FORM AND FUNCTION
The FileVine tenant improvement design is a story in editing, revealing, and subtle moves towards functionality by a series of human scale rhythms within a majestic open backdrop of a warehouse re-gutted after it was built into traditional shell space.. The site is a wonderful blend between new and old elements, encompassing the back wall and shell structure elements to an old warehouse within Sugarhouse, the existing Toys R Us loading dock,, where the building owner had invested in creating a clean slate with the addition of a storefront wall of glazing onto the back of the building, facing a side street to become a new set of retail fronts, akin to a strip mall frontage.
During our initial walk through, we caught a glimpse of the existing warehouse back wall, a gnarled composition of split face block, rebar, cuts, infills, and what once was the loading dock wall of a once thriving Toys R Us. In the creation of a new office building, the previous owners had covered everything in new sheetrock, and created new shell space for retail spaces, including a new elevator and fire rated staircase.
Our team wanted to capture the ingrained, embedded beauty of the previous life of the building, and asked to expose the existing wall in all it’s imperfect glory. We presented our idea of uncovering and revealing to the FileVine team, and it was met with incredible enthusiasm, reflecting their own bootstrapped and grassroots beginnings, scars of the past becoming story telling devices of their own bright future. We began the work, blending the old and the new, creating moments of surprise within the concealed areas, and ultimately making what once was a back wall front and center, complete with a grittiness that cannot be purchased in a new space.
During construction, even more opportunities arose to reveal and uncover even more dramatic spatial relationships, and with an obliging contractor, our team worked closely with the demolition team in order to align our goals with existing architectural features. We created a simple formal language of massings within a shell along the back, utilizing the full 25’ height floors as a dramatic backdrop to simple, straightforward room arrangements. These simple moves were offset by large, dramatic spatial openings and relationships, creating rooms within rooms within light, and incredible subtitles of light, shadow, and screening.
FINISH AND FURNITURE
We set the ‘back wall’ as front and center, and created a dramatic two storey feature wall, seen from across the street. In our imagination, partners would entertain future clients along the street restaurant and bars, and deliberately take the ‘long road home’, using the crosswalk directly in front of their front door, revealing mid-dusk and sunset scenes and layers within their space on either side of the dramatic two storey logo feature. The entry is flanked by two versions of conferencing, one enclosed in 20’ glass walls reminiscent of warehouse steel glazing proportions, and the other a true play on splayed natural wood slats, revealing and concealing the open office area layers beyond.
To tie the two floors together, we opened the once fire escape stair and created thresholds within a series of grounding masses, housing breakroom functions such as serving, storing, and eating circumambulating around the core, each side revealing a new moment of surprise and delight. Using view corridors and long view angles to pull users through the space, culminating their journey in the large training and gathering space upstairs, with incredible views East and West, and situated unobstructed with almost 600 feet of view corridor along Wilmington Avenue, offering both sunrise and sunset dramatic moments.
FileVine needed the space to be as nimble as their own teams, with conferencing and huddle capabilities as informal as possible, for soft learning and team blending happening daily. Peaks into each of the open spaces from the core keep the office grounded in the buzz of production and customer service, while separation acoustically keeps focus intense and team work disciplined.
What we were ultimately able to reveal is a series of dramatic stops along a circumambulated path, both up and around the core, which keeps the spatial relationships centered in orbit, views pulling them outward but a common vision and services gravitating towards centered, towards interaction with their clients and the incredible offering they provide.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Jena Boggs, Steven Walters, Trent Smith
Hakan Ashaboglu, Owen Butler, Jackson Wehrli
Design Began: November 2019
Construction Completed: July 2020
Cost per Square Foot: $65.00
Square Footage: 13,420 USF
Levels in Design: 02
Electrical Engineering: BNA Consulting
Mechanical / Plumbing : Epic Engineering
Contractor: New Concepts Construction
Electrical Contractor: GSL Electric
HVAC Contractor: Salmon HVAC