Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Urban Frames in Palo Alto, California by Form4 Architecture
August 27th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Form4 Architecture
Form4 Architecture designed Urban Frames, a LEED Gold-aimed, Silicon Valley residential and office space, to instill a distinct character in an area globally known as the epicenter of the tech industry. Intended to benefit both on-site users and the surrounding community with a visually appealing and sustainable design, this mixed-use architectural ensemble invites pedestrians and tenants alike to gather, share, retreat, entertain, and work.
The stacking of the cubic “frames” allows individuality to coexist with the multiplicity of the design. The structures occupy a quarter of a city block on Palo Alto’s main corridor and articulate a pronounced skyline against the horizon. Passersby are visually struck by an array of elegant, white cubic frames resting on a travertine podium and gently cantilevering from the edge. The two buildings are separated into designated zones for residential and office space, and were designed with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Among the many sustainable features incorporated into the design are electric vehicle charging stations, low-flow plumbing fixtures, a drought-resistant landscape, bike parking stations, and abundant natural light to reduce the need for energy consumption. Landscaped park space and pedestrian walkways between zones allow for chance encounters and socializing.
The two buildings sit above two levels of below-grade parking, and both complement and contrast one another. The office spaces were designed to be both warm and contemporary, with state-of-the-art HVAC, electrical, and security systems that appeal to a wide base of tech and venture capital firms typical to the area. The offices occupy three floors, and are flexible for further division depending on future market conditions. The residential building consists of a mix of two- and three-bedroom units, featuring open floor plans and overhanging balconies that invite tenants outdoors. Each unit retains a distinct and recognizable presence while remaining fully integrated into the overall design.
About Form4 Architecture
Form4 Architecture believes architecture is the art of giving form to ideas. The award-winning firm specializes in creating environments, whether for tech offices, mixed-use developments, or residences, that respond as equally to the topography of a site as they do to the people they serve. Form4 creates formal expressions that are not only poetically moving and conceptually thoughtful, but also reflective of the client’s values and goals. As collaborative partners in the design process, the principals of Form4 Architecture—Robert J. Giannini, John Marx, AIA, Paul Ferro, AIA, and James Tefend, AIA—are personally involved with every project from concept to completion, bringing the collective wealth of years of expertise and knowledge to each client’s vision. Since 1999, the firm has built a rich portfolio of award-winning work for national and international clients within diverse market sectors.
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