When programmatic necessity meets refinement, architecture is formed. The Adair County Engineer needed additional office space; this goal required assembling a simple program within an unadorned shell that formally referenced the existing structures on site. When the envelope is undecorated, the shell must become the ornament which demands working and reworking each element so that it serves an order.

The materials used on the exterior define the order of the structure. The primary cladding is white ribbed steel that serves as both the roof and the north and south elevations. Fenestration in the structure is established within the rhythm of the ribs in this utilitarian material.

Concrete serves as the floor in this new office building. The choice was necessitated by the fact that the office would see a lot of muddy feet and the floor would need to withstand frequent cleaning. A polished finish as well as a pigment for the reception and conference areas elevates the walking surface from a functional element to a feature within the space. The pigment also reinforces the simple parti of the floor plan by highlighting the co-axial public spaces.

The reflective floor surface highlights the colors that were used to accent the interior. Circulation spaces are defined by a green color on the ceiling while the reception and conference room sport an orange that is a nod to the paint on the trucks the department uses on a daily basis. The interior walls of the public space are given warmth by knotty pine tongue and groove car siding which helps to differentiate the public axis from the private offices.

When each of the project constraints are rigidly defined at the outset -meaning that form, materiality, and function cannot fluctuate- each element must be celebrated. As given, this project was essentially a ‘Morton’ building; the stereotypical drag and drop utilitarian structure. The execution of this new structure redefines the ‘Morton’ typology by using the standard materials to establish an order throughout the structure, essentially taking the given archetype and elevating it from mere utility to crafted architecture.