As the TLCD Architecture designed American AgCredit Headquarters project nears completion, one of the most exciting details of the project is being installed – the main reception desk. Set in front of a rammed earth wall, this dramatic, 27-foot long monolithic white desk stands in striking contrast to the earthen wall behind it. The desk is manufactured in modules by Isomi in England, and is being installed by a crew from Connecticut. The crew glues the modules together, which are pulled tight by means of a motorized clamping system. The seams are filled and sanded, and the resulting monolithic structure is quite simply stunning. LED lighting will be installed at the base of the desk so that it will appear to float above the floor.
Posts from the ‘Open Practice’ Category
Architecture firms are all about field trips… and often they are tours of our projects under construction. This week, TLCD’s staff got out for a tour of the American AgCredit Headquarters project in Santa Rosa. This landmark 120,000 square foot project is nearing completion with portions of the building to be occupied within a few weeks. It was a great opportunity to tour it and see how many of the key features are taking shape. In the photo above, our team is looking at the rammed earth feature wall which was built early in construction. It was encased in a wooden structure for protection, and then the building was constructed around it. The wall is a stunning reference to the soil that makes agriculture possible and supports American AgCredit’s mission of farm lending.
One of many exciting design elements will be perforated zinc exterior cladding, which is only now beginning to be installed. Over the next few months these zinc panels will completely transform the appearance of the building. Not only will they visually define the facade, the panels will also provide sunshading that will significantly reduce the cost of cooling the building.
On the second floor, we walked one of the sky bridges with a feature wall of channel glass. From the outside, the glass provides a distinctive entry element, but from the inside, it creates wonderful, diffused lighting for what will be a casual work area for the employees of American AgCredit. This sky bridge will have soft lighting to one side and clear views to the inner courtyard on the other side.
Throughout the tour we did what most architects do… looked up, looked down, looked all around. These tours are a learning process for the entire staff and also expose us to ideas, materials and solutions we can use on other projects.
Anyone living in California knows the impact the wine industry has on our economy. California produces 90% of the wine for the US with an estimated retail value of $24.6 billion. California is also becoming the leader in wine business education for professionals worldwide. What you might not know is that Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, is leading the way with its innovative Wine Business Institute (WBI). The WBI is an education and research institute within the School of Business and Economics. It was created as a public-private partnership with a clear mission: to educate students, provide research and develop programs that would support the needs of one of the primary industries and employers in our region and around the world. WBI is the first and only program in the US to focus exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry, offering both an undergraduate degree and MBA program.
TLCD Architecture, located just minutes from Sonoma State University, has a diverse practice that includes work for both winery/hospitality and educational clients. These two areas of expertise meshed beautifully when TLCD was selected to design the new Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State. It’s given us an opportunity to explore the programmatic needs of wine business and marketing majors and assist the school in developing high level design visualizations for fundraising efforts.
Our work with the WBI began by meeting with the administrators and faculty to develop a vision and concept for the new facility, which will comprise a complete remodel of the original University Commons Building. From that initial vision we created several renderings of the design concept, which in turn helped to generate several large donations for the project from the Institute’s partners in the wine industry. Schematic Design has been completed, and we’ll be moving into the next phases of design shortly. We’re fortunate to have Summit Engineering on our team, who also happens to be one of the premier winery engineers in Northern California.
It’s incredibly fulfilling to be part of a program that will educate and train the next generation of wine business professionals and entrepreneurs. While TLCD Architecture’s work extends throughout Northern California, we have been in business here in Sonoma County for 50 years. Contributing to our community, quality education and a thriving business culture is important to us.
Wine education is not all about classes, research and training. It’s also about immersing ourselves in the culture of wine and having some “serious fun.” We recently teamed with our friends at Summit Engineering for a showdown at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair “World Championship Grape Stomp” competition. Celebrating its 41st year, the Harvest Fair celebrates Sonoma County’s harvest by honoring world-class wine, beer and culinary creations.
Click the video below to see the TLCD Architecture/Summit Engineering Grape Stomp Showdown!
More articles about the Wine Spectator Learning Center
On a warm fall weekend in wine country, the ultimate grape showdown took place between two Santa Rosa firms. TLCD Architecture challenged Summit Engineering to compete in the annual Harvest Fair Grape Stomp for bragging rights about who can generate the most juice in under 3 minutes.
Two teams from each firm prepared for this event by enduring a rigorous training regiment… mainly developing our core strength from laughing so hard. It turns out there is a real finesse to grape stomping as we learned the intricacies of being the “Stomper” or the “Swabby.” Foot size does not matter if you are the Stomper, it’s much more about the swirl and kick technique to move the juice towards the spout. The Swabby role benefitted from laser sharp focus and unusually long arms to funnel the grape juice into the jug.
While the teams from TLCD and Summit did not win the heat that day, we had a respectable amount of “wine juice weight” and went home proud. Purple feet and hands, a trophy t-shirt and the following video mark this historic showdown.
On Thursday September 17, local commercial brokerage firm Keegan & Coppin Company, Inc. hosted a brokers open at Museum on the Square. TLCD Architecture team members joined the group of commercial real estate brokers to explain the history and evolution of the building as well as provide inspiration for future tenants by showing how we have designed our new office space on the second floor.
As part of the brokers open, TLCD shared a few pairs of Google Cardboard viewers with the attendees. To view the 3D renderings, click on an image below from your mobile phone, then insert your phone into the viewer. If you’re not at the brokers open or don’t have the Goggles, come stop by our office and we’ll show you how it works. For those of you with smart phones or tablets, you can also view the renderings but they will be in a dual pane view.
We’re not only using this technology on our own office design, we’ve started using it for our clients as well. Below are 3D renderings of the American AgCredit headquarters project in Santa Rosa we created which allowed them to view their new space and helped inform their design decisions.
This week TLCD Architecture’s staff toured our American AgCredit project, a 120,000 square foot, 3-story headquarters building just north of Santa Rosa. The project is scheduled for occupancy in early November and is currently at an exciting stage of construction, with many facets of the design taking shape.
Perhaps 2 of the greatest points of interest were the grand stairway, and a rammed earth wall. The grand stairway connects each of the 3 floors in a dramatic atrium that opens onto the building courtyard. The stair soars through the space at varying angles, and is clad with steel plate railings that were individually lifted into place by crane. These will be “blackened” by an artist in order to provide a deep, black patina. When the building is complete, a 3-story high cowhide mural by Kyle Bunting of Austin Texas will be a prominent feature of the atrium.
The rammed earth wall was built early in construction. It was incased in a wooden structure for protection, and then the building was constructed around it. The protective wood structure was removed just early this week, and so we were some of the first to see this amazing wall, which will form the backdrop to the main reception desk. The wall is a tangible reference to the soil that makes agriculture possible, a powerful reference to American AgCredit mission of farm lending.
The floors are raised pedestal construction, which allows the reconfiguration of under floor electrical, data, and other systems. In this project we are also using the space below the floor for the supply of conditioned air, an very energy-efficient, quiet and healthy system known as displacement ventilation. We were able to observe the below-floor infrastructure in areas where the floor tiles have yet to be installed. Among other things, we saw “air highways” that are being constructed to efficiently deliver air to the far reaches of the building.
The exterior of the building, aside from dramatic, sweeping curves and multiple “sky bridges”, has an appearance not unlike many other modern structures. However, beginning in late August an exterior “skin” of perforated zinc panels will be installed. These zinc panels will transform the appearance of the building, and will visually articulate the façade while providing sunshading that will significantly reduce the cost of cooling the building.
After many months of sawing, grinding, dust and demolition, the scaffolding for the Museum on the Square project in downtown Santa Rosa came down today revealing a new presence for the repurposed AT&T telephone switching building. Soon to be followed by a new perforated metal skin, todays unveiling shows the possibilities for an engaging new architectural presence on the square.
This week also saw the beginning of the tenant improvements for Luther Burbank Saving’s new headquarters on the fourth and fifth floor of the building. A construction elevator has been erected on the south face of the building and job boxes for the subcontractors were being hoisted by crane to the upper floors.
What is your work environment like? Does it motivate and energize you? Well it should! Each workplace has an optimum environment in which to achieve maximum functionality and purpose. As architects we are often called upon to understand and develop what this might be. Most of the time this moment in the design process is called programming, but there’s an even more important stage prior to that. Analysis! Developing a strong base of information can begin to inform designers beyond the norm and make something really unique for a client (or ourselves). This process of investigation, research and critical thought allows us to map information from all influences of a project.
Reflection is another key piece of our design process. We gather all the findings from the analysis stage and move to graphic representations as tools for idea generation and critique. For instance, the Praxis infographic below breaks down one idea to it’s simplest form by graphically telling a story. In this example, “the way we work” was a key element for developing the design of our firm’s new office. Rather than just laying out how many people and offices get implemented into a floor plate, we dove into our office culture. We really wanted to understand what would empower our designers and staff. Read on after the graphic…
At TLCD Architecture’s new office, which is currently in design, we are consciously surrounding ourselves with our work – a sort of demonstration space to show what we are doing at any given time. You may visit one day and see a process of design happening right in front of you… creating spontaneous interactions between people across multiple projects. Design feeds off of strong studio cultures, and to strengthen ours, we are embracing the process of design and implementing it even further into our own space.
The practice of architecture and designing space for people is an amazing experience that TLCD gets to participate in everyday. We thought our own office space should share this process and not hide it. As we move to the next phase of design, we will begin to activate the space through the use of models, renderings and other visualization techniques. Recently, our staff got together to see what the new office space could look like using a new iPhone app and a simple cardboard box.
The built environment is in constant evolution and it’s a very exciting time for architecture and technology. Having the right team to take you to new levels means that we have to constantly be able to adapt, evolve and learn from each other. Our team thrives off the mutual respect, creative energy and ideas we can generate together. We can’t wait to show you what this looks like at TLCD’s new office, but more importantly to put it into action for our clients. Stay tuned!
The new 120,000 sf American AgCredit Headquarters project by TLCD Architecture is attracting a lot of attention! Last week Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman toured the project along with about 20 folks from the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, led by its Executive Director Ken Fischang. American AgCredit will offer approximately 40,000 sf of lease space, and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau will move their offices to this new space.
On the heels of the visit by our local Congressmen, TLCD staff took a tour of this amazing project this week. We walked up the temporary stairs to the 3rd floor to explore the Board Room and adjacent outdoor deck. We then checked out the 3rd floor “skybridge”, and saw where the roof walk is being installed. The roof walk will connect the two 3-story portions of the building, and will provide seating with views into the courtyard. It was a beautiful day, and we were able to admire the 360-degree views to nearby hills including Mt. St. Helena.
We also examined the mockup of the building’s perforated zinc cladding. This custom designed cladding system will be installed about 3 feet beyond the building exterior to provide shading, which in turn will greatly reduce the cost to cool what is already a highly energy efficient building. TLCD designed the cladding system with built-in pockets that will hide randomly spaced vertical LED lights around the perimeter of the building. At night these lights will be connected to a computer controller that will provide a randomly changing pattern of lights that will slowly fade on and off, creating ever-changing patterns.
TLCD Architecture’s approach to a project fully integrates architecture and interior design to create modern and energetic work places. One project, which has been getting a lot of attention, is the 120,000 SF American AgCredit Headquarters building at the Airport Business Center in Santa Rosa.
The North Bay Business Journal recently did a piece on “Designing the New Workplace” which looks at how the design of modern work environments are focusing on flexibility and encouraging collaboration.
Suzanne Nagorka, TLCD’s Director of Interior Design, was interviewed for the piece and describes how American AgCredit’s new headquarters was designed specifically for the financial institutions’ changing needs – including movable sound-insulated partition walls that can be reconfigured.
Over our 50-year history, TCLD has worked closely with a variety of clients on office planning solutions for private sector, public sector, healthcare and financial markets and we are always looking for ways to innovate and best meet our clients’ needs.