This 65,000-square-foot office building for an Architecture/Engineering design firm is sited to reinforce the corner of converging streets at Deming Way and Discovery Drive in Middleton, Wisconsin, as well as to take advantage of views toward Pheasant Branch Creek and its confluence pond north of the site. Broad windows open from the upper floors with views onto this feature and its bordering, tree-lined bicycle trail.
The building is constructed with exterior walls of tilt-up concrete panels, which were cast on site. The interior is steel frame. Column spacing creates an interior core where offices, conference rooms and most support spaces are placed, with clear spans to the outer walls allowing great flexibility for the layout of open office furniture. An inviting open staircase with a skylight overhead connects all floor levels to encourage use by employees as a place for serendipitous interaction.
Using a straightforward composition of rectilinear planes and openings, the layered exterior is designed to provide access to daylight while limiting harmful solar intrusion into the interior. On the south, this can be seen in the way the horizontal shading devices (off-the-shelf steel grating) protect the windows. On the east and west, an exoskeleton is made by turning the tilt-up panels perpendicular to the enclosing plane, creating vertical sunscreens which are effective in controlling eastern and western sunlight.
A curved vertical entrance feature references agricultural storage cribs and marks the entrance. Wood planks behind the reception counter are reused from a board formed concrete wall at the entry, expressing values which originate in agrarian settings where nothing is wasted. Colorful walls accentuate the core; cloud ceilings become tools to edify the younger practitioners of the A/E firm.
Middleton, WI 53562
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