The building is to represent to the public an image of service through professionalism and efficiency. The expression of image for the agency is encumbered by the fact the 11,000 square foot of programmed space is attached to a maintenance building encompassing over 60,000 square feet and the site area allowed for the new building was 15,350 square feet.

The problem statement was presented by the client in many different ways, but one that seemed to resonate when we studied other solutions to the same building type: “Don’t let us look like the shop office stuck on a bus barn.”

Professionalism and efficiency are outward expressions and foundations of the solution. The people the building serves are represented by a building that takes cues from the machines they administer, drive and maintain. It was obvious from the outset of design the building users, while having various professional concerns, all had pride in their mission and felt most represented by the “machines” of their trade.

The design encompasses ques of the bus, from the public “entry well” to the individual offices behind a streamlined series of apertures. Even the use of metal in deference to treating the envelope as a body of attached and interlocking pieces, rather than the collection of simple walls, treats the building as a machine of parts and purpose.

The efficient arrangement and stacking of the program elements aided in creating a “body” large enough to be expressive when attached to a building six times its size. Many of the building efficiencies are not readily apparent, such as the fact the building is heated by waste heat of the nearby university power plant and the structure serves as a radiator of a system larger than itself, but an even expression of this purpose is deftly made with the grille element used to encompass existing parts of the existing building.