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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center in Santa Fe Springs, California by Lehrer Architects

 
March 19th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Program: The goal was to create an efficient, yet pleasant, space for those employed in the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center. More-efficient storage space was also needed to house more than 1,200 pallets containing voting material and 5,000 new ballot reading and voter accessibility devices. Space was also allocated for the tax, birth, marriage, property, and death records for the County of Los Angeles, which are all stored here.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

  • Architect: Lehrer Architects;  Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, principal-in-charge; Travis Frankel, project manager; Steve Deyer, AIA; Yuri Osipov; Nerin Kadribegovic
  • Location: 12680 Corral Place, Santa Fe Springs, CA
  • Client: County of Los Angeles, Community Development Commission
  • Budget: $5.6 million
  • Size: 110,000-square-foot existing single-story tilt-up concrete warehouse

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

Beyond the warehouse workspace, 18,000 square feet were provided for administrative offices. Several cubicles for those on the main floor of the warehouse, a break room/kitchen, and restrooms were also designed. Constructing a safe, streamlined, welcoming, and flexible space for all employees—40 year-round, up to 600 during voting season—was key to the design plans.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

Design: This project was literally about housing the infrastructure of democracy, as the people who work in the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center handle, prepare and maintain the balloting equipment and materials used in every voting station throughout Los Angeles County.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

Lehrer Architects tackled this design project by first reducing the projected expenses by 25 percent by taking the Development Commission’s original, awkward, over-budget plan and redesigning it to create an efficient, streamlined work place. The architects considered color, size, placement, and basic proportions in configuring a space that effected a positive change in how employees work.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

The administrative offices, which have standard ceiling heights, consist of several cubicles designed in muted grays and slate blues. These offices open up to the huge scale of the once-gray, cavernous warehouse—a space mirroring the enormity of the work that goes on there.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

Here in the warehouse was an opportunity to implement bright, bold colors—clearly contrasting the administrative area—and it proved to be a thrifty way of making large-scale change in the space. Bright reds, oranges, and greens energize the entire area, including the 12-foot-high divider walls placed in different areas of the warehouse. A bright-red wall leads into the space beyond the entrance and offices that front the building.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

A critical architectural move was the use of mega-banner technology to give scale and intimacy to the huge warehouse. The architect envisioned large-scale banners that could display symbols or imagery. In a matter of creative funding, the clients worked with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the One Percent for Art Program to commission a local artist, UCLA Professor, Rebeca Mendez. The artist created a hanging banner measuring 15 feet wide and 132 feet long. Titled Tree by Tree, from Sea to Mountains, 2008, the panoramic sequence of photographs runs from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains, showing trees, water, and sky, and turns the cavernous space into a more intimate-feeling spot. Another set of nine nature-themed vertical banners were placed at the ends of the 30-foot high, 200-foot long stacks, creating a “room” in which most warehouse workers spend their day.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

To make the towering pallet racks easy to use, the architect organized them in a serial fashion, placing them far enough apart to accommodate rolling staircase-type ladders used to reach documents on high shelves. A series of uniformly spaced wide orange stripes painted on the floor lead and direct workers to the stacks and connect to the individual banners hanging from the ends of the stacks, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. The light orange background and similar nature-themed imagery of these banners act as a unifying factor for the entire warehouse space. The stripes, used in several places throughout the warehouse, including the restrooms, suggest a subtle flag motif.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

When it comes time for workers to take a lunch break, they visit the employee café. It is the only completely enclosed and air-conditioned space on the warehouse floor. A simple plastic gymnasium curtain was used to enclose the bright green and gray café, keeping it temperate, comfortable and light-filled. That less costly curtain—which also uses stripes, but in a vertical application—cut out the need for a dark ceiling, making the area much more open and inviting to employees.

Close collaboration among architect, artist, and owner made this bright, welcoming space of form and function possible.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

More credits:

  • Affiliates: Interior designer: Lehrer Architects
  • MEP Engineer: Airplus Engineering Consultants
  • Mechanical Engineer: Vector Delta Design Group
  • Structural Engineer: John Labib + Associates
  • Cost Estimators: Cumming Corporation
  • Fire Protection: Hughes Associates
  • Specifications: ANC/CSI
  • Environmental Graphics/Color: Lehrer Architects
  • General contractor: MTM Construction
  • Artist: Rebeca Mendez
  • Photographer: Lehrer Architects

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center by Lehrer Architects

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Category: Government Building

One Response to “Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center in Santa Fe Springs, California by Lehrer Architects”

  1. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Elections Operations Center in Santa Fe Springs, California by Lehrer http://bit.ly/hPGZxL

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