Kia Motors elevates the typology of the suburban office park through a thoughtful embrace of the economic constraints of tilt-up construction and standardized components. The complex accommodates a wide range of uses—from office functions to gallery spaces—throughout generous, light-filled areas.
The site plan is organized by oppositional outdoor rooms, one grand in scale that faces Interstate 5, and an informal gathering space which marks the main entry of the Headquarters Building. These spaces frame a view of the complex from the highway, drawing the gaze of passing motorists.
The project was built in two phases: a Phase One Headquarters Building and Phase Two Design Center. Exploring the limitations of tilt-up construction, the simple and efficient Headquarters Building is composed of a pair of two-story structures containing office and technical functions, joined by a third level glazed "bridge" for executive and administrative offices. The bridge floats above a gracious, top-lit reception gallery enclosed by a series of 27-foot-high pivoting glass doors. These doors create a flexible indoor-outdoor environment for events. This multipurpose room is used by the surrounding community, and has hosted the South Coast Symphony as well as a other non business functions.
The Design Center’s program resulted in a large footprint that supports a triangular workflow between design, modelling and presentation disciplines. To the east of the design studios, two presentation rooms and an outdoor court allow designers to study and present “in progress” full scale designs in both natural and artificial light.