Interior DesignerWhitney Architects, Jessie James
General ContractorJames and Eric Lindquist
Landscape ArchitectEcology Vision, LLC Andy Stahr
MEP, Structural, Civil EngineerW-T Engineering
Text description provided by the architects. Adjustable Forms Inc., established as one of the most respected and advanced cast-in-place concrete construction firms in the country, had outgrown their current facility located in Lombard, IL. They sought out to renovate and expand upon their current office and warehouse functions and had a desire to provide an aesthetic that was a reflection upon their work. The design team 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 is comprised of an expansion and renovation of the existing office and warehouse facility. The 8,000sqft office features an office suite, an employee lounge, a collaboration area, a specialized BIM room, a reception area and a trellised courtyard while the 12,145sqft warehouse provides ample space for equipment storage, a manager’s office and a mechanical shop.
The design focused on reusing the existing building’s elements where possible. Reused elements consist of structural piles, foundations, steel joists, 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 is tracking 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; including post-tensioning roof and floor slabs, full height thermally broken and insulated sandwich walls, form liner and board formed textured 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 concrete mix for the exterior concrete contains a 40% slag mix. Several different form liner textures and true wood planks are used to achieve various levels of finish. The wood textures draw on the history of traditional methods of casting concrete. Reinforcing elements are revealed in the form of a post-tension cable system that serves as a visible trellis system and a security wall application separating public and private.
The design limited the materials used to provide a pure minimalist aesthetic. A high performance rain screen system and solid panel system made of black zinc were used to bring a sophisticated contrast to the stark minimalist light colored 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.
The 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. Building signage is incorporated behind the perforated screen and has a playful dialogue as the transparency of the screen changes from day to night. The zinc panel is an abstract representation of the form work being lifted from the concrete mass, what builders call “stripping the forms”.