Inspired by our book on Loblolly House, clients in California asked us to design an off-site fabricated home uniquely tuned to their steeply sloped site in the mountains of Mendocino County. The clients, a physician and a Silicon Valley electrical engineer turned artist, envisioned the home as a weekend getaway from San Francisco. It includes a 2,600 square-foot house and two free-standing studio structures of 300 square feet each.
Architect, professor and writer Witold Rybczynski describes the new KieranTimberlake studio as a "model of 21st century office space" in an article in Architect magazine. Rybczynski visited the office in April and interviewed founding partner Stephen Kieran and researcher Roderick Bates.
Rybczynski says the new office is not a showpiece but a hands-on workplace—whose glassed-in fabrication shop is the first view that greets visitors entering the building. The article draws on studies of workplace psychology and human comfort, mentioning the natural light and fresh air that are key features of this renovated industrial building, as well as the flexibility for employees to make choices about their workspace by moving desks and reconfiguring spaces.
The new studio's sustainability attributes include a cooling strategy that foregoes air conditioning in favor of opening windows in the monitor, using exhaust fans, supplying night-cooled air via the floor plenum, and dehumidifying the air. Rybczynski describes this as a "daring experiment" during a Philadelphia summer—one that involves 400 temperature and humidity sensors embedded in the building and regular surveys of KieranTimberlake's 100-person staff regarding their comfort levels.
A recent public meeting on the new design for LOVE Park included the announcement by Philadelphia's Parks & Recreation department, Hargreaves Associates, and KieranTimberlake that the renovated park will retain the iconic Welcome Center beloved by many Philadelphians.
The round, mid-century modern building was designed in the late 1950s and was a symbol of optimism in post-war Philadelphia as many American urban centers went into a long period of decline. Its continuing popularity among the public was revealed during Penn Praxis-led civic engagement efforts that preceded design work for LOVE Park.