hub and satellite system
cannot stand alone and have been designed from the
beginning to be part of a larger ValueWeb network.
By the end of 2003 there will be over 30 MG Taylor
NavCenter type facilities globally. These will be
owned and operated by 10
different organizations in the academic,
government and private industry segments. Several
NGO and Community NavCenters are in development for
actuality, several networks that will
be functioning by this time: NavCenter to NavCenter
employed by a single organization; NavCenter to NavCenter
across organizations - networks that have regional
or other affiliations; interactions among the whole
network; and, a network of KnowledgeWorkers that
work, from time to time, in any number of these
Centers. This forms a complex ValueWeb of relationships.
These 30 plus Centers will have the capability of
serving, on a daily basis, between 2,000 and 2,500
users. Many will have the ability to link in real
time with RemotePresence and RemoteCollaboration
technologies and processes.
capability is a major milestone in the MG Taylor
goal of accomplishing ubiquity of method. It will
a whole capability that is far “greater than
the sum of the parts.” It will establish the
ability to solve
problems of a class, and on a scale, that, until
now, has not been possible. Truly systemic problems
be subject to comprehensive solutions for the first
article is focused on the design development process
of one of these Center-to-Center networks This NavCenter
Network will be owned and operated by the LEARNING
EXCHANGE, a part of the US Department of Veterans
Affairs, with an educational and employee development
focus and charged with delivering to a widely disbursed
national constituency. If this first phase of NavCenters
successful, the network of Centers could grow a great
deal over the next five years to serve
the over 1,700 facilities now in operation throughout
the United States.
design of this proto-network, and the hub
and nodes that make it up, is critical if this success
be achieved. The environments - which are all radically
different - the technology tool kits and the work
processes will all have to be locally focused and
capable and, at the same time, function
as an integrated system. The Network will start as
a regional system that has connectivity with the
major facilities by teleconferencing. A number of
small RDS NavCenters will be used to go to customers
throughout and outside of the region. The NavCenters
will employ and incorporate a number of process methods
developed by the existing community, as well as,
traditional MG Taylor NavCenter methods.
governance of this network is also critical. Although
there is ownership a hierarchy, and all the rules
and protocols that pertain to a legal entity, the
operation of NavCenters - and a network of NavCenters
- “marches to another drum beat.” NavCenters
are places of knowledge-work, and as such, they
follow Drucker’s prescription, made a generation
ago, regarding the conditions necessary to facilitate
the emergence of knowledge. How this fits into the
of a public institution of a large scale is an important
aspect of the design and transfer process. This project
is the largest Network of NavCenters to be brought
up at one time- the closest being the
period between 1996 and 1999 when 8 were developed
for four different businesses.
are five facilities in Programming and Schematic
Design, one of which: Facility One, is on a
FasTrack with Design Development. Each of
these are facilities are significantly different
other in setting, size, scope of work and focus.
Yet, all have to co-operate seamlessly in order the
accomplish their mission as a Network of
NavCenters. In May (2003), several people from the
and the MG Taylor ValueWeb spent a day defining goal,
performance specifications and a timeline to completion.
Design work is ongoing in a private conference
you believe you can contribute to this effort] It
is the goal that this NavCenter Network will be substantially
built out and in operation by the end of 2003/early
five NavCenters are profiled with drawings photos
and text below and linked to other pages which
provide greater detail.
Click on the drawing-icon below for an INDEX of
documents related to this project:
documents supplement the descriptions that follow.
order in which the five Centers will be developed
is determined by their specific local circumstances.
Each site has special conditions and is at a different
degree of ready-ness. Three of the Centers involve
significant architectural work, one is an RDS to
in an existing education space with minimum change
to the basic “box” and one - the hub
of the system - will be a new building primarily
dedicated to education
and the NavCenter functions. Despite these different
initial starting conditions, all five facilities
will be brought on line in closely timed sequence
so that the capacity as a whole is emphasized
from the beginning.
One is to be set in a new building just in completion.
The offices are under contract as a turn key lease.
Two areas have been provided for the NavCenter
function; on the East by the Entry to the space
and on the West by the entry to the Conference
Room. The Idea is to make the NavCenter an integral
part of the public experience of the total
space. In other words, instead of having a small
Center in a large environment, by treating
all the public areas as the NavCenter it becomes
network of offices in a NavCenter environment.
By adjusting the the WorkWalls and other NavCenter
units, Greater degrees of privacy and separation
can be achieved as required. The NavCenter and
public areas will have the typical “Taylor” trade-dress
modified to integrate with the furniture selected
for the offices. These two idioms will be different
yet compatible and play counterpoint to one another
giving each emphasis.
the front (East) area [right
hand side of drawing] will
serve as Entry to the entire office. It will also
Library. In addition, the area will be set up for collaborative
work. The size of groups will be accommodated by rotating/rolling
curved WorkWall units which will configure the amount
of space as required. Patterns in the ceiling
will act as subtitle
traffic guides under various different arrangements,
thus, guiding people toward the correct walking pattern,
depending on activities, as they move through the space.
In this way, the full footprint is used.
view of the glass wall between the NavCenter Radiant
Room and the Video Design Room. A high level of transparency
is critical for the proper functioning of both areas.
wall - Scott Arenz
armature - Bill Blackburn
entire area “reads” as a Library. Depending on
the position of the main rotating WorkWall (Radiant
the space is either “open” or “closed” to the Entry.
The folding WorkWall at the North end of the space
performs the same function while also
providing additional work surfaces for breakout
and project teams.
Hallways between the East and West areas of the NavCenter
will be treated with the same materials and details.
This will make the connection between them and enhance
the effect of all Offices “opening” into
the NavCenter environment. The NavCenter becomes
the “commons” of
the space while the Offices are the private work
areas. In addition, the Hall walls will be a Gallery
for pictures, graphics, artifacts and work produced
by the Office and NavCenter Teams - a living history
of the enterprise and it’s environment.
West End space will be used for a variety of functions:
work areas during formal events; project areas for
the local staff; work stations for visiting associates;
file storage that enjoys easy access.
WorkWall on the North side of the “spiral” emanating
from the column is fixed to provide a degree of separation
from the Offices adjacent to this area. The entire
area frames the entry into the Conference Room and
creates an interface between the two so that both
formal and collaborative processes can be employed
January 29, 2004:
Design Development work included reconfiguring
the Conference Room along the lines of the east
collaboration space so that it can open directly
into the west work area or remain cloesed from
it. The work stations were moved
another area off the south hallway. Installation
photo below] took place starting in mid
January of 2004 with first
use scheduled early February.
NavCenter Two is
in a 19th Century building on a Campus that has
been under continuous use and
development since the Civil War. The room, unfortunately,
has just recently been remodeled in contemporary
office style with hung ceiling, etc. The objective
will be to open the space back up and restore
it’s 19th Century character including an opening
into the loft area above the room for a small
portion of the foot print.
picture is the Library which is in another
building on the Campus.
is the image - and standard - that should
determine how the basic room can be “restored.”
NavCenter WorkFurniture will then fit into
this historical container.
present, a second floor space is allocated for
the NavCenter. There is a Fitness Center down below.
There are also tension rods in the second floor
space that come from the truss system in the roof
which the second floor hangs. The rod above the
post in [picture
above] the Library building is the same
structural detail. These
restrict the flexibility of the NavCenter WorkFurniture.
It is also my sense that that the site can use
a somewhat larger space than the second story footprint
alone allows. The best solution will be to use
the first and
second floors, as well as, opening up the roof
area to accommodate a small third level. A section
Armature is centered in the space and creates
four areas within one large area. It holds
back from the exterior side walls thus framing
basic concept is to develop the “container” as
described and put a MGT/AI Armature within this
framework - this creates the bridge between the
classic environment and the WorkFurniture and related
work activities. The sketch, made on site during
my May field trip,
reflects my dialog with the user team [link].
If two floors are employed - and the loft third
level - a total of 3656 square
will be available. The first floor (1620 sq ft)
for Large group work with a 36 + by 43 feet unobstructed
space; the second floor for team breakout areas
and project rooms will have the same area as the
first minus the 13 foot (+/-) square opening in
the center looking down into the first level -
this arrangement naturally divides the space into
four areas of 19 x 22 feet; and the “loft” level
(with skylight) of three 12 x 12 +/- foot areas
for reading and dialog. All three level areas connected
iron spiral staircase; the main areas (first and
second floors) have elevator service.
Design Development Notes and Details]
up for a 75 person area with two breakout
spaces. Four additional spaces can be created
with WorkWalls in the large central area.
Documenters and technology areas are in the
rear by the circular stairway.
windows on two sides and light filtering down from
the skylight above the third level, the lighting
in this space will be excellent. This recreates
the traditional lighting illustrated in the Library
picture above]. The quality of light is
too often overlooked in the workspace. In process
intensive areas it it doubly important. Lighting
quality is directly linked to health and productivity.
It is not merely a matter of levels; it is the
spectrum, the existence of shade and shadow, as
well as light movement throughout the day and the
ability of the users of the environment to control
breakout or project team areas and library/sitting
floor opens to the floor below and the Loft area
above. The Light is natural and the space open.
The four existing structural hangers frame the
reading and dialog with WorkWall.
quite - but not disconnected - enviornment, with
skylight and window, opens
in three places to the space below; a loft for
thinking, reading and “away” one-on-one dialog.
from first to thrid levels
1st 10 am on first floor
level looking Northwest - January morning light.
level looking Southeast - January 3 pm light.
level looking down to second and first levels - Southeast
and down January 3 pm light.
models by Scott Arenz
perspective views, which show the the environment
at the completion of lease-hold improvements before
the installation of Armature and WorkFurniture, indicate
the quality of the vertical space defeating the now
of building. Vertical space is as important - even
more so - than horizontal space. Light - and the
eye - are free to travel. The mind is tied to eye
movement and body movement [link]. Thinking is a physical activity.
Mind-stuff and body-stuff are not
is thinking in a box;” “my back was against
“you have tunnel vision;” these are pejorative
statements and they describe the architecture our
puts people in and then expects them to be creative.
This is done as if there were no connection between
structure of the environment and the structure of
our thinking [link].
A high variety landscape and natural light are essential
to human health and to proper mental functioning.
the HUB of the system and
by far the most complex to design. It will
be housed in a stand-alone building built for
this purpose. It is the setting, that is both
interesting and challenging. This environment
has to be a signature piece and it has
to succeed as a transition element between a
large modern medical Campus and a urban residential
setting just starting restoration. The
program requires an exciting building; the setting
a modest one. The program is complex; the context
wants simplicity. A NavCenter has to express
openness and inclusiveness; an urban setting
- at the cusp of change - can be a dangerous
and the building must protect without being defensive.
The variety of functions that must be facilitated
calls for a variegated, multifaceted module
and vertical spaces; the overall structure has
to be low, horizontal and “residential” in
character. As an environment focused on “tomorrow,” the
building needs to be modern - in the best sense
of the concept; to be sensitive to history and
to be build-able in
a short time
frame (a few months) traditional materials are
called for. And, of course, all four of these
NavCenter environments - each built in different
cities and placed in totally different settings
speak the same language, reference the
over 100 year history of the Institution, of
they will be a part, while making a new transformational statement
to that institution.
“tensions” actually provide a rich
basis for developing the theme of the
work; the central idea that
will determine every subsequent element of the
design. The image that comes to mind is a serene
peaceful “exterior presentation” employing
traditional masonry, wood, and levels of landscape
a “wilder” more “explosive” space
that is both controlled and demanding in it’s
“interior” geometry can “breakout” in
the back corner of the property that faces the
where the actual owner-user Entry will be placed.
property is on a corner, one side and front
to the street intersection, one side to large houses
of quality that will be preserved and the back
to a parking area which will someday be developed
by the extension of the Garage serving the hospital.
The property is three lots (totaling 27,900 square
feet), one empty, one with a house that cannot
be saved, and
on the corner
the remains of an old gas station.
could have gone here, in times past, is a church.
In that we see NavCenters as temples to
the human spirit, intellect and Group Genius, an
appropriate thematic element -
that can tie it all together - is the idiom of
a place of gathering and concentrated learning
and work. In Hebrew, the literal translation of
worship means “to work for.” This
idea, combined with the tension elements described
above, makes a provocative image.
the THERE - Xanadu - that can be brought
to HERE with this building [link:
Xanadu Project]. A visitor may experience
a series of surprises and delights as the full
dimension of the building reveals itself [link].
[link for Plot Plan]
the corner of the Hospital Parking Garage,
across the parking area, is the back side
of Lots #1 and #3. The yellow house sits
on Lot #1.
the top deck of the Parking Garage,
Elevator Tower and pedestrian bridge
to the Hospital.
Adding a covered walk will provide access
from the Hospital to the NavCenter
Hospital complex and bridge to it viewed
from the Elevator Tower.
at street level and adjacent to the Parking
Garage is a church complex. This is typical
of the architecture around the medical
complex as there is a large University
to it composed of blocks and blocks of
quality buildings spanning more
than a century
and a half of building.
the corner of the Hospital complex is the
front of the original building with an
addition - one of several planned - that
has been recently completed.
down the street (and looking back), is
another new addition. Another
the area immediately to the left.
at the corner and across the street is
a park which illustrates the general ambiance
of the entire area up to the edge of the
Parking Garage where we first started.
Here, the there is an abrupt line on the
other side of which is a run down area
which is now slated for massive urban renewal.
The Yellow house is just across this line.
The NavCenter project will be the first
in this process and can set the tone and
grammar for what is to follow.
up the street the side of the Parking Garage
and Elevator Tower can be seen. This street
is the major automobile access to the complex.
Parking Garage was built to minimize the
negative impacts on adjacent houses which
are now undergoing significant restoration.
scale differences between the
structures were treated with landscaping,
and setbacks. Future buildings must continue
this initiative, not compromise it.
area between the parking Garage and the
potential NavCenter property is where an
enclosed walkway can be built providing
weather protection between the NavCenter
and the Hospital complex.
yellow house on Lot #1 is beyond
restoration. It is also out of place on
the the street being the
only example of it’s type close by.
This is an ideal place to begin a transition
project that resolves the problems of scale
that occurs at this abrupt transition from
dense development to long deteriorating
Lot #2, adjacent to the yellow house is
a no longer functioning old Gas Station.
There is an abrupt drop down in elevation
of about 30 inches at this point.
front of the Gas Station looking back at
the yellow house reveals the slope towards
both streets at the corner. These
grade changes will play a significant role
in the design.
#3 is vacant. The Gas Station is on the
right and the beginning row of substantial
residences on the left. The yellow house
is in the background.
#3 from across the street looking the same
way. The slope can be seen clearly in this
to the right toward the corner. The entire
multi block area across the street is being
designed for urban renewal. Most of the
building will be replaced.
the corner looking back at the Gas Station.
The NavCenter building will anchor the
corner and set the tone of redevelopment.
on the parking deck at the point of beginning
looking down into the back yard of the
house adjacent to Lot #3. Substantial remodeling
is being done to this property.
setting suggests the character of the NavCenter
building: low horizontal profile to the corner
stepping up in a series of walls and landscaped
terraces providing light and greenery to all
rooms - inviting yet protected. A formal Entrance
for community users. The NavCenter large
group process area in the back corner by the
Parking Garage parking lot - recessed into the
high ceilings - a radical geometry expressing
a vertical cathedral-like burst of form and light.
Entry-Exit will be here accessing parking and
by enclosed walkway, to the Parking Garage and,
in turn, the Medical Center. The drawing [below] expresses these opportunities and themes.
iteration one • link:
iteration two • link: iteration three
• link: iteration four [perspective views] •
Matt Taylor - June 2003
dynamic of the building, itself, resolving the
juxtaposition of the two radically different geometries,
expresses, in physical form, the thematic tension
inherent in the interplay of the site setting and
the program of the building. It also addresses
broader philosophical aspects of the project and
it’s societal/economic setting [link].
#3 develops the basic structure
and the interior spaces, as well as, the
link: plan and notes
download: print version
WorkFurniture curvilinear system will
introduce new forms thus creating
geometries working in counterpoint/harmony.
diagonal translucent roof rests on its
own structural columns and emerges as the
shelter over the NavCenter.
will never see the coffers, of course, as this part
of the roof is landscaped. The coffers will facilitate
drainage and allow plant of different kinds to be
used [link] creating
variety, micro climes and extended growing seasons.
Four is a
RDS facility temporarily placed in a traditional
training room to be used until the
group in this city is relocated. Then, the RDS
will be moved to another location. The intent
is to modify the room as little as possible.
view is from the podium toward the back of
the room. The folding partitions can be removed
as they are never used.
room is housed in a large training center. The
NavCenter function, here, will be to support this
center and connect virtually with the other four
in this network. The plan suggests a layout
to do this.
major challenge of this space is lighting.The light
signature is poor and the range of levels too limited.
Better us of the existing windows will help along
with an improved used of full spectrum lights. It
may be a good idea to explore the use of light-tubes
if they can be introduced to the existing structure
without too much redoing.
layout, however, works extremely well for its intended
purpose. The Team that will work here will move into
Facility #3 upon its completion and the this facility
will become an RDS able to travel to all parts of
the system that do not have a NavCenter.
#5 presents a rare opportunity. All the ground of
planet Earth, that has been covered with buildings,
is mostly still available for landscaping or for
additional construction. It is only from the first
that it looks like the landscape is lost.
This Campus is landlocked. The great “land” resource
of the existing
buildings. The facilities engineer, who is
an architect, realized this and guided us toward
a wonderful rooftop just large enough for what
we needed to do.
taking the roof deck of the projecting wing and the
width of the top floor - where access will be provided
- back to the fire escape doorway, a space can
be created for the education group and a fully functional
NavCenter with a layout almost exactly like Facility
For a campus that is otherwise totally out of space,
this is not only “free space” it is ideal
space for the NavCenter function.
will be a gossamer light weight prefabricated, two
story, structure of mostly steel, glass and translucent
fiberglass with projecting interior and exterior
balconies; it will take full advantage of the
north exposure and the
The NavCenter will be a major feature of the existing
building as it is on the Northwest end of the major
building and is what what will be first seen when
approaching the campus.
eye view of NavCenter.
level view showing 8th floor level Radiant
Room and balcony, 9th floor work areas and
Entry; and, roof top reading area. These
areas are connected by a circular stairway.
down from the 9th floor balcony over 8th
floor level Radiant Room and balcony.
the Radiant Room, from the balcony doors,
toward the East wall, Entry and circular
the Radiant Room looking Southwest toward
the front of the Campus.
design development team: Scott Arenz, Matt Fulvio
steel-truss and roof and and wall system has
glass on both exterior and interior surfaces. Conditioned
air runs inside this plenum, as well as, through
system; this is a high volume and
low velocity system that generates little noise.
The air is cooled or heated as necessary, filtered
and kept at a constant humidity. The inside glass
vents which work in conjunction with the horizontal
plenum to distribute hot and cold air each in their
proper direction. The air-handler is on the 9th floor
roof and feeds directly in to the vertical plenum
at the circular stairway which, in turn, feeds the
horizontal plenum the floor, walls and ceiling. A
blind system is placed just behind the exterior glass
for sun attenuation and light control.
section looking East
section looking North
existing space on the 9th floor, back to the fire-stairway,
will house work-pods for the education staff,
production areas, additional library space, food
service area and rest rooms. The main entry to the
NavCenter will be on this floor
with ADA access provided on the
total, this plan [link for
description] creates a
near perfect, compact environment for learning,
It will be
directly accessible to everyone on the campus yet
will have a sense of “away-ness” and
an ambiance appropriate for knowledge-work and innovation.
January 29, 2004:
to the complexity of this project and the fact that
it is definitely a warm weather build; and, because
it is has an extremely small footprint (and, thus,
is by nature an intimate space), the existing Auditorium
on the first floor is proposed for immediate development
so that Cincinnati can have navCenter capability
close to Salt Lake City (now open) and and Breaksville
(now almost ready for construction). After the completion
of PROSPECT the Auditorium navCenter can
be moved, re-purposed or co-operated as circumstances
Description of Auditorium NavCenter Options
section has focused primarily on the physical aspects
of the system. The economic and work process components
must be equally covered. NavCenters are places of
innovation and change; they are places where the
be modeled, designed - and more importantly - created.
NavCenters are places of creativity and learning.
They exemplify a better future work environment. These are
long range investments and critical to every organization
earn their living augmenting the existing capabilities
of their host organization. In doing this, they return
their capital and operating costs at a phenomenal
rate. Transformation, then “is for free.” The
work-process [link] aspects
of this network-of-Centers are critical to the proposition.
all five of these NavCenters are distinct, address
local conditions and serve their individual communities,
they are designed to work as a system. They
will develop the technology and practices of RemotePresence [link] and
There are grammatical elements they share in common
so that when you are in any one - you are in all
of them. The meta work process will be the same even
will be many different local techniques and methods.
works of the quality indicated here, add up to a
new practice of workplace creation and this requires
extraordinary dedication and attention. These projects
not only capital but high levels of social
investment. Successful NavCenters do not come about
simply because someone agrees to build one; they
come about as a result of applied knowledge and hard
Projects explores both the value of creating
a new urban workplace and the means necessary
to accomplishing it.
to go to individual projects, click on pictures
effort is worth it only if the full results are accomplished
and only if the environments are used to their full
potential. “Dragons be here” is an appropriate notation
on the map seeking new lands. The reward, however,
is a new world.
sum of the user’s vision, existing processes/technologies
and intent, the times and social context in which
these Centers are being
NavCenter methodology and mission - together - form
the basis for the PROGRAM of this Network
it is an amalgamation of decades of work. It will
take a year to bring this this Network into existence.
The work of doing this will be transformational in
its own right. This Network, along with the four
other NavCenter environments under development at
this time, will add significant critical mass to
the existing MG
Network in the ValueWeb® will
be concerned with its own mission and goals; each
navCenter within each
Network will have specific local conditions to deal
with and tasks to accomplish. AND, The system-as-a-system has
a mission and its own unique work to do. Each of
these three levels of network recursion are as necessary
the meta-process of the entire ValueWeb as multiple
recursion levels are essential in a single DesignShop® event
- this is a mission critical requirement of the process.
All three levels of organization and work have to
be functioning for any level to be truly successful
in dealing with complexity and emergent conditions.
This is is why, for 25 years, the MG Taylor ValueWeb
enterprise has been a bootstrap operation. Critical
mass means a state change in the this circumstance.
It means that the real work of large-scale transition
management can begin. This is a phase change; our
prior experiences do not prepare us for this capability.
As new class of problems can be solved. A new capability
completion of this document and its relevant support
documents constitutes the Program and Schematic Phases
of the Taylor Design Formation Model [link].
By mid July, the Preliminary Design, Design
Development and Contract
Document Phases will begin. It is a
client requirement that the entire project package
be completed by the end of their current fiscal year.
In order for this to be achieved with craft, this
will require a fast-track process and extensive collaboration
among the client Sponsor Team and the MG Taylor Core
Team. The process will have to be employed; it
takes a NavCenter to build a NavCenter.
INDEX of Relevant Materials
May 29, 2003
voice of this document:
INSIGHT POLICY PROGRAM
May 29, 2003
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