Our challenge was to create a highly personal structure for comparable cost associated with a typical suburban office building being developed off site, which was an option being considered by the owner. Our planning study proved the viability of remaining on site by removing older structures to expand both service operations and the equipment yard, while also creating a headquarters that would make both technicians and corporate visitors feel welcome.
Designed with an expressive steel structure reflecting the Miesian sensibility of the adjacent 1950s warehouse (also renovated into a training center), the building acts as a large open shed, sheltering key programmatic elements while creating two distinct display and activity lawns, public and private. Subtle inspiration was drawn for building forms from CAT equipment, from abstract arm booms to wheel tracks dug into the earth. The lobby is both a showroom and a reception space to host clients, allowing a glimpse into company operations. The boardroom floats above the lobby as a viewing window into leadership meetings, offering the sense of openness and honesty for both clients and staff. Upper level “catwalks” and a sculptural open stair connect leadership offices directly to clients below, while acting as a gallery to displays company history. Refined corporate finishes are incorporated at a personal level, juxtaposed against a raw industrial expression that speaks to the company identity.
The building's forms, detailing, and literal transparency speak to the company’s core values; it connects to the site visually, physically, and metaphorically, emulating the way workers and their equipment are used in the construction environment. It is a perfect reflection of both the company’s technical prowess and family atmosphere.