Gensler Los Angeles
Thursday 04 Oct 2012


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Gensler's new office in downtown L.A. transforms an abandoned bank building into a creative workplace showcase.

Gensler set out to create a new home for their Los Angeles architecture office that would embody the values of the firm as well as support and enhance the way their employees work. After a thorough search for the new office location, Gensler made the decision to move from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

The design philosophy of the new office was to create a highly open, flexible, and transparent workspace focused around a 3-story daylight filled atrium with a connecting feature stair. A number of collaborative spaces are clustered throughout the office and are expressed as distinct, identifiable objects. These hubs provide effective places for various work modes to coexist. The space is designed to be a showcase for the use of a wide variety of materials, furniture, finishes, and details. This helps to inspire designers on a daily basis and creates a diverse, colorful, and varied environment.

The team was committed to sustainability, and the office achieved LEED-CI platinum certification, with 86 points (80 required for Platinum). The passive radiant cooling sails and advanced lighting controls throughout the open office significantly reduce energy use. Chilled water is supplied via copper coils to the sails to activate their metal surface temperature, providing cooling through convection and thermal radiation. This system is more energy efficient than traditional systems and takes up less ceiling plenum space. Advanced lighting controls reduce energy consumption, improve comfort, and increase productivity. Other sustainable features include Air Handling Units with improved performance and an integrated 30'x50' skylight with operable windows for smoke evacuation and natural ventilation. The skylight has high performing glass that allows 25% of natural daylight to be transmitted.