When Adobe set out to build its new Utah campus, the digital media company turned to WRNS Studio, a San Francisco–based firm and the top firm in this year’s ARCHITECT 50. Located in Lehi, just south of Salt Lake City, the 38-acre site was something of a challenge: long and narrow, it runs alongside Interstate 15 and is bisected by a four-lane public road.
As a way to negotiate this unusual site, WRNS designed the campus as a series of three long slabs, each one slightly angled in plan, as a way to break up the facilities into manageable units. The central building makes a 90-foot span of the intersecting road, allowing the campus to be experienced as a continuous landscape, despite the infrastructural intrusion. The team carried out design and construction on a speedy 27-month schedule.
The glass-clad buildings offer views to the surrounding mountain ranges and to Lake Utah, and they cut down on energy loads from artificial lighting. Ninety-three percent of the building’s occupants have views to the outside, while the high-performance glazing further reduces the property’s energy consumption. Adobe is participating in a post-occupancy analysis to maximize the efficiency of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems; it is certified LEED Gold.
Inside, there are offices, of course, but also plenty of amenities, including a basketball court, climbing wall, pool, gym, and cafeterias. “These campuses for technology companies—they’re more grown-up now,” observed juror Cathy Lang Ho. “It’s beyond the play environments with coffee lounges and bean bags and all of that. It’s just more grown-up.”
The architects coordinated this diverse program on a challenging site with a carefully considered site plan that provides a bridge—literal and metaphorical—from one far end to the other. “It’s a supremely skillful massing,” juror Sheila Kennedy said. “It’s a very simple diagram that’s well executed throughout.”
See all of the winners of ARCHITECT's 2013 Annual Design Review here.
For more projects by WRNS Studio, please visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.
Project Adobe Systems Utah Campus, Lehi, Utah
Architect WRNS Studio, San Francisco—Bryan Shiles, AIA (design partner); Sam Nunes, AIA (partner-in-charge); Brian Milman, AIA (project architect); Pauline Souza, AIA (sustainability director); Moses Vaughan, AIA (senior architect); Raul Garduno, Jason Halaby, Assoc. AIA, John McGill (project designers)
Interior Design Rapt Studio
Associate Architect GSBS Architects
Structural Engineer Dunn Associates
Mechanical Engineer Colvin Engineering Associates
Electrical Engineer Spectrum Engineers
Civil Engineer Ensign Engineering and Land Surveying
Food Services Cini-Little
Security Security by Design
General Contractor Okland Construction
Photographer Tim Griffith
Size 280,000 square feet
Cost $74 million