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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Adaptive Reuse
  4. United States
  5. Johnsen Schmaling Architects
  6. 2008
  7. Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

  • 01:00 - 12 July, 2009
Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects +16

From the architect. As the harbinger of a large-scale development slated for LEED certification, the Palomar Welcome Center utilizes an abandoned one-story warehouse building on the edge of Milwaukee's Park East redevelopment corridor. The area, an urban desert formerly occupied by an underused freeway spur, is slated to be transformed into the Palomar District, a series of mixed-use projects that will connect downtown to the adjacent neighborhoods. The Welcome Center itself includes a public lounge, offices, a gallery, and a model residence - an interactive hub to connect investors, business owners and residents with each other and present the urban vision for the area to the general public.

A long translucent glass scrim with supergraphic etching wraps the windowless face of the existing brick building, creating an elegant, immaterial facade that transcends the distinction between building and signage. Illuminated from behind with off-the-shelf fluorescent strip lights, the scrim transforms the building into an urban Laterna Magica, a beacon projecting its message of change into the neighborhood poised for a renaissance. The south-facing scrim also creates a thermal buffer for the building, reducing the solar impact on the building envelope during the summer while providing an additional protective layer in colder months.

The Palomar Welcome Center was designed around a palette of sustainable and recyclable materials, including bamboo flooring, locally quarried stone and locally harvested woods as well as low-VOC paints. More importantly, the project presents a sustainable alternative to the resource-intensive tabula rasa approach that still dominates contemporary architectural production, demonstrating how the bones of an obsolete structure can be recycled into an exciting new urban constituent.

Visitors enter the Welcome Center through a frameless glass vestibule and walk into a public gallery, an open space with three zones defined by ceiling bands suspended from the exposed roof trusses. The first one, an illuminated wood ribbon, leads from the entry into the gallery, where it turns down to transform into the backdrop for the information desk. The second band marks a seating zone for informal gatherings, taking advantage of the linear masonry fireplace that anchors the open space. The third band defines a conference room that can be closed off from the gallery by a set of large sliding glass panels; when the panels are completely retracted behind the masonry hearth, the meeting room becomes an integral part of the gallery space. The gallery also offers access to a model apartment to demonstrate the sustainable features of the development's residential portion. All offices are organized along the building's east wall, where they have access to natural light and air. The rest of the original building is used as a warehouse and staging area for contractors involved in the construction of the project.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects" 12 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/28450/palomar-welcome-center-johnsen-schmaling-architects/>
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11 Comments

gwok keung woo · August 18, 2011

?????

Morgan Lanigan · June 30, 2011

@boyceonteck @graeme_sr Beautiful! Also eye&#39d this modern, simple warehouse rehab today: http://is.gd/lEwIt5. Big impact for small $$$!

Gosia Kung, AIA · June 29, 2011

Such elegant adaptive reuse.
I wish they had a "before" photo http://fb.me/Oyd0hFeB

saree ws. ^^ · December 22, 2010

Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/O0xneFM via @saree_arch

saree ws. ^^ · December 22, 2010

Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/O0xneFM via @archdaily

Lucas Carvalho Muniz · October 15, 2010

@palomalucio + mar = http://www.archdaily.com/28450... .... senta lá claudia pra mim?

Gosia Kung, AIA · October 13, 2010

Look at this warehouse renovation! Anybody knows any empty shopping malls we can turn into something like this? http://fb.me/JZwVHpCC

Matt Cole · July 13, 2009

Palomar Welcome Center / Johnsen Schmaling Architects http://bit.ly/1av6kp (via @archdaily)

Terry Glenn Phipps · July 13, 2009

The signage is great but I find the interior really depressing. Those lounge lizard fireplaces really get on my nerves as almost no one uses them effectively. Anouska Hempel is about the only designer I can think of who knows how to use this kind of fire feature with any aplomb.

Terry Glenn Phipps
http://web.me.com/tgphipps

Lucas Gray · July 13, 2009

The adaptive reuse of an old warehouse is a great move. It beats the temporary pavilions many developers set up around cities these days.

StructureHub Blog · July 13, 2009

Today, we learn that it is indeed possible for a "big box" box to be just a bit more respectable. Next challenge? Wrapping the uplifting front facade around the otherwise dreary perimeter.

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帕洛玛尔迎宾中心 / Johnsen Schmaling Architects