July 1 Preliminary Model - Concept
is a space rich in prospect. Its location and orientation
provides a distinct and unique view of reality. The design
exploits this opportunity - the space is a stage from
which to view the landscape
and conceive new ideas, methods and futures. What else is
learning and design? The building’s theme is an exact metaphor
of its own purpose. True prospect is rare in architecture.
This is a bold structure but not an overstated one.
the NavCenter is from the Hallway on the 9th floor through
double glass doors Just North of the fire escape
stairway. This area is the existing end of the 9th floor
the 5th window in the sketch below] and
will be used for education staff mini- workPODS, reception,
rest rooms, storage, production area, and event food service.
9th floor area is largely an open space with MG Taylor/AI
Armature and WorkFurniture At the North end of this existing
space, where the center window was paced, a pair of matching
glass doors open onto a suspended balcony area. The existing
windows on the 9th floor open into the new two story glass
enclosed space that is accessible by the semi glass-enclosed
stairway which also ascends to the “Crows Nest” above
the 9th floor roof deck. Upon entering the space, several
and horizontal elements are converging: circular stairway,
horizontal and vertical translucent air plenums; they “block”
the view in all directions and create a small alcove from
which to approach the greater space. Few people have been
in a two story glass space as open as this and over a 100
feet in the air. The alcove provides an opportunity to survey
the options while feeling protected. From this “alcove,”
the choices of direction are possible each with a different
Character. How WorkWalls and WorkFurniture are placed, at
any given time,
or refuge in the space which means they can be modulated
to match the requirements of the work-process at hand.
around the stairway and vertical plenum leads out
onto the Balcony which is hung from the transparent
truss and glass roof. This platform covers about 60%
of the floor below. The Balcony will be used for event
breakout areas and project work areas.
the 9th floor Entry one can go up to the
Crows Nest, out onto the interior 9th floor level Balcony
or down onto the 8th floor level which is the main large
group process area - called the Radiant Room [link].
This use of vertical space creates four zones each having
a different character and set of functions. The mix of prospect
and refuge is appropriate for the uses of each area. This
is a high variety environment, simply done.
structure is local shop-modified open web steel trusses
that span the roof and three walls of the addition. A similar
truss system is used for the floor which sits on and is tied
to the existing 8th floor roof slab. This truss system allows
around and under the entire space with the exception of the
existing north-facing brick wall. Two wide-flange beams,
the height of the floor truss system, are attached to the
existing slab at the width of the exterior 8th floor-level
Balcony; they cantilever to
support the new balcony. Horizontal sheer is taken by the
attachment of the floor trusses to the existing slab and
by the stiffening of the joints between the roof, wall and
floor trusses. The 9th floor internal balcony is suspended
from the roof truss system and attached to the existing structure
at its north wall. The steel structure is made of from standard
light weight open web steel joists that are, once erected,
are connected to create a space frame.
fiberglass and glass horizontal and vertical plenum feeds
the surrounding air circulation system and
also brings in fresh air [see
picture at left]; this will
be discussed in more detail below. Some structural elements
are incorporated into this assembly.
idea of the energy system is not to oppose and overwhelm
nature - it is not to resist - but to create a building that
is responsive to it. The human body does not deal with heat
by creating an absolute barrier to them; it responds to various
a variety of strategies that are within the response range
of the organism. In the same way, this building will have
a variety of actions it can take in response to the specific
conditions it faces.
ability to circulate air from one side of the building to
the other through the envelope that surrounds the entire
space; the opening and shutting screens that can be controlled
by the building users or run on automatic; the use of double
layered glass and vents that open and close as required -
these are some of the means by which temperature extremes
are attenuated. The air that is used in the interior space
can be be kept separate from the the air circulating through
the walls, roof and floor. This system works like a double
shell structure with the contained air creating a 60 to 85
buffer zone between the exterior condition and the interior.
The interior glass wall is isolated from the the steel joists
with an insulating material to impede conduction.
HVAC system, along with the active and passive solar attributes
of the building, attenuates weather extremes but not an
intimate awareness of time-of-day and the seasons. The users
of this space are engaged with nature. Control of light and
temperature is easy but actions have to be taken to do it.
No sheet rock; no carpet; no noisy air conditioning and polluted
air; no isolation from a world that lives.
Double glass door Entry from the existing hallway
into the NavCenter space.  KWIB Station - this
is the “reception” navigation center for the entire
operation.  Book cases, Library elements. The
library is distributed throughout the space. 
Double glass doors to the two story portion of the
Center. These will be open most of the time but can
be closed for sound control reasons.  Remove existing
windows and replace with folding shutter for sight
and sound control; default mode is open.  Existing
exterior windows on East and West sides to remain
as is.  Workstation (miniPods) for 8 staff members
of the Education Group.  Food Preparation Area.
 Men and Women’s Rest Rooms.  Storage. 
FAX, etc.).  Existing Hallway.  Existing
Fire-Escape Stairway.  Circular Stairway up to
observation/Reading “crows-nest” and down to the
(8th floor) Radiant Room, group process area. 
“Dumb-Waiter” to 8th floor level.  Documenting
& Video Editing Stations.  Break-out and Project
Team areas.  Exterior “double shell” glass and
steel truss wall and roof system. [19 - blue] Roof
level “Crows Nest.” [19 - gray] Clear story space
over radiant Room.  8th floor level cantilevered
Balcony looking North (at Zoo).  Folding Wall
& Storage Area on 8th floor level.
is a compact space yet it has full NavCenter functionality.
It will operate much like the MG Taylor Boulder, Acacia and
Hilton Head facilities did [link].
These were ship-like [link] and
small - yet capable of high levels of productivity; we
invented much of our methodology in these three Centers and
served clients of all kinds. The method is the same as in
large Centers, however, the work is performed differently
in compact NavCenters. Many KnowledgeWorkers prefer them.
in a system of
NavCenters, this foot-print represents an appropriate [link] scale.
addition to its transparent top and sides, this environment
provides three levels from which to see the world and
to think and interact with it. These distinct points-of-view
have specific cognitive implications that are related
to the work being done.
is not to be confused with capacity. The first pertains to
the ability to perform all the kinds of work necessary
for meeting the NavCenter mission [link];
the second, to the amount of
work that can be performed at any given time. It is important
that the variety of the kinds of spaces and architectural
viewpoints be great - this is true no matter the
size of the NavCenter. Another thing to consider with size
are the factors of walls and enclosure. There are different
kinds of space: utility, logistical and effect. Utility space
what is needed to do things. Logistical space,
to the pathways that get you to the places where
you do things. Effect space,
to those elements that make space and define it.
The outer walls and roof of this NavCenter are glass. All
equal, if these were solid walls, at least 30% more area
would be required to create the appropriate visual framework
for this functionality [link].
While the structure and glass elements do create
a screen, the outer landscape and sky set the boundaries
this environment. In this regard, this is an extremely efficient
building when you consider what is not there.
materials palette is simple: steel with a backed enable finish;
glass, colored fiberglass, cork flooring; the exiting brick
and stone caps; the standard AI WorkFurniture finishes; interior
landscaping. There will be landscaping on the 9th floor roof
South of the Crows Nest to shield from view the roof-mounted
HVAC units and screen the glass from sunlight. The tall aspect
of the “Crows Nest” Further shields the roof glass and, with
the horizontal plenum, provides spatial definition for the
interior. The transparent and translucent panels, along
with the steel structure and moving blind system, create
layers of screening and wall/roof thickness. Light, filtered,
unfiltered, in shade and shadow, reflecting and picking up
the color of steel, woods and plants, becomes the main force
of the architecture. The nine story elevation, coupled with
the slope of the site as it travels Northward, creates an
accentuated view of the landscape. On the 8th floor level,
the curved WorkWall® and the suspended
balcony above become the dominate elements for
the creation of interior
space. WorkWalls on the 9th floor level work areas serve
the same function. This serves to focus attention on the
work-at-hand while being in a
building as described and shown here is the shell - the environment
valve. It mediates outside extremes without eliminating the
outside. What people use and touch, however, is the WorkFurniture
- it is these components that turn a glass platform into
a home. This is the next layer inward; it establishes the
context for human
scale. The shell is composed of steel and glass; the
Armature [link] and
furniture predominately of wood. The shell is transparent and translucent, immovable;
the Armature and
solid, mobile and adaptable. WorkFurniture, technology
and work-processes are what make the space into an information rich,
is a third layer and that is tooling: computers, work surfaces,
media, physical storage and display, and so on. These scales
descend in order: environment scale, building scale, human
scale, below human scale; these are layers. Layers of utility
and layers of meaning. Meaning comes from the application
of connotation and denotation.
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
to NavCenters A Network In Development - Facility #5
July 2, 2003 • revised:July 26, 2003