A SHIPPING CONTAINER CITY IN LA
A charity event production company that runs bike races and other charity fundraising events realized they needed more space to house their companies growing needs and employees. A large warehouse in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles was a perfect place to move to for the company but the biggest challenge was yet to be considered.
Pallotta TeamWorks was located in a cramped, un-air-conditioned space in their old office in Hollywood known as Crossroads of the world. There was a spike in company growth back in 2001 which led the company to a decision in finding a bigger space for the team. A solution to the problem was found in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles.
A 47,000 square foot empty warehouse seemed to be the perfect place for the team. Working on a very tight budget of 2M or about $40 per square foot was another dilemma in transforming the empty warehouse into a suitable office space. The going rate for such a project was typically a minimum of $80 a square foot. At $40 per square foot, there wasn’t even enough budget to heat and air-condition the space, so a creative approach was required. The constraints ended up giving rise to an extraordinary design exercise.
The event company hired Clive Wilkinson Architects to create an unconventional new headquarters inside a huge warehouse on a tight budget and drastic measures were called for.
“…to create an inspiring new headquarters for them in a raw warehouse with a shoestring budget. After a preliminary budget analysis, it emerged that they had insufficient funds to even air-condition the space.”
– Clive Wilson Architects describing the dilemma of creating the space
This tight constraint led to a concept of locating the client’s work areas in air-conditioned ‘breathing islands’ loosely enclosed in tents, within the unconditioned warehouse. Seven tented villages, or “breathing islands” were created inside the warehouse (one each for the departments of marketing, pledge office, logistics, creative. Event management, among others.
These beautiful white tents called ‘breathing islands’ keep air conditioning costs low, combined with fresh colors, has made for a unique, sustainable office space. To further save money, the shipping containers acted as both private offices and the corner anchors for the tent structure.
Bright colors, map tables, and even river rock water fountains decorate the space and serve as inspiration for employees.
The resulting project generated considerable savings in use over conventional office build-outs, and reinforced the client’s message of promoting responsible, sustainable ways of living on this planet. The project won several design awards, including a national AIA Honor Award.
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