CONTRACTORS: COOPER CARRY – Architect Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Construction Uzun + Case, LLC – Structural Engineer Nottingham Brook & Pennington – Mechanical Engineer + Plumbing & Electric Eberly & Associates – Civil Engineer Technical Service Audio Visual (TSAV) – Audio Visual/ IT Consultant PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The architectural team at COOPER CARRY – with Mark Jensen, AIA, LEED AP as Partner-in-Charge and Senior Associate Nate Williamson, AIA, LEED AP as Project Designer – was tasked with creating a 40,000-square-foot training facility near the more than $1 billion Baxter International manufacturing center near Covington. The main challenge of this assignment was that the building would serve two key purposes: 1) As a training facility to support Baxter and other bioscience companies. 2) As a very strong marketing piece for the state of Georgia where prospective companies could come and tour the facility. “At COOPER CARRY, we often conceive of our designs from the inside out,” said Williamson. “We bench marked similar facilities in different states in order to understand the vision and delve into how the individual spaces might function. We also wanted to have an understanding of the equipment, components and how they work. All of the high-tech equipment inspired the design through the incorporation of stainless steel. The exterior of the building is wrapped in a second skin of stainless steel fabric, which serves to screen the buildings primary envelope from glare and heat gain. The result is a high performance design that evokes the sophistication of 21st century biomanufacturing. It’s unlike anything you’ll see in Georgia. In order to invigorate training and tours, we elected to infuse daylight into the interior spaces. One way we did that was by organizing all of the spaces and circulation in a circular fashion around a central open courtyard surrounded by all glass windows into all training spaces. Throughout the design, we tried to create a distraction-free environment with white walls and floors for a crisp, clean appearance. Lighting throughout is virtually hidden – mainly in pockets and coves. Lab spaces focus primarily on experiments, machinery and equipment training. High profile spaces and functionality are two things we’re very familiar with at COOPER CARRY. However, the combined use by the state was something new and exciting for us, so we needed to make it very inviting to companies – a showplace. We created two spaces that are ideal for events – the courtyard and an indoor space for conferences and large gatherings.” From a structural engineering perspective, the most interesting and challenging aspects were dictated by the design. The procession of the facility’s main entry point is a particularly strong focus of the design. It required a double structural cantilever – measuring 30 feet on one side and 50 feet on the other. To adhere to a distraction free interior, the designer wished to for ego columns around the elliptical courtyard, which required the incorporation of five additional cantilevers.
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