The Bridges Office Complex Master Plan
A diverse group of architects and engineers came together to complete a conceptual design study for a corporate campus in the heart of an affluent Midwest city. Their goal was to serve the needs of a re-locating user, a community, and a developer, while creating a sustainable environment that would facilitate connections and collaborations at a variety of levels. The project team worked closely to determine the appropriate approach to placing 1.2 million sft of office, support, and required parking space adjacent to older residential neighborhoods and newer institutional and retail developments.
The solution was a campus setting of multiple buildings that broke down the development’s scale and mass while allowing for an exit strategy, creating leasable space should the corporation downsize in the future. Of particular importance was the sensory environment created to attract both the community and employees to outdoor meeting and dining spaces in a park-like setting. Whether it was the scent of freshly mown grass, the chuckle of gurgling water, the vigor of animated discussions or the energy from vibrant collaborations, the campus was designed to inspire connections, ignite passion, enrich lives, and build meaningful networks.
The abstracted prairie-style architecture utilized elements such as large overhangs and colonnades, as well as a familiar and native material palette of brick, glass, stone, and metal. All the structures on the site were interwoven by the very fabric connecting tenants to the rest of the city, bridges that offer function and form, as well as a place for people to gather and enjoy the natural elements. The design of the development featured state-of-the-art amenities and affordable sustainable elements, combining the best of both worlds for a dynamic live/work/play environment. A central canal and green space, running the length of the site, encouraged neighbors and businesses to engage and experience a kaleidoscope of energy and opportunity. Sustainable elements included geothermal heating and cooling, natural day lighting, natural ventilation, and sun shading to optimize energy usage. Also included were rain gardens that filtered runoff for grey water re-use and acted as catch basins in flood scenarios, alleviating the need to pump large volumes of water off-site.
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