SANTA ROSA — Seeking to leverage its need for new office space, TLCD Architecture identified the former AT&T building on Old Courthouse Square as the ideal opportunity.
In addition to the potential to repurpose an abandoned downtown structure, the building offered a unique loft-type space ideally suited to the firm’s work environment. As a highly collaborative firm, TLCD’s architects and interior designers all work in the open.
“The move to 520 Third Street marked TLCD’s 51st anniversary and allowed us to design a space that would adapt and flex as needs change in the future,” said Don Tomasi, partner.
TLCD selected a south-facing space on the second floor for its offices. When lead paint was removed from walls, columns and ceilings, the space presented an unexpected serene feel. This, along with the volume afforded by the 16-foot high ceiling allowed the natural concrete character of the structure to express itself.
By exposing the building’s physical plant, the relationship of architecture with mechanical systems, electrical routing and plumbing is thoughtfully composed.
The design challenge was how to preserve the purity of this space with as few interventions as possible. Existing walls and ceilings were left in their natural condition.
An expansive industrial glass garage door in the main conference room rolls up to add adjacent studio workspace for large presentations and weekly gatherings that celebrate an important aspect of TLCD’s culture.
A simple furniture benching system supports all employees, from partner to intern and encourages collaboration and mentoring.
Common areas are designed to be highly flexible and serve as a lab for testing new ideas, mocking-up building assemblies, and staging furniture placement.
Concrete floors were polished, and carpet was installed in limited areas. The few walls that were added were set between concrete columns with narrow, black reveals. HVAC ducting was limited to the far edges of the space.
Electrical conduits and condensate piping were consolidated and strategically located. Light fixtures, the garage door, and various trim pieces were painted black in order to diminish mass and be subordinate to the concrete.
A splash of color is limited to hanging perforated felt panels that recall the exterior perforated skin of the building while providing acoustic value and visual privacy.
Acoustical concerns are also addressed with carpeted areas, felt panel screens along the circulation path and tackable acoustical panels. Warm natural MDF and restrained use of blue accents renders a very creative and urban environment.
The office interior is registered under the LEED Green Building Program with a certification goal of silver. Sustainable strategies included the reuse of an existing building, proximity to transit, efficient heating, cooling and lighting, and the use and reuse of existing materials.
TLCD Architecture’s 3rd Street Project
Category: Office – Reuse
CONTRACTOR: Wright Contracting, Inc.
ARCHITECT: TLCD Architecture
FINANCING: First Community Bank
COMPLETED: March 2016