Located in the heart of New Jersey, 40 minutes from downtown New York City and 20 minutes from Newark, the building is located in a strategic location near major roads, such as the Garden State Express Parkway, and the Northeast Corridor rail line, in a context marked by alternating office parks and forest.
The design does not follow the common practice of placing blocks of buildings in the centre of large parking areas with no landscape. Instead, by adopting a user-friendly approach, the architecture minimizes movement between car and building, encouraging greater interaction with the natural environment. Its urban/suburban campus aesthetic underscores the positive qualities of the design within its setting: landscaped promenades, plazas and courtyards, and closely spaced buildings that create a strong sense of community and place. Once completed, the architecture and landscape will work together to encourage social interaction, while at the same time offering a more sustainable and healthy environment.
The design of this first building (currently being considered for LEED Platinum accreditation) stems from an existing 100,000 square foot (9,300 m2) building, purchased by the client in poor condition but with the potential for 750,000 square feet (69,600 m2) of future development. The architects’ idea, embraced by the client, was not to demolish the existing building but to salvage valuable components and recycle its structure. The façade, with strip windows with low energy performance, was removed, while the steel structure was retained and reinforced. The floor slabs and roof were retained, while two light wells were created on the eastern and western sides of the building to bring light to the basement, while at the same time creating gardens in the additional usable space.
A new trussed structure was created at third floor level measuring 10,000 square feet (approx. 900 m2). This new architectural element forms the roof over a large plaza and is supported by an asymmetrical art column, which forms the main entrance to the building as well as a hallmark of the design.
New high performance glazing was used for the facades. While the basement level and the first two floors have dark glass, the third floor uses a low iron glass with frit to create a feeling of lightness.
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Location: Iselin, USA
Client: The Hampshire Companies
Gross Floor Area: 10.200 m2
Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Design Team: Lloyd Sigal, Hugh Trumbull, Devin Ratliff, Gregory Mell, Alex Adarichev, Sam Leung, Allison Weinstein
Contractor: Tishman Construction
Structural: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
MEP/FP Engineer: AMA Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect: Towers Golde
Lighting Designer: S + S Lighting Design
Photo by: © Michael Moran