Swift Agency merges the interests of two clients (developer and corporate tenant) to create a contemporary, dynamic warehouse conversion that serves as a model for neighborhood development in a quickly-changing city.
The existing awning factory was composed of five 50 foot by 100 foot units - a 25,000 square foot CMU uninsulated one-story warehouse with few windows, overhead doors, and small north-facing rooftop “sawtooths.” The new design preserves the original structural shell with seismic upgrades, and transforms the building into 30,000 square feet of new workspace.
A major challenge of this project was to retain an open feel while accommodating the client’s creative process, requiring 50 percent of total space to be enclosed meeting rooms. The solution locates meeting rooms along edges and on mezzanines with extensive use of frameless monolithic interior glass on the ground level and as re-light walls on the mezzanine level. 5,000 square feet of loft space is distributed over four mezzanines positioned at double height rooftop “sawtooths” with north-facing windows maximizing daylight into offices, studios and meeting rooms.
A fresh identity was created that graphically pops without erasing the neighborhood’s light industrial past. Cuts through warehouse walls emphasize transparency of activities, drawing the eye to the center of a newly activated city block. Steel-wrapped glass at sidewalk level connect the work environment to the city.
A strong common space acts as the heart of the company. Free circulation is oriented around this center through new cut-away areas of concrete block wall. 20 new 4 foot by 8 foot skylights, restored warehouse roof timbers, and a custom planter lead visitors and staff to the center which is marked with a custom “conversation pit” that loops around the floor and negotiates an existing 14 foot level change.