A globally recognized Menlo Park based venture capital firm had spent the better part of four years looking for a high profile office space in Downtown Palo Alto. Faced with giving up their search, they settled upon a 1961 dilapidated unremarkable 2-story commercial office building at the corner of Cowper and Lytton. The existing building was a warren of interior hallways with limited glass lines, insufficient ceiling heights, and office floor plans unsuited to the needs of today's modern workplace. With optimism and purpose, they approached Hayes Group Architects to transform this outdated structure into an iconic signature statement about their Firm.
"In the treetops"
These were the words the client gave us to contemplate and ruminate upon as a design inspiration. The solution is an airy, glass-sheathed treetop height second floor resting atop a heavier plinth-like base. In order to provide fully glazed walls, shading strategies had to be implemented. Deep recesses were created with horizontal ribbons of aluminum clad metal panel to provide shade and full height vertical glass fins were introduced in a ‘seemingly random’ spacing to provide an organic rhythm. Finally, clerestory windows were inserted below a pop-up shed roof to flood the open interiors with sunlight filtered through leaves and provide an optimal surface for future photovoltaic arrays.
The client stated, "They work best when they work together and share ideas". Private offices within have glass on two sides, allowing for filtered exterior sunlight to penetrate deep into the floor plate and to create transparency for sharing ideas with co-workers. With so much interior and exterior glazing, the building glows from within at night, creating a recognizable beacon and defining presence.
- Ken Hayes, Project Principal
- Patrick Duron, Project Architect
- Chris Ades
- Brian Rysdorp
- Katherine Stempien
- Steven Pratama
- Thoits Bros. Inc/Wing Venture Capital
- Cody Brock Builders
- Patrik Argast