Dynamic manufacturing space

28 Oct 2011

Asian branch of a Chicago engineering firm connects indoors and outdoors with light and colour

The Deublin Precision Rotating Union Headquarters is the Asian branch of a Chicago engineering firm, the world's largest manufacturer of Rotating Unions. The facility is a 140,000 sq ft office, manufacturing, training, conference and distribution centre.

The main focus of the project was 100,000 sq ft of manufacturing space. Front offices and manufacturing space are treated as a single entity. The site is surrounded by beautiful hills to the north and a park to the west, with the manufacturing space as the centerpiece. A long span integrating structure and mechanical processes creates a flexible and functional manufacturing space.

It also uses these components as the drivers of the design. The manufacturing space is lit by continual skylights and windows that create a transition between the base with the vault. No artificial lighting is needed during the day. The surrounding windows allow views of the surrounding hills.

The complex is surrounded by gardens that make a visual connection between the landscape and the facility. The exterior expresses this integration through a continuous vaulted roof that combines all the functions of the facility into a single expression. It connects to traditional Chinese architecture through the floating roof that connects to the sky and the solid base which connects to the earth.

The materials chosen were to emulate the traditional architecture of China. Grey stone is used on the exterior with bright colours in the interior. In the Manufacturing Hall, the structure and mechanical expression are painted bright red and blue, creating a focal point.

The office, training and upper level mezzanine are encased in a deep red wood panelling system that wraps around the work areas. The lobby is grey to suggest a beautiful, woven carpet. By connecting the outdoor spaces with the indoor spaces, the gardens, parks and hills fill the public spaces with colour. At night, blue lighting highlights the dynamic exterior.

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