SARCO is an adaptive reuse of an industrial facility, converted to serve as the new administrative headquarters for the South American Restaurants Corporation, a regional restaurant franchise operator. The original 50,000 ft2 structure, assembled with tilt-up concrete walls, and steel roof, beams and columns, was built by Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals in the 1980’s, distributed as a larger 32,000 ft2 warehouse, and a smaller 18,000 ft2 administrative-industrial wing. The original building was hermetic and dark, with few narrow windows; its square, boxy plan meant that only the peripheral offices had any visual access to the outside, and its maze-like interiors minimized natural light, and did not allow for easy reuse. The building’s original architecture was simple but generic, and its only stylistic feature was an indented “W” motif on the top part of the façade panels, as a slight reference to Wyeth’s original logo.
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