In commercial construction, architects always take into consideration the views from within the office building being designed. But the importance of seeing the “landscape” – and being able to connect with it – is even greater if the primary work of the building’s occupants involves the landscape itself. This was the case for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, and Klein’s glass office partition systems facilitated that connection.
Design Challenge: Landscape, Light and LEED
The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge was moving its administrative offices, visitors’ center and service facility into a new, 8,000 square-foot complex. Given the nature of this organization’s work, the project architects saw the need for an environmentally sensitive design that would integrate the building structure with the landscape outside.
“We wanted to give both staff and visitors a strong connection to the landscape by providing plenty of light and openness within the facility,” stated Johnny Birkinbine, AIA, of Line and Space, Inc., the Tucson, Arizona-based architectural firm responsible for the design of the complex.
Specifically, the interior design needed to:
- Provide a strong connection to the landscape
- Allow for plenty of light, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting
- Define office spaces while enabling transparency of views from office to office
- Help the site to qualify for LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility
Design Solution: The Right Glass Door System
To help the architects meet the design challenge for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, they turned to Klein’s Rollglass® interior sliding glass door system. This office partition system divides spaces through a combination of fixed and frameless sliding glass doors. The minimalist design and numerous glass panels created the clean and modern look that Line and Space, Inc., desired. Rollglass® was used in the staff’s offices and the corridors, as well as the conference room.
The floor-to-ceiling glass walls created the desired transparency from office to office and to the exterior that the architects and client wanted. They also satisfied the criteria of allowing plenty of natural daylight to penetrate the interior space, and positively impacted the LEED certification. The ability of the glass walls to extend natural daylight deep into the interior of the space helped increase energy efficiency and contributed to the “Daylight and Views” credit, according to Birkinbine.
Benefits of a Frameless System
Other glass door systems might have sufficed – but the frameless design of the Klein system played a large part in why it was chosen. The installation was clean and easy, with the lack of track and minimal parts. As well, the Rollglass® system created a wonderful flow within the space through use of short, 90 degree panel return between the glass office front and the drywall partition separating offices.
“If we had extended the drywall all the way out to the corridor wall, we would have broken the rhythm of the glass plane and also lost some of the transparency we were looking for,” shared Birkinbine.
While this was the first time Birkinbine used frameless interior glass doors, it may not be the last. The Klein system helped Line and Space, Inc., achieve its aesthetic, environmental and functional goals, and Birkinbine shared that they would definitely consider using the system again.
Does your architectural or design firm have a project with similar goals? Download this free report on creating the workplace of the future to see how Klein can help.
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