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Herkules Machine Factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Ian Shaw Architekten
November 8th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Ian Shaw Architekten
This classic example of the machine aesthetic houses the US administrative headquarters for the HerkulesGroup, a world leader in the manufacture of roll machining equipment.
Meticulous detailing and geometric rigour define this well engineered glazed box, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A skeletal steel structure organizes the various building components. The plan is golden section. The architectural skin comprises a light metal frame format with glass infill panels. The resulting composition is controlled, measured and precise, very much reflecting qualities integral to the Herkules manufacturing operation.
The machine aesthetic metaphor is visibly disseminated through the sculptural articulation of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, all of which can be powered by the scheme’s geothermal heat-well buried in the ground adjacent to the building.
Translucent cast glass walls allow daylight to permeate into the centralized service spine, which houses the technical infrastructure and kitchen. A folded steel plate staircase, fabricated by the client, connects the two levels. A compact plan allocates the offices to the exterior, providing views of the neighbouring woodland area. Sun glare is subtlety managed through the use of semi transparent screens.
The roof sign, a reference to typical American industrial architecture, is visible from the highway close-by and serves to locate the building in its surroundings.
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