Contract - Interiors Awards 2010: Environmental Winner

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Interiors Awards 2010: Environmental Winner

29 January, 2010

-By Alex Palmer, Photography by Gale Babcock



project: The Power House
client
: Cannon Design
location: St. Louis
designer: Cannon Design

Sometimes the right building design can spur its occupants to a new, better way of working. That was Cannon Design's aim when it scouted out The Power House in St. Louis as its new, LEED Gold-certified office, seeking a more flexible, open, and sustainable way of working.

At the time, the international firm had been spread among the floors of a building in downtown St. Louis, adding offices when they became available, even if on different floors. "In a space like that, you're just an address on an elevator," says David Polzin, regional director of operations for Cannon. "We thought it was hampering our practice, really. We wanted a space that would connect us to the city and the community."

That was when Polzin and his team decided on The Power House. Originally built in 1928, the steam generation plant had been decommissioned in the 1960s and sat unused until the city tore out the equipment and sold it off in the 1980s.

"The building confounded developers because it had a small footprint but a lot of volume—they didn't know how to make it commercially viable as a multi-tenant building," says Polzin. Cannon saw it as an ideal opportunity to make it a single-tenant space while showcasing the firm's design strength. With the aid of Missouri's historic tax credits, Cannon began an ambitious reclamation of The Power House, modifying its design to fit the company's needs, while retaining the historical character of the building.

Polzin and his team subdivided the tall space by adding two floors to the existing steel columns (which Cannon left in their existing, rusty condition). A main studio space of 32 stations was placed on each of the three floors, with a total of 96 stations. This layout also allowed each floor to offer a limited number of private office and flexible conference spaces along its western edge.

According to Polzin, the single biggest cost of the project was replacing the building's many blown-out windows. Cannon put high-performance, "low-e" glazing on them to help reduce the energy cost to heat and cool The Power House. Additionally, Cannon did not add any parking for the building, but rather encouraged workers to take advantage of the nearby light rail to commute.

Balconies added to new floors were pulled away from the building walls, preserving the structure's expansive, cathedral-like feel. The lower level empties out into an urban garden on the east side of the building, featuring native Missouri plants and irrigated with collected storm water. According to Polzin, "It was a way to re-green the site and create an amenity for everyone in the facility."

Cannon's new space has allowed the firm to host professional and community events and charity auctions, and Polzin plans to get more art installations and cultural events taking place in the area in an effort to fully connect with the surrounding community. The company has seen a higher level of openness and connectivity within its own team as well.

"The most rewarding thing for me is seeing people using the building in the way it was intended," says Polzin. "In the space we came from, you had to schedule a conference room. Here, you can just grab a table, and have a discussion; collaboration has really increased. It's rewarding to see architecture that transforms architects."

jury comment:
“This project creates a great statement for designers in the idea of respecting a beautiful building while still finding a way to make it feel modern. It speaks to the essence of sustainability, which is not only to be concerned about what is new, but also to respect and reuse what is already there. This project demonstrates the notion that the most sustainable building is the one not built. If sustainability emphasizes ‘leave no footsteps,’ this one seems to dance.”


who
Project: The Power House. Client, interior designer: Cannon Design. Photographer: Gayle Babcock, Patti Gabriel.

what
Fence: Ameristar Fencing. Roofing: Mule Hide TPO. Windows/glass: Quaker Windows. Window film/solar shading: Guardian Industries. Building controls: Delta. Communications: Systemax. Elevators/Escalators/Lifts: Kone Elevators, National Wheel O-Vator. Electrical/electronics: Square D, Wattstopper. Fire/Life Safety: Hilti, Larsen, Notifier. HVAC: Kees, Trane, Indeeco, Dayton, Lochinvar, Loren Cook, Titus, Ruskin. Lighting: Cooper Lighting, Focal Point, Architectural Lighting Works, Louis Poulsen, FineLight. Plumbing/washrooms: American Standard, Sloan, Centoco, Symmons, Brass Craft Manufacturing, Dearborn Brass, Lasco Bathware, Jones Stephens Corporation, Elkay, J&B Products, Zoeller Pump Company, Fiat Products, Chicago Faucet Company, Watts Reulator Company, Amtrol, Sioux Chief MFG, Jay R Smith Manufacturing, Bobrick. Carpet: Lee's, Interface, Tandus. Casework: Abet Laminati, Sagatsune Hardware, Formica, Avonite. Ceilings: Armstrong. Doors: VT Industries, Williams Bros. Fabrics/textiles: Thermoveil, Design Tex, Maharam, Nysan. Flooring: Desco Epoxy Floor Coating, HTC Superfloor, Diamond Clad, Expanko, Nora Rubber Flooring, Roppe, Johnsonite. Hardware: Dorma, Schlage, Domel, Hager, LCN. Paint/coatings: Sherman-Williams, Wall Talkers. Wallcoverings: Golterman & Sabo, Forbo. Walls/partitions: USG, Lafarge, Dietrich Metal Framing, Knauf Insulation, CPI Daylighting, Linetec.

where
Location: St. Louis, MO. Size: 32,000 sq. ft. Cost: $8 million (total).




Interiors Awards 2010: Environmental Winner

29 January, 2010


Gale Babcock

project: The Power House
client
: Cannon Design
location: St. Louis
designer: Cannon Design

Sometimes the right building design can spur its occupants to a new, better way of working. That was Cannon Design's aim when it scouted out The Power House in St. Louis as its new, LEED Gold-certified office, seeking a more flexible, open, and sustainable way of working.

At the time, the international firm had been spread among the floors of a building in downtown St. Louis, adding offices when they became available, even if on different floors. "In a space like that, you're just an address on an elevator," says David Polzin, regional director of operations for Cannon. "We thought it was hampering our practice, really. We wanted a space that would connect us to the city and the community."

That was when Polzin and his team decided on The Power House. Originally built in 1928, the steam generation plant had been decommissioned in the 1960s and sat unused until the city tore out the equipment and sold it off in the 1980s.

"The building confounded developers because it had a small footprint but a lot of volume—they didn't know how to make it commercially viable as a multi-tenant building," says Polzin. Cannon saw it as an ideal opportunity to make it a single-tenant space while showcasing the firm's design strength. With the aid of Missouri's historic tax credits, Cannon began an ambitious reclamation of The Power House, modifying its design to fit the company's needs, while retaining the historical character of the building.

Polzin and his team subdivided the tall space by adding two floors to the existing steel columns (which Cannon left in their existing, rusty condition). A main studio space of 32 stations was placed on each of the three floors, with a total of 96 stations. This layout also allowed each floor to offer a limited number of private office and flexible conference spaces along its western edge.

According to Polzin, the single biggest cost of the project was replacing the building's many blown-out windows. Cannon put high-performance, "low-e" glazing on them to help reduce the energy cost to heat and cool The Power House. Additionally, Cannon did not add any parking for the building, but rather encouraged workers to take advantage of the nearby light rail to commute.

Balconies added to new floors were pulled away from the building walls, preserving the structure's expansive, cathedral-like feel. The lower level empties out into an urban garden on the east side of the building, featuring native Missouri plants and irrigated with collected storm water. According to Polzin, "It was a way to re-green the site and create an amenity for everyone in the facility."

Cannon's new space has allowed the firm to host professional and community events and charity auctions, and Polzin plans to get more art installations and cultural events taking place in the area in an effort to fully connect with the surrounding community. The company has seen a higher level of openness and connectivity within its own team as well.

"The most rewarding thing for me is seeing people using the building in the way it was intended," says Polzin. "In the space we came from, you had to schedule a conference room. Here, you can just grab a table, and have a discussion; collaboration has really increased. It's rewarding to see architecture that transforms architects."

jury comment:
“This project creates a great statement for designers in the idea of respecting a beautiful building while still finding a way to make it feel modern. It speaks to the essence of sustainability, which is not only to be concerned about what is new, but also to respect and reuse what is already there. This project demonstrates the notion that the most sustainable building is the one not built. If sustainability emphasizes ‘leave no footsteps,’ this one seems to dance.”


who
Project: The Power House. Client, interior designer: Cannon Design. Photographer: Gayle Babcock, Patti Gabriel.

what
Fence: Ameristar Fencing. Roofing: Mule Hide TPO. Windows/glass: Quaker Windows. Window film/solar shading: Guardian Industries. Building controls: Delta. Communications: Systemax. Elevators/Escalators/Lifts: Kone Elevators, National Wheel O-Vator. Electrical/electronics: Square D, Wattstopper. Fire/Life Safety: Hilti, Larsen, Notifier. HVAC: Kees, Trane, Indeeco, Dayton, Lochinvar, Loren Cook, Titus, Ruskin. Lighting: Cooper Lighting, Focal Point, Architectural Lighting Works, Louis Poulsen, FineLight. Plumbing/washrooms: American Standard, Sloan, Centoco, Symmons, Brass Craft Manufacturing, Dearborn Brass, Lasco Bathware, Jones Stephens Corporation, Elkay, J&B Products, Zoeller Pump Company, Fiat Products, Chicago Faucet Company, Watts Reulator Company, Amtrol, Sioux Chief MFG, Jay R Smith Manufacturing, Bobrick. Carpet: Lee's, Interface, Tandus. Casework: Abet Laminati, Sagatsune Hardware, Formica, Avonite. Ceilings: Armstrong. Doors: VT Industries, Williams Bros. Fabrics/textiles: Thermoveil, Design Tex, Maharam, Nysan. Flooring: Desco Epoxy Floor Coating, HTC Superfloor, Diamond Clad, Expanko, Nora Rubber Flooring, Roppe, Johnsonite. Hardware: Dorma, Schlage, Domel, Hager, LCN. Paint/coatings: Sherman-Williams, Wall Talkers. Wallcoverings: Golterman & Sabo, Forbo. Walls/partitions: USG, Lafarge, Dietrich Metal Framing, Knauf Insulation, CPI Daylighting, Linetec.

where
Location: St. Louis, MO. Size: 32,000 sq. ft. Cost: $8 million (total).

 


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