Architects: Van H. Gilbert Architect PC
Location: Artesia, NM 88210, USA
Area: 0.0 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Paul Coulie
From the architect. The architecture of the corporate offices for Mack Energy evokes the independent energy company’s engagement in oil and gas exploration, development and production in both form and materials. The boldly articulated curtainwall of the double height building entry recalls the skeletal form of drilling rigs whilecast relief on the concrete panels mimics the stratification of the earth. Throughout the building the abundant use of natural materials ties the structure to New Mexico’s diverse landscape environment — sun, desert, and mountains. Inside the atrium two of the soaring walls, clad in stone with a pattern that reveals the oil rich rock strata of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas, are also water walls that flow into a small interior pond though a channel imbedded in the floor. A tall, dramatic sculpture depicts a scene from an active well and echoes thearticulation of the exterior frame.
The double-volumeatrium also serves as an organizing space for visitors, as a civic space, as a secure transition to the administrative functions, and as a strong visual focus to the outdoors. The height of the space allows ample natural light to flood the core of the building, promotes horizontal visibility between the office wings, and communicates building circulation through the volume of the lobby by a loft walkway.
From the refined wood and stone reception desk and adjacent seating area, visitors move vertically though the open lobby to the second floor via a grand stair, which provides a clear sense of procession and focal point for the space. The custom pre-cast stairs cantilever off a center stringer with a patina steel and cable handrail.Employees on the second floor enjoy improved opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration due to both the proximity provided by the plan and the visibility afforded by the atrium space. In addition to the corporate and executive offices, the building’s 56,000 square feet accommodates offices for the engineering department, geology department and labs, the land and farm department, accounting, legal support, human resources, production, and IT. Meeting space, a residential grade kitchen, server room, racquetball court, and secure vaults round out the full service, Class AA, corporate office.
In what might be a surprising statement for an energy company, the building reflects the company’s commitment to the environment through the design’s emphasis on integrating seen and unseen sustainable features into the building.Sustainable features include daylighting, water harvesting for landscaping, shading of pavement to avoid the heat island effect, reflective glass, shading devices for windows, water efficient plumbing fixtures, and a reflective roofing system. Locally manufactured sustainable materials and products with a high-recycled content were given priority.