Studio Faculty: Amber Bartosh and Julie Larsen

Haerim Park, Kae Schwalber, Maureen Yue (honorable mention recipient)

A transformation of an existing department store into a post COVID office space. We created an office space that increases the health of the occupants through an air filtering facade, low carbon impact design, and family inclusive programming. The facade allows for a multi-use system, with fins acting as structural support and others acting as HVAC filtration systems. By carving into the existing structure, adding light wells and replacing the ground floor with an open playground, we were able to keep the carbon footprint lower than new buildings. Finally, their programming prioritizes children’s spaces, with a playground, child care center, and micro play spaces placed sprinkled in the building so parents in the office can bring their children to work and not worry about external health exposure.

The goal of our building was to create an office space that increases the health of the occupants through clean air, low carbon impact, and family inclusive spaces.

First we opened up our site. We brought in light through open atriums and removed our bottom floors. Then we invited people in through visual verticality and play spaces on the ground and the roof plane. Finally we inhabit our building with a mix of traditional office space and what we call “Family Clusters” or spaces where you can bring your children to work.

Our Egress uses two existing cores in pink and two additional cores in blue. Due to the slope of the site We have two main entrances, one the south Salina side is on grade, and the second, on the Clinton side is accessible through an elevator or stair case.

As you can see in the ground plan we pull people into the space with playscape and cafes. The playscapes use undulating ground planes and graphic designs to visually pull people in, and classic play furniture such as swings, slides and climbing domes to keep them entertained

On the second floor you can see our child care center on the north east side that acts as a daycare and a focal point for our project. On the third and fourth floor we can start to see the double height play spaces that create a Family cluster. These play spaces use netting and undulating floors to break up the rigidity of our boxy floor plates. These are located around the open atriums to create a visual dialogue across floors and office spaces. This playfulness is brought into the officescape with our superdesks which undulate, creating pathways and desks. And finally on the 5th and 6th floor you can see the occupiable roof which hosts a more subdued play scape and seating.

Felix Chen, Rebecca Hsu, Bomyeong Noh

Upon discovering the change of work mode due to Covid-19, we see a possibility of remote work and how technology can help mitigate the situation. In addition to serving the newly built Amazon distribution center located in Clay, NY as an extension, this building positions itself to be a research hub that incubates new technologies that would help facilitate remote work.

The hub of PARC-Prime Air Research Center houses various programs that aim to investigate, develop and innovate technologies. A good portion of the space is dedicated for testing and development purposes, facilities and equipment are accessible for individual research purposes, large space for grander fabrication is also provided.

Drone testing is one of the significant features focused on in this design. In searching for the automated delivery fully executed by drones and possibly other tasks in the future, this project registers as a test zone to explore the potential of drones. Multiple functionalities of the drone will be tested in various indoor spaces in the lab, for example, its ability to endure wind, rain conditions, the responsiveness of the drone to the programming, battery life, etc. In addition, an outdoor fly test would be executed within five tunnel-like glass structures to simulate a comprehensive delivery process.

The local community is an important piece of the puzzle as well, the hub welcomes whoever is interested in innovative technologies. Visitors will be able to visit the showroom where all of the research achievements and updates are exhibited periodically. Step by step drone and robotic arm innovation will be demonstrated. Specific machines are shown in the showroom but visitors can also walk by the labs to see how all the machines function and being tested as well. In addition, VR headsets are provided to those who wish to experience the manipulation of the machines. Workshops are held from time to time to activate connections and collaborations between the community and Amazon engineers, prototypes are encouraged to be tested using the on-site facilities as well.

Amazon would serve as a host on initiating the dialogue to envision the future of automation, the goal is to encourage collaborations among different expertise, together with the industry experts, local communities as well as the academic teams, potential possibilities can be maximized, regional dynamics will also be generated to benefit the local communities.