earth sheltered, landscaped Roof “floating”
above masonry Piers  and Walls.
point of translucent/transparent
Roof widening at 30 and rising at 15 degrees
“floating” above earth sheltered Roof.
point of translucent/transparent Roof - with
glass Solar Collector.
glass enclosed Work Areas on two levels;
entry level and NavCenter finish floor level.
Columns for high translucent/transparent
in earth sheltered Roof to high translucent/transparent
in earth sheltered Roof to air.
Stairway from sunken floor in NavCenter
to West Balcony Area (base level grade)
and up to Loft Area.
is, in reality, two buildings composed of three distinct
yet integrated geometries [link]. This composition reflects
the various kinds of activities the space will be put to,
well as, the specific surrounds [link] which
are different on each side of the building.
basic building that faces the streets and neighbors is a
rectilinear brick structure of walls and piers with an earth-sheltered
roof which “floats” over a continuous 24 inch high glass
transom. The plan is “articulated” to provide visual interest,
cut down on the length of flat wall run and to make a variety
of niches, inside and out, that serve a number of distinct
finish of this exterior wall is used inside wherever the
structure exists thus creating a consistent grammar [link] for
this major element of the environment. The masonry materials
and detailing will be sensitive to the neighborhood and its
architectural history [link].
This anchors the environment on the site.
form of this masonry construct is “institutional”
- the scale is not. The scale is much like a small
building as it would historically be found on the corner
lot in a traditional residential neighborhood. The flat landscaped
roof - a line that runs the entire parameter of the building
the greenery of the lot if it were a park - elevating
it 12 to 14 feet into the air depending on the slope of the
grade. This roof is pored concrete with the beam system on
top of the slab thus creating waterproofed “coffers” to hold
various plantings. The top of this grid supports skylights
and and the glass between the flat roof top and the translucent/transparent
Roof [3-10] that runs diagonally across the whole edifice
building is composed of three zones. On the North
end resides the Offices for the Education Group
of the enterprise. On the South end is a NavCenter.
At mid point is an enclosed
Patio which can be opened or closed - thus serve
- individually or both of the other zones at once. You can
think of the Patio as a buffer zone and a “spill-over” area
- and it is - it is much more than that, however; the Patio
a year around “outdoor” area that is supplemented
by similar areas that are outdoor. This enclosed
patio zone will have all the functionality of the Offices
yet the amenity of a sunlit outdoor area. It will open to
the outdoor areas in times of moderate weather.
often repeated saying that the reality of a building
is the space enclosed is true enough; just what makes
the boundaries of this space is a critical
consideration. In this work, the space enclosed is layers
of semi permeable boundaries: of conceptual context, of landscaping,
of solid and transparent walls, the “exterior” walls
of the building being only one of these more or less in the
center of this sequence of layers which starts out in the
landscape not at the property line . There are no hard
stops. The eye - or soul - is never trapped. There is shelter
and the spirit is given flight.
viewpoint - and there are many - works its way along
a series of events creating different Combinations of prospect
each appropriate for the setting and the use of the environment
at this local. This rich spatial reality is not constrained
to the horizontal only; it is developed vertically with different
floor levels and ceiling heights.
spatial reality - combined with
extensive exterior and interior landscaping, including
the planted roof area - becomes an urban landscape.
This is not a metaphor - although it involves metaphor -
it is a reality. A human-made environment that is natural
- natural in its use of materials, natural in its response
to the greater urban context, natural in the way it houses humans.
building such as this is rare; rarer still as a workplace
it fully leverages the AI Armature, WorkWall and Furniture
system which make the intimate layer that the occupants
use, directly touch, and can rearrange at will. This place
both sets context and
responds in a different way. Compared to it, the typical
building is static and dead.
here is to live in a different reality. It is a space that
addresses human values and requirements; it is comfortable;
to human requirements; it respects, reflects and enhances
nature and the urban environment of which it is a part; the
technology is powerful, augments [link] human
performance and is transparent; this is a place
where the cycles of life and nature play out in harmony
cycles of work and human creativity.
what is different, concretely? The sense of shelter.
The typical modern building covers up its structure using
materials inside and out. The roof, and any sense of it,
is all but gone. large spaces are undifferentiated. Ceilings
for the size of the foot print. Lighting levels are uniform
and that means high to meet the peak requirement. Usually,
because of the light fixtures used, their placement and the
finish materials used, the space is highly reflective - no
shade and shadow, no areas with lighting of a different character.
The outside is outside, perhaps a view if you are
lucky. There are few living things inside the building,
and often, the outside is a sea of asphalt. Life is not what
the modern environment is about - a false idea of productivity
and economics has become the default norm [link].
Sound is not thought about except something to control -
the noise [link] generated
in the building or by the building, itself,
is rarely dealt with - just ignored. All these, together,
destroy a sense of shelter
replacing this necessary value, instead, with a ubiquitous
sense of enclosure and separation. This artificial
has become so common that few consciously challenge it nor
they get “outš to nature. In this era of urban spread, the
ability to do this is rare enough. In this building, the
structure is clearly defined. The materials are consistently
out; their finish is natural and simple. landscaping flows
in and out of the building. Lighting is natural and augmented
by a variety of mechanical means - all user controllable
throughout the space. There are areas for individual privacy
and commons for a variety of work interactions. The material
surfaces are people friendly and something you want to touch.
The beauty of the work is in the shape, play of light and
how it embraces the larger environment - not an attempt to
impress or show off. The materials of natural finish can
sustain use and look better as they age. They do not become
dated in terms of style and and aged as their “high” finish
wears, unrepeatable to be cast away someday as “out of date.”
This building expresses Pattern Language [link] -
it is authentic.
working in this building - as a resident or event participant
- can select the specific environment they want
by two means: first, by having extraordinary control over
devices: walls, screens, door, window, furniture, lighting,
that make up their environment; and next, the ability to
migrate to a variety of niches that offer a wide
range of different
settings. This way, the right environment: size, openness,
privacy, tooling, lighting, esthetic setting, indoor/outdoor,
temperature can be selected and configured to a precise degree.
In order for a building to serve its population to this degree,
it must have a great variety of actual spaces and tool-configurations.
the same time, the building must “read” as a
single environment and offer continuity of theme and function.
This building achieves both these, often competing, objectives
within a simple, open, honest, maintainable, affordable esthetic.