Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
331 Foothill Road Office & Retail in Beverly Hills, California by Ehrlich Architects
January 3rd, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Ehrlich Architects
This new city-owned, LEED Gold certified office building, is located at the intersection of the city’s industrial area and a burgeoning media office district. The four-story structure measures approximately 232’ x 95’, and consists of 73,000 gross square feet of program. The building will serve the City of Beverly Hills as well as the public and includes the City’s cable TV facilities and open office and retail space for lease.
The overall building mass and individual façade design acknowledge the site configuration, solar orientation and both the existing and anticipated adjacent structures and use a warm color palette including yellow and brown. On the ground level, the building is accessible on all four sides and is augmented with landscape areas that serve as both buffers and opportunities for public open space around the entire building. The ground level contains commercial lease space (including lease space for a restaurant) that is enclosed with a floor-to-ceiling glazed wall systems that allows for visual transparency between the interior and exterior at the pedestrian level.
The main building entrance runs through the building on an east-west axis and continues across the entire width of the site. This entry path extends to/from a five-story (plus basement) parking garage, which has been strategically clad with the main building’s materials, to provide protected cover for visitors and tenants arriving by car.
Along the west side of the building, a 20-foot-wide pedestrian pathway has been provided parallel to Foothill Road, not only providing building access but also an intimate green space complete with outdoor seating and landscaping.
Along the north, south and east facades of the facility are exterior patio areas enclosed by landscape planters. The patios allow for ground floor activities to extend outdoors while the planters help screen the street traffic without blocking tenant views. The second, third and fourth floor levels contain commercial lease space and are nearly identical in footprint, with the exception of the fourth floor level, which will also house the City’s Cable TV facility.
The floor plates are enclosed by either a glazed curtain-wall assembly or a single-skin façade system with an external louver sunscreen device along the south, east and west elevations, where sun shading is necessary. This double-skin system acts as a veil, filtering exterior views and moderating direct sunlight. The modularized screen system is made of horizontal aluminum lovers in varying widths, suspended from the floor and roof deck edges on the exterior. Placing the louvers at varying widths maximizes views while also moderating direct sunlight.
The Cable TV facility on the fourth floor requires that there be no natural light or windows to the exterior, thus the building envelope surrounding this area consists of a ventilated, fiber-reinforced cement panel rain-screen assembly. The exterior balcony areas, directly above the main building entry on Foothill Road, are also clad with this cement panel assembly.
The north side of the building is primarily glass with open exterior balconies that take advantage of the indirect light and views down to the existing landscape feature.
The finishes of the interior building areas consist primarily of suspended acoustical ceiling tiles, painted gypsum wallboard and carpeted floors with the exception of all mechanical rooms, washrooms and the Cable TV facility which will have acoustical wall paneling.
The main entry lobby features a staggered strip light pattern in the bead blasted and honed stone floor, reflected in the ceiling above. Also arranged in a staggered pattern are vertical grain wood veneer panels accented with aluminum strips, covering the lobby walls.
With the City’s green vision, the City of Beverly Hills made a commitment to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver ratings for all projects. Through careful planning and innovative design, the 331 Foothill Road project exceeded the City’s goal, and received a LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council.
The building features several energy saving techniques, including an extensive photovoltaic system of both panels and thin film, while reducing electrical lighting by maximizing daylighting. Water efficiency measures were taken to reduce water usage by 30%, and a stormwater management system is designed to improve quality of stormwater runoffs. The project team also preferred materials with high levels of recycled content, low chemical emissions and environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial forested wood. Existing bus lines runs within ½ miles of the site, providing easy access for commuters. The project is also located within biking distance of two residential areas.
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