HUMAN PERFORMANCE

The new office building and research facility, integrated within an ordinary corporate campus for a Fortune 500 Technology company, is designed to enhance human performance. The workplace and dry labs represent transformational replication, which surpass outdated office settings to provide an innovative environment that will serve as a model for future workplace development.

Prior to the new building on the corporate campus, the Fortune 500 technology company did not view their office buildings as company amenities. Instead, the company acquired nondescript speculative office buildings and subsisted within this generic building stock, often resulting in uninspiring workplaces that left employees feeling disconnected and removed from the San Diego environment. While considering the proposed new facility, the company resolved to significantly alter their approach and establish a reputation as the top leader in its industry, focused on their employees.

The design team guided the client in identifying an overarching goal: create a facility to attract and retain the top talent in the industry. To achieve this goal, the team revisited the concept of the traditional workplace and sought to create an environment that embraces its San Diego location, connecting people with nature to increase workplace wellbeing.

DYNAMICS

The flow and dynamic of the workplace has been shifting for quite some time, but it is even more recognizable now that technology and changing demographics have transformed the workplace into a collaborative organism. Communication flows in multiple directions instead of descending from the top providing interconnected pools of knowledge in an organization. As part of the design team’s human-purposed, integrated design process, multiple collaborative visioning sessions were conducted with the company’s most valuable asset – its people. These sessions provided feedback that prioritized an attractive workplace with open, flexible spaces that incorporate art, access to nature and natural light, and enhance communication and collaboration. A vision document was created, which was used to evaluate all decisions throughout the process.

CAMPUS MASTER PLAN

The overall master plan, also completed by design team, turns a fundamentally vehicle-oriented campus into a pedestrian-focused community, with urban-scaled active, natural outdoor spaces and trails that connect the building with the site to address social interaction and a myriad working styles. The outdoor walking trail and landscape connect a nearby canyon to the campus to increase walking, cycling and wellness opportunities, while establishing a variety of opportunities for planned and spontaneous human interaction. This softened landscape and pedestrian path in the valley link the client’s multiple facilities into a singular corporate campus.

PROGRAM / PLAN RESOLUTION

The six-story (plus mechanical penthouse and basement) building provides office and laboratory program spaces in a single 357,000-square-foot structure. A flexible, open workplace distributes horizontal circulation to inspire collaboration and encourage the use of interior and exterior stairways and bridges to stimulate health and interaction. The facility is designed as two narrow wings — laboratory and research space in the north and workplace in the south — to maximize daylight and views and to connect the interior and exterior of the campus. The wings are connected by interior and exterior circulation and collaboration spaces areas, where researchers and office staff meet.

MATERIALS + SUSTAINABILITY

Designing with the philosophy of “structure as finish,” the building exposes the pristine cast-in-place concrete structure paired with modular materials — sourced locally, as available. The high-performance building envelope integrates the structure and the exterior envelope to minimize energy consumption. South elevations are articulated with a custom engineered parabolic profile scrim to meet the climatic needs of San Diego, pushing daylight deep into the building, reducing direct solar gain, reducing glare, maximizing views and animating the façade while reducing the scale of the expansive elevations. North elevations express the functional diagram by simply using an articulated glazing system between the structure to maximize daylight and views. Both facades are equipped with operable windows to provide natural ventilation in the mild San Diego environment, making this building one of the largest buildings in the country to integrate natural ventilation into all areas of the workplace. The interior design material palette are driven by nature, using warm, colors for dynamic social spaces and cool, muted colors for focus areas.

WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE

Since its completion, the company has resolved to use the new building as a model for creating purpose-built facilities that support the productivity and wellbeing of its people. The campus has come alive through the influx of people who work and visit this active outdoor space for work, wellness, or pleasure.