2015 Commercial Design Awards
(page 3 of 7)
Mead & Hunt Offices
Best New Office Development & Best Medium Project
It would be an understatement to say it’s a challenge for an architectural and engineering consulting firm to design its flagship office. There is a lot at stake in terms of reputation, form, and function, but our CDA judges believe Mead & Hunt and KEE Architecture pulled it off with style.
“It represents everything about the company, and I think they very much succeeded,” stated one judge. “They have a building that is strikingly proportioned.”
In reality, the construction of the three-story, 69,000-square-foot office building in Middleton was about more than adding 50% more space; it was about the need for a different kind of space. Specifically, the company needed space to accommodate a higher level of workforce collaboration, which was not allowed by its previous facility on Watts Road.
In contrast, the new building design gives Mead & Hunt employees access to open space, which should get them out of their private workspaces and facilitate collaboration. The use of column spacing creates an interior core that allows greater flexibility for the layout of office furniture. As a result, the facility has small huddle spaces for two- or three-person meetings as well as large standing-height tables near workstations where people can conduct quick meetings, with enough capacity to bring together an entire team.
In addition, there are nooks throughout the building where single occupants can sit undisturbed, and multiple break areas are located throughout to enable impromptu meetings. For employees, it’s about being able to work anywhere in the building with a supportive environment. When they peer outside, they can look through broad windows that open from the upper floors with views toward Pheasant Branch Creek, a pond north of the site, and a walking and bicycling path that borders the site.
The CDA judges appreciated the collaborative spaces designed for a creative class of architects and engineers, but they also praised other design aspects. The building was constructed with exterior walls of tilt-up concrete panels, and the interior is framed with steel. Colorful walls accentuate the building core.
“I particularly like the different kind of textures in the materials involved,” stated one judge. “There’s a combination of a kind of roughness as well as a very polished type of feeling. You also have some nice pops of color. It’s used selectively but to really good effect.”
“The building is not overbearing,” the judge added. “It has a wonderful pattern of steel and glass, and it appears open and welcoming. From the inside to the outside, there’s a lot to admire about the structure.”
Inviting open stairs with a skylight overhead connect all floor levels to encourage interaction among employees. Another judge says such interior elements “make you climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.”
Energy efficiency is achieved with a combination of thermal enclosure, appropriate mechanical systems, and by inviting in daylight while limiting unwanted solar intrusion. That shading and the overall transparency of the building impressed several judges, but they all raved about the interior.
Stated one judge: “The best part of this project is the interior because in the end, from the architecture and design perspective, you’ve got to embrace that collaboration. You’ve got to be inspired by the place you’re working in so that you can have better designs and better projects down the road.”
Location: 2440 Deming Way, Middleton, WI 53562
Owner/Developer: Livesey Co.
General Contractor: Newcomb Construction Corp.
Architect: KEE Architecture
Interior Design: Mead & Hunt, KEE Architecture
Engineers: Mead & Hunt (civil engineering), Siebers Group (structural engineering)
Photography: Korom Photography
Completion Date: September 2014