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2016 Commercial Design Awards

Architectural design goes on the offensive

(page 2 of 10)

The Parmenter Center

Best New Development – Office

A unique use of materials, a warm and inviting palette of colors and textures, and a vibrant overall feel had CDA judges raving about the handsome Parmenter Center in Middleton. The 40,229-square-foot facility is the latest addition to the Parmenter Street redevelopment where the city’s master plan calls for the development of an active, sustainable neighborhood with mix of “live, work, and shop” land uses.

Designers strove to create a high-quality architectural precedent for future redevelopment, and CDA judges believe they hit the mark when it comes to sustainable design improvements. Various features connect the center with a surrounding landscape that includes the Pheasant Branch Creek conservancy. The building offers views to the outdoors, especially in two stair towers to promote a healthy, active lifestyle for building occupants. Bike racks and showers also have been provided to encourage use of the nature trail and bicycle commuting to work. “It’s a real expression of green design awareness,” states one judge.

On the exterior skin, materials flow nicely with existing neighborhood aesthetics. This center’s unique material palette, including Nichiha fiber cement as the primary exterior cladding system, is a departure from the typical brick, precast, and metal panel materials used on other local commercial developments. Yet it was colored as a nod to the adjacent building’s historic brick palette and balanced with corrugated metal and natural cedar accents. “Rather than using one singular exterior skin, it looks like they had a lot of fun with the design,” remarks one judge.

Inside, architects and contractors worked with a three-dimensional block company to use its “hive block” material as a semi-transparent wall plane that separates open office and collaborative space with openings and voids to allow for circulation and natural light. The wall and material also act as a unique art piece. “There’s a sense that the exterior has not completely disconnected from the exterior,” notes one judge. “This is a wonderful flow between the inside and outside.”

Project Credits

Location: 2501 Parmenter St., Middleton, WI 53562
Owners/Developers: MIG Commercial Real Estate and Food Concepts Inc.
General Contractor: Ideal Builders Inc.
Architect/Interior Design: Cuningham Group Architecture Inc.
Engineer/Consultants: Graef (structural engineer); Vierbicher (civil engineer)
Photography: C&N Photography Inc.
Completion Date: June 2015


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