Systems Integration and Development in Design
The headquarters building for CASIS studied was conceived as an exploration of angled sectional voids piercing through colossal concrete volumes, encouraging visitors to experience surreal, oblique spaces while considering the company's work beyond Earth. In making these conceptual moves a reality, the largest challenge was developing a cohesive structural model that could support the multiple, massive cantilever volumes while maintaining the open interior spaces. The solution combines several multi-story steel trusses and framing with monumental concrete shear walls, creating a hybrid system that preserves the original clarity of the design. The mechanical systems were easier to incorporate, as most move vertically through the building in shafts along the shear walls. In the central important atrium space, the industrial aesthetic is celebrated as exposed circular ducts run parallel with inclined elevators.
The main lobby space was itself a unique challenge due to its scale, angles, and surface treatments, and figured out primarily through a detailed wall section. One side is clad in a large-span curtain wall system supported by a series of perpendicular glass fins and structural cables. The other three faces feature a greebel treatment that introduces a new perception of scale within the space, juxtaposing hundreds of small rectangular boxes of varying depths (created by panels of folded metal) with a vertical span of over 100 feet. The greebel panels act as a functional rain screen and the building's aesthetic exclamation point; lobby spaces behind the enormous curtain wall and deep windowsills buried within the inner concrete walls offer views into a dazzling canyon of reflected light and dizzying scale.