International architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is pleased to announce that CENTRA will be recognized with an American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Chapter Honor Award. Developed by The Hampshire Companies, this dynamic building offers a new paradigm for the suburban office experience – one which blends urbanism with the living landscape.
According to KPF Managing Principal, Lloyd Sigal, “The Hampshire Companies saw an opportunity during the economic downturn to get ahead of the curve by refurbishing this underutilized, but well-located property. We were commissioned for the project at the start of the financial crisis, so were faced with the challenge of producing high-quality, impactful architecture within an especially tight budget. But with a visionary client, an exceptional contractor (Tishman Construction), and a skilled team of engineers and consultants, we were able to create a building that is visually striking, functionally efficient and, as recently announced, award-winning.”
KPF’s design for CENTRA adds value by expanding the total area of leasable Class-A office space while utilizing the existing structure. An extension of the top floor adds 10,000 square feet, while the addition of vision glass and light wells activates the previously unoccupied basement, adding 15,000 square feet of day-lit office space and tenant amenities.
The project, targeted for LEED Gold Certification, exemplifies KPF’s dedication to finding the most sustainable solution for each project. In lieu of tearing down the existing structure, the KPF design salvaged and recycled its valuable components. The existing exterior wall was removed, but the steel structure was kept and reinforced and a new high-performance glass façade added.
The building’s unique structural design, developed in collaboration with DeSimone Consulting Engineers, utilizes an asymmetrical tree-column and truss to support the fourth floor extension and provides a signature feature for the project. By carving a rectangular hole in the center of the suspended fourth floor, the ground-level grand entry plaza is showered with natural daylight. Surrounding pyramidal landscape forms further animate the environment and create a dynamic visual foreground for this next generation suburban office building.
Commenting on the project, KPF Director and Senior Designer, Hugh Trumbull said, “At center stage, the powerful iconic column lifts the new addition 35 feet into the air, creating a grand canopy over the entry plaza. It is in this new urban place, where people meet and greet one another, that nature is most present. The building frames and reframes the landscape; its skin captures the lush green environment and reflects natural light at every turn.”
CENTRA is the first building, and ultimately the gateway, for a larger master plan, also designed by KPF, for the corporate campus of the future. This new suburban office paradigm epitomizes a user-friendly approach by avoiding the common practice of siting blocks of buildings in vast seas of parking devoid of landscape. Emphasizing the movement from car to building, the design is based on an urban/suburban campus aesthetic. As buildings are added, landscape promenades, urban rooms, and closely-spaced architecture foster a strong sense of community and place. Together, the landscape and building forms encourage social interaction and provide a healthier and more sustainable environment.
To commemorate the 2013 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo published a collector’s edition of its highly acclaimed book “eVolo Skyscrapers”. The book is a two-volume, 1300-page set with the best 300 projects received during the last years. Only 150 copies are available worldwide.