Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
As a renowned designer/manufacturer of specialized military systems and equipment, the owner wanted a facility that promoted a more collaborative approach to teaming with outside entities. They decided to locate their Maneuver Collaboration Center addition on their existing office and lab building.
Site and exterior challenges included designing an innovative entry experience exciting to visiting guests and appropriate for the existing research/development campus. The main lobby was conceived as the initial location where two parties can intermingle and progress to various meeting rooms. Internal design challenges included creating a staff entry within a constrained existing corridor saddled by locations that were unfeasible to relocate or modify, and unifying existing areas with new required collaborative spaces. The entry canopy design is reminiscent of a military aircraft wing and provides a dramatic and identifiable element reflected in the repetitive arching of the front curtain wall.
Special interior elements include a large and divisible collaboration room, a modeling and simulation lab,
and a videoconference room with full-wall projection capabilities. Sweeping corridors leading from the main lobby are designed in a serpentine fashion to provide visual interest and create product display areas, informal break-out areas, and a detailed wall mural chronicling the history of weaponry.
Glass, metal siding, and structural glazed tile were the primary materials of the existing facility. Although these materials can tend to be industrial in their application, these same materials were selected for the new addition and were utilized in a more refined and technical way to display and promote an environment of innovation and collaboration. Technically expressive materials played out in design of the floors (terrazzo), casework and paneling (wenge wood, stone, aluminum accents), and ceilings (suspended metal).
In response to the owner’s scheduling needs, the project was designed, bid, and constructed in phases. Construction documents were completed in April 2010, and construction completed for occupancy in October 2010.