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Adjustable Forms Inc. (2014, DLR Group)

With the client, Adjustable Forms Inc., a cast-in-place concrete contractor, the integrated design team of DLR Group (architect) and Whitney (interior design) conceived the project as a vehicle to showcase the client’s talents and capabilities while expanding their own knowledge of concrete and its potential. The project comprises an expansion and renovation of an existing office and warehouse facility.  The design reuses the existing building’s elements where possible. Reused elements consist of structural piles, foundations, steel joists and columns, roof deck, and brick masonry walls.  The existing concrete slabs were crushed and repurposed as granular fill material for new floor systems.  The project is registered with the USGBC and has a LEED Gold certification.   

The building design is a reflection of concrete as a material and a process.  Several methods of concrete construction are used to showcase the owner’s technical ability; include post-tensioning roof and floor slabs, full height thermally broken and insulated sandwich walls, integrally colored stamped and polished concrete flooring, and traditional reinforced concrete.  Color, texture, and concrete mix were explored and experimented with throughout the design process. 

The design limited the materials used to provide a pure minimalist aesthetic.  A high performance rain screen system with dark zinc panels were used to bring a sophisticated contrast to the stark minimalist exposed concrete massing.  On the interior, day-lighting is optimized with skylights and continuous glazing around the perimeter. LED lighting and radiant flooring are used throughout to maximize energy-efficiency.   A perforated zinc panel sun screen system is used to mitigate the harsh western sun in the late afternoons while providing a changing aesthetic as the sun moves across the sky.  The zinc panel is an abstract representation of the form work being lifted from the concrete mass, what builders call “stripping the forms”