Just north of Lehi, Utah, busy Interstate 15 winds like a river past a new campus for the technology giant Adobe. Situated between the highway and the steep Wasatch Mountains, with typical suburban sprawl and billboards just across the highway, the 38-acre site is in motorists' full view. With its strong form and contemporary material palette, this first phase of the campus, by the San Francisco–based design firms WRNS Studio (the core-and-shell architect) and Rapt Studio (which designed the interiors), is a bold and visible symbol for the software company. Silicon Valley–based Adobe chose Lehi for its newest facility because of its proximity to outdoor recreation and to numerous other technology companies. While employees can enjoy the mountains and nearby Utah Lake, Salt Lake City is just a 25-minute drive north on I-15.
Despite its banality, the highway is “part of the topology of the place,” says Bryan Shiles, a principal at WRNS. It is “framed and captured as part of a larger painterly notion of landscape.” This is clear in the parti sketch for the Adobe Utah Campus, which includes three long lines drawn on the site so as to embrace the valley and mimic the adjacent Wasatch Range. Those lines developed into three four-story bar-shaped buildings, each bent slightly to follow the shifting topography and fit into the rough terrain. The first completed phase of the campus comprises a 200,000-square-foot office block and a connected 80,000-square-foot amenities building. The structures hug the ground in places and in others cantilever over it, with chamfered vertical metal fins rhythmically punctuating the steel-and-glass shell above the exposed concrete base.
The visual prominence of the highway was not the only challenge: a four-lane road also bisects the long, thin site. So the architects designed these first structures to be anchored firmly on the hillside and span the road as a graceful concrete bridge. Driving under the building on the approach makes for a dramatic introduction to the campus.
Textured poured-in-place concrete at the building's base links the refined steel-and-glass facades above with the rugged Utah landscape. Around the buildings, board-formed-concrete retaining walls demarcate planted areas and places to sit, while also defining paths to both the main entrance and the north employees' entry. One such textured wall extends into the double-height north lobby, marking the stair leading up to the main floor. There, a spacious corridor offers views to the eastern mountains and connects the north and central lobbies, as well as private meeting spaces and a well-appointed customer-briefing center, with its conference and presentation areas.
The upper floors similarly maximize views, which alternate from floor to floor between the mountains to the east and the valley to the west. Here and there, conference rooms or collaboration spaces push out from the core into the open-plan office spaces. The result is a sense of privacy in the open offices—remarkable in a building designed to house 1,000 workers with few individual offices. Rapt Studio design principal David Galullo explains, “We developed the idea of bringing neighborhoods to the work spaces, so there was some visual break to what the client called the 'sea of same.' ”
An atrium connects the office block with the amenities building, which includes a full gym and locker rooms. It is where employees park their bikes after a lunchtime ride, blow off steam with a game of Ping-Pong or billiards, or take a break in the gaming “dungeon” or the piano room. Just outside, to the south, a soccer field and a basketball court beckon, while an enclosed full-size basketball court juts over the north end of the sloping site with long views out across the highway.
While the recreation spaces are important elements of the work environment, the heart of the campus is the atrium caf' facing the “campus green.” Employees share meals and work individually or in small groups at tables and long wood counters. Distinguished by its faceted wood slat ceiling, the space accommodates the entire workforce when management calls an all-hands meeting.
Straightforward and sophisticated in both its architecture and its ability to build community, this first phase of the Adobe Utah Campus is an eye-catching addition to the landscape along Interstate 15. It was important to Adobe that “the story of the building starts at the freeway and the design is meaningful for the inhabitants,” says Galullo. Shiles adds, “Adobe really wanted to say 'we're here' with drama and a sense of place.”
Size: 280,000 square feet
Cost: $74 million
Completion date: November 2012
Architect of Record:
Security: Security by Design
Renderer(s): WRNS Studio design team
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Office Building Structural system:
Roadway Bridge Component: 90-foot-long span comprised of concrete shear panels linked by a compression struts and tension ties (forming a story-deep concrete encased steel beam).
Foundation Systems: Combination of auger-cast piles and micro-piles
Amenities Building Structural system:
Atrium Long span Roof: Structural Steel King-Post Trusses (110-foot span).
Foundation Systems: Combination of auger-cast piles and micro-piles.
Formed Aluminum Fascia & Parapet Panels: Europanel by Pohl Inc. of America, installed by Steel Encounters
Unitized Aluminum & Glass Deep Fin curtain wall: Kawneer 2500 PG Unitwall System modified and installed by Steel Encounters
Structural Silicon Glazed Aluminum & Glass curtain wall: Kawneer 1600 System 2; modified and installed by Steel Encounters
Long-Span Curtain wall: VS-1 System, by Innovation Glass LLC; structural aluminum mullions & through-the-joint point supported glass (thermally broken cladding system; integral canopy). Installed by Steel Encounters
Custom Expansion Joints: XLS Concealed Joint Cover System by Construction Specialties Inc.
Moisture barrier: WRB by VaproShield.
Plynth walls: Board-Formed Architectural Concrete by Okland Construction, Salt Lake City.
All-Glass Entrance Doors: PRL Glass Systems, Inc.
Monumental Exterior Doors: Custom (5' x 10') Fair-Weather Operable Panels by Ellison Bronze, Inc.
Fire-control doors: McKeon Door Co. Safescape.
Suspension grid: Exposed Tee System by Armstrong
Demountable Glass partitions: Optos Low Profile by Teknion
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Custom Rapt Design by Fondell Woodwork
Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore, IdeaPaint
Wall coverings: Custom Mural by El Mac, Vinyl Wall Graphics-Custom Rapt Design by Ultimate Image Printing
Paneling: Gym Wall Panels by Draper
Plastic laminate: Smoky White Textured by Nevamar; Tan Echo Textured by Wilsonart
Solid surfacing: On reception desk ' Frosty White Mirage by Wilsonart; In Caf' ' Eggshell by CeasarStone; in Customer Experience - ; In Restrooms - Deep Ocean by CeasarStone
Special surfacing: Rock Climbing Wall by Rapt/Eldorado
Floor and wall tile (cite where used): Wall Tile-Spectrum by Emser, Floor tile-Spectrum by Emser
Resilient flooring: Colrex SD Tile by Forbo, Polished Concrete-Penta Guard High Performance Industrial by Convergent Concrete
Carpet: Open Office carpet-Walk the Plank by InterFace, Conference Room carpet-Walk the Plank by InterFace, Conference Room and Private Dining Carpet-Monochrome by InterFace, Conference Room carpet-Finsbury Square by InterFace
Special interior finishes unique to this project: Game Room Turf flooring-Elite Blend by One Lawn
Reception furniture: Lobby Chairs ' Paps Chair by Hightower, Lobby Chairs ' Pix Puf by Arper, Lobby Stools ' Maya Lin Stones by Knoll, Lobby Chairs ' Womb by Knoll.
Fixed seating: Benches ' custom design by Rapt Studio, manufactured by Braislford Cast Stone Inc. & Fondell Woodwork
Chairs: Lobby Chairs ' Paps Chair by Hightower, Lobby Chairs ' Pix Puf by Arper, Lobby Stools ' Maya Lin Stones by Knoll, Lobby Chairs ' Womb by Knoll. Office chairs- Setu by Herman Miller, Office Side Chairs- Confer by Allemuir, Open Office Lounge Chairs, Workstations & Private Offices- Canvas by Herman Miller, Lounge chairs ' Eames by Herman Miller, Lounge Side Tables ' Swoop Table by Herman Miller, Lounge side chairs ' Happy Chair by Hightower, Cafeteria Chairs ' Catifa by Arper, Artium Chairs ' Curve Side Chair by Allermuir, Conference room seating ' Setu Chair by Herman Miller, Informal conference chairs ' Sidewalk Chairs by Coalesse, Informal conference chairs 'Eames Molded Plastic Chair by Herman Miller, Open Office Lounge Chairs ' Open Lounge Chair by Allermuir, Open Office Lounge Chairs ' Talk Tub Chair by Keilhauer, Open Office Collaboratve Chairs ' Eames Plywood Chair by Herman Miller, Conference area chairs ' Conic Chair by Allermuir.
Tables: Cafeteria Tables ' Eames by Herman Miller, Atrium Tables ' Eames by Herman Miller, Conference Room Tables ' Custom Tables by Creative Mood, Informal Conference Tables ' Eames by Herman Miller, Informal Conference Tables ' Custom by Creative Wood, Open Office Lounge Tables ' Wishbone Side Table by Hightower, Open Office Collaborative Tables - Sprout Tables by Bludot, Open Office Collaborative Tables ' Eames by Herman Miller, Conference Area Lounge Tables ' Swoop Table by Herman Miller.
Upholstery: Customer Experience Tackable Walls ' Marharm Fabric by Eurospan
Other furniture : Open Office Rugs ' Tekla Rug by Kasthall, Open Office Collaborative Area Sofas ' Await Sofa by Coalesse, Open Office Collaborative High Back Sofas ' Hush Lounge by Arcadia Contract, Conference Area Lounge Area Rug ' Tekla Rug by Kasthall, Conference Area Lounge Ottomans/Benches ' Jaks Bench Seat by Allermuir, Game Room ' Spun Chairs by Magis, Library Shelving ' Spun Chairs by Magis, Window Treatment by MechoShades, Rock Climbing Wall ' Colloboration Rapt / Eldorado by Eldorado Climbing Wall, Climbing Wall Pads ' Custom by Asana, Basketball Court Operational Wall ' Skyfold Classic by Skyfold, Basketball Court Rim ' EZ Fold by Draper, Interior Signage ' Custom Rapt Design by HighTech Signs, Exterior Signage ' Custom Rapt Design by HighTech Signs.
Dimming System or other lighting controls: