The AMI 2 project is a 22,000 square foot office / industrial building located on a hillside site overlooking the San Fernando Valley for a client who interested in developing unique and affordable buildings that are not typical for the area. It is with this optimism that the building is designed to be spatially interesting while providing all of the programmatic features required of a rentable and functional space with an extremely limited budget.
Although the building is entirely new construction, the design is conceived as a theoretically existing 28' high industrial, 'L' shaped concrete block building. This block is bent to conform to the site perimeter and a 'new' office component is inserted that provides not only the required office portion of the program, but also all of the utilitarian requirements such as reception areas, elevator, kitchen, lunch room and rest room facilities. This concept consolidates the majority of the building program into an efficient area and retains the maximum amount of square footage for the industrial and manufacturing portions of the building program (a critical programmatic requirement).
The client's desire for a flexible building that could be used easily in multiple tenant configurations is achieved by the careful location of the office insertion which divides, but does not cut off, the two ends of the building. The office insertion permits clear, open movement from one end of the building to the other on the ground level for single tenants, while defining industrial spaces of medium and large scales that could be leased separately as required. The location of the office areas in the upper portion of the insertion maintains the privacy of this area and allows it to be connected to the industrial areas on either side. The spaces can easily be reconfigured to allow single or multiple tenants with or without office space.
The location of entrance and loading doors around the perimeter of the building permits the larger space to be further subdivided. In addition, the 22' high industrial areas are flexible enough to allow for the addition of mezzanines that coordinate with the skylight / window systems providing the mezzanines with natural light.
The project demonstrates that an architecturally interesting building can also successfully address functional, programmatic and financial issues without without sacrificing design integrity.