A former armory on Manhattan’s Upper West Side was adaptively renovated and reused to accommodate the new corporate offices for a global multimedia entertainment company.
The three-story building, which previously functioned as a television studio, now serves approximately 240 employees. The parti addresses a modern insertion of 55,000 square feet within the historic container while the renovation and restoration of the existing masonry and steel roof trusses celebrate the historical character of the landmarked building.
With offices formerly scattered throughout the city, the location provided an opportunity to create a signature space reflecting the client’s guidelines for innovative, thoughtful, and creative design. Achieving this over-arching project goal required imaginative thinking to re-vision the space – working from the outside in on the relocation and renovation of structural and mechanical systems, and from the inside out in terms of respecting and invigorating the three-story interior hall. The requirements for the renovation were to maximize its use as corporate offices of a major media company while, simultaneously, recognizing the historical value of the original structure. The solution was defined by a critical understanding of the programmatic needs, site conditions and budget constraints. The result is a fully integrated design, where new building elements have been carefully inserted into the existing historic fabric, and environmentally responsible systems have been woven throughout. An unusual zoning requirement to maintain a 30-foot setback in the rear yard on the interior of the building, as well as a unique stair configuration that links the new mezzanine offices to the floors of the original building, are just two examples of creative solutions to pragmatic problems that make this project successful. An open, energetic work environment was developed through the insertion of two mezzanine levels that float within the overall volume.
The space is further activated through the prominent location of communicating stairs linking the mezzanine levels with the original head house. The orientation of the platforms provides distinct views of the overall hall volume. Communication is further encouraged through the selection of open work stations and transparent glass walls in private offices. Conference rooms are interspersed within the mezzanine levels and an open cafe area with a 36-screen video wall provides break-out space for informal meetings.
In addition to the design goals, the project required a substantial amount of upgrades in order to meet energy code compliance. Instead of simply meeting the requirements, sustainable practices such as water use reduction, recycled materials and daylighting were integrated into the project, which achieved a LEED Silver rating upon completion in November of 2011.
Copyright Text: FXFOWLE