The owner of 140 Whittington Parkway approached JRA to fit out his recently purchased property in order to relocate the Hurstbourne Branch of the Northwestern Mutual offices. Built in 1975, the building had a Modernist flair and a sturdy construction. The major design hurdles, however, include making the existing building functional for a contemporary workplace. Beyond that, the client desired a contemporary exterior that set the building apart from the surrounding mid-century buildings in the nearby office park. He also wished to mask the unsightly plaster-veneered mechanical penthouse, which rose from the roof. To combat these challenges, JRA proposed a fiber cement canopy that would distract from the unsightly penthouse and envelope the two existing semi-cylindrical stair tower elements—pulling them into the building and creating a uniform design. The existing plaster will be recovered with a more subtle gray shade at the penthouse, so as to blend with the background and will be scored with decorative diagonals at the plaster veneered stair towers in order to create an artistic effect that will catch the eye. On the interior, a double height foyer and a large curtain wall will be created to connect the two floors and create a visual connection with the street, giving the building exterior a more open and contemporary flair.
Rob Deal, AIA, LEED AP, President
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