Swinerton Builders San Diego
- Project Address: 16798 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127
- Project Owner/ Developer: Brian McCarthy
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Brian McCarthy / email@example.com
- Project Architect/ Designer: ID Studios Interior Design + Strategic Planning, Inc.
When Swinerton Builders approached ID Studios to design their San Diego office, they had selected an existing 24,000 s.f. flex office building with a dated, “vanilla” tilt-up panel exterior with no clear entry. They wanted the building to express their brand and stand apart from the similarly-designed adjacent buildings in the business park. To resolve the exterior entry dilemma, a new glass-wrapped entry box with a uniquely angled wood-lined structure and exterior hardscape were added to give the building an intuitive entry point. The entry structure rises above the existing building parapet to provide visual hierarchy to the entry.
Once inside the building, the high-volumed lobby includes the use of ebony tile extending like an uninterrupted ribbon across the floor, around the reception desk and up a 15’ branded feature wall at the rear of the lobby. A combination of bright yellow and white hardhats are set into the reception wall, creating an abstract art piece. The introduction of reclaimed wood in the desk reflects Swinerton’s commitment to the environment and is repeated in a series of canted, free standing walls, which lead from the reception area to the main conference rooms. These walls define the public/employee walkway and provide a place to display photos and marketing material which reflect Swinerton’s rich history and experience. The wood material is also spaced to allow for light penetration into the work areas.
Once a visitor passes through the hallway of reclaimed wood branding walls, the main conference room with its bold orange cantilevered ceiling structure takes center stage. Cut outs exposing a trellis-like row of galvanized framing studs are held up by a series of rugged concrete-wrapped columns, which exude a sense of strength and allude to clients the hidden, yet vitally important, nature of the construction industry.
For the main office space, ID Studios took advantage of the two major assets that the building had to offer; a huge bank of high, front facing windows and an 18 foot clear height to existing roof structure. Glass-lined Conference rooms were placed facing the large windows to allow for maximum natural light penetration. In the office areas, low-paneled systems furniture were placed near the windows and private offices were pushed away from the exterior walls. To take advantage of the height, the location of environmental and structural support systems were painstakingly designed to ensure that the building’s assets were fully realized. By not allowing walls to extend to the roof deck, employees can enjoy the full expanse of the space.
One challenge that ID Studios had to overcome was how to create an open design in a high-volumed space with a program that required many enclosed offices. Inspiration for the offices was drawn from an image of Mesa Verde with its cubist-like arrangement of square houses and varying heights. Offices were arranged in a similar fashion with the taller walls set to the exterior tapering down to a light filled open office. Private offices were turned askew to each other, with varying side lights and gypsum board “eyebrow” soffits to further enhance the cubist-like variation of the inspiration. The implementation of skylights with GPS mirrors that track the sun flood the interior with diffused natural light.
Other amenities include a unique entertainment and break area complete with an outdoor garden. This common area is separated from the office with a pair of garage doors, intentionally giving a visual connection between the space and the light-filled conference room, allowing the two spaces to co-mingle. The bright and spacious kitchen and top of the line appliances lead to an outside garden area lined with citrus trees and designed for entertaining employees and guests alike.
A large solar array is placed upon the rooftop that makes this a net zero energy consumption building. An office with equipment that tracks the office energy consumption versus the power gain from the solar array is highlighted near the reception area. Swinerton also plans to add a smaller solar array at the outdoor garden that will serve two purposes. One is to provide shading to the outdoor patio and the other is to power a terminal to charge electric cars.
Overall, the building has become a showcase on how to take a plain, older structure and renovate it into a modern vital work environment that is committed to energy-savings and a creative design to enhance employee satisfaction.