watermarks speculative office buildingSpeculative office buildings tend to be steel structures skinned with dark glass to shield the interior for excessive heat gain. They tend to work well from the inside out with great views but not the outside in, as they are monolithic mirrors. We thought we could do better but we had only average resources. The building would be built on a greenway and needed views in three directions. We wanted the views to be through clear glass so it wouldn’t look cloudy all the time and people could see into the building. We knew sunshades would be required. The challenge with sunshades at that time was that they needed support and glass wall systems were not designed for this support. Just uses tented glass they all said. So we pushed the structure outside the glass wall system to support the sunshades. This also gave the building scale and texture often neglected in monolithic glass skin buildings. Some of the structure could not be exposed due to fire codes so we clad the area above the parking and on the western core side of the building, which also shaded it from afternoon sun. Our intricate glass cube has won multiple design awards and has been voted a favorite building in Charlotte.
GLASS OFFICE BUILDING
MULTIPLE DESIGN AWARDS
VOTED TOP TEN PEOPLES FAVORITE BUILDINGS IN CHARLOTTE
We challenged ourselves to create a better glass office building. Most office buildings at the time were covered in dark reflective glass to reduce heat gain. We thought this solution created antisocial buildings so we tried something different. Instead of dark tented glass that makes every day seem cloudy we used clear glass. We arranged the steel structure on outside the glass to open interior spaces and hold simple aluminum sun shades. The service mass housing stairs, bathrooms, and mechanical rooms blocks the afternoon sun. Ultimately the building is simply a thoughtful rearrangement of the typical speculative office building components.
Rick Kazebee lead designer while employed at Perkins+WIll