The Corten Ribbon provides an iconic entrance experience visible from the public realm. This sculptural gateway to social exchange is a beacon. Functional architecture turned into a lyrical object, lifting from the ground, to afford at every step and turn of landings countless opportunities for engaging views and celebrating the workforce as a vital community.
The Corten Ribbon was designed to create an edgy urban brand for the five-building, 500,000 square-foot Ygnacio Center Office Park in Walnut Creek, California. To modernize and reinvigorate the 50-year-old commercial office complex and maximize the building’s potential as a bustling community space, the team designed and engineered a sculptural, ribbon-like gateway.
This perforated Corten steel installation extends from the community building to the adjacent parking garage, creating a visually appealing social courtyard and a memorable entrance. Angular shards reminiscent of The Ribbon’s design concept echo throughout the floorplan and project—from outdoor seating and shade structures to indoor ceiling coves and angled walls. Building amenities accommodate a diverse workforce and include a café, restrooms and showers, lockers, bike storage, collaboration spaces, and conference rooms of various sizes.
Corten steel is an unexpected material. Constructability involved close collaboration with the contractor to execute the technical intricacies, including the custom perforating. The steel thickness was ¼ inch, and the perforation diameter is ½ inch. Due to the panels' size, the largest being 12-foot x 12-foot, a plasma cutter was required to perforate any panels larger than the 5-foot max width of the punch machine. After fabrication, the steel was installed and pre-weathered in-field using a mix of vinegar and other compounds so that the corten could achieve its signature rusted look without the years of aging required naturally.