Black + Vernooy was selected as the architect for this 54,000-square-foot office building in order to meet the state’s desire to “achieve a new level of design sensitivity.” The relationship of the building to the existing state campus is integral to the design. A courtyard connects this building with the existing Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center and functions as an outdoor commons area for both facilities.
Programming and space planning were important components of the total project services. A three-story skylit atrium and a monumental stair and upper-level walkways overlooking it—a strong central space for entry and orientation—are conducive to interaction between members of the different units that make up the Commission. The open walkways are extra-wide to accommodate informal gatherings, and offices have doors and windows opening onto them.
The state required a pre-cast concrete panel exterior, which was embellished with color and detail to increase the texture and visual appeal and to provide a human scale.