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CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

Table of Contents

1

PROJECTThe Basics The Architect The Client The Site2 4 6 7

INTEGRATIONEnvironment + Construction Structure + Construction8 9

ENVIRONMENTDaylighting Passive Heating + Cooling Active Lighting Active Heating + Cooling10 12 14 15

STRUCTUREGravity Loads Lateral Loads Seismic Loads16 17 18

CONSTRUCTIONMeeting the Ground Meeting the Corner Handling Water Meeting the Ground + Sky Meeting the Sky19 20 22 24 26

Appendix

29

2

Project: The Basics

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

Project: The Basics

3

Name Firm Design Construction Client Program Size Cost

Caltrans District 7 Headquarters Morphosis 20012004 20022004 State of California, Dept. of General Services Governmental offices 2.1m gross ft, 13 stories $190m

4

Project: The Architect

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

WHY Interested in experimental design Believes life has an order too complex to observe Lived in a dorm with skip-stop elevators Interested in connection, complexity, and continuityWhat is ironic in a time of unprecedented advancement in scientific and technological inventions is the reactionary and superficial appropriation of historical forms.

Thom Mayne was born in Connecticut in 1944. When he was a teenager, he and his family moved to Los Angeles. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Southern California in 1968. Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972, professing interest in experimental design and thorough research. Denouncing the notion that architecture lies in the forms of the past, Mayne sought a new architecture based on order as a necessary social condition, stressing that the complexity of the human interactions found in everyday life is not disordered or chaotic, but merely too complex to understand without investigation. He returned to Harvard University to complete a graduate degree. While living in the graduate student housing at Peabody Terrace, Mayne was introduced to the skip-stop elevator an elevator that stops on every few floors, requiring residents to take the stairs between these elevator landings a theme prevalent in Maynes architecture. Mayne graduated with a Master of Architecture from Harvard University in 1978. He is a founder of SCI-Arc and an active academic, teaching and participating in design juries at numerous institutions and universities.It is embracing hazard, nurturing an eye for the idiosyncratic, the phrases left unspoken, the unfinished that allows us to utilize the potentiality of our cities. Our work is defined by its occupation of space and by the presence of the object(s). It is about the techniques of construction which provide for a frame of reference beyond beauty and history. That we are frightened of our world and see it as threatening is made abundantly clear by reviewing the plethora of architectural projects which have been realized to create an ersatz cultural experience. What is revealed in these schemes is a deep poverty of the imagination which is founded on a superficial understanding of what it is that gives life to a city. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI REC CENTER SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BLDG

[...]ordered systems arise spontaneously out of conditions that look chaotic, but which really harbour hidden ordering principles. The true revelation of chaos studies is not that order appears out of real chaos, but that some systems which appear chaotic are actually just complex systems.

It is the ability to absorb the idiosyncratic which, in the end, gives the work its energy, immediacy and life. HYPO ALPE-ADRIA CENTERPhotos courtesy Morphosis

INTL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLPhoto courtesy Princeton University

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

Project: The Architect

5

HOW Complex systems of layers form the buildings envelope Skip-stop elevator system is employed Both skin and ground plane are continuous and connective

Mayne uses layers to create a symbiotic system for the building envelope, which only provides the residents with dry, usable space, but it also shades and, therefore, cools the building, employing several environmental strategies. In addition, the skin converts sunlight into energy and transforms what would be a monolithic glass prism into a dynamic volume. Maynes personal experience with certain functional design decisions appear in the building. A skip-stop elevator system is central to the function of the building, as it is in many of his designs. Similarly, his experience using mechanized perforated metal panels in several other works led to their use in this project. The building surfaces are continuous from top to bottom, despite the skins various folds and additions of operable and fixed panels. Also, the pedestrian who visits Caltrans finds a continuity throughout the urban fabric as he progresses through several outdoor rooms created by the shading scrim overhead. The series of open spaces progresses from outside in the plaza near the street, into a second volume, bounded by the scrim canopy on one side and the building on the other, followed by the most interior of the exterior spaces, where the light installation flashes like the movement of a car. His belief that ordered systems arise spontaneously out of conditions that look chaotic, but which really harbour hidden ordering principles leads him to create architecture that helps people feel motion. People relate to ordered, classical buildings because they feel comfortable with the traditional and static form; thinner than the next, attached imperceptibly to unseen bones of structure. The CalTrans building is no exception to this: the skin escapes from the body just before it would reach its natural terminus in the ground. What man expects to be solid (architecture) is, in reality, porous and thin a series of delicate elements separated by voids. CONTINUITY however, in Maynes buildings, a person is engaged with transitional layers, each SKIP-STOP ELEVATORSTHE UNDULATING SKIN IS ONE CONTINUOUS SURFACE FROM GROUND TO SKY

CONNECTIVITY

effectively performs more tasks than simple economy demands. The exterior not

PROGRESSION FROM STREET, THROUGH PLAZA, INTO LIGHT CUBEPhotos courtesy Architectural Record and Knowlton School of Architecture

ELEVATOR LOBBIES

6

Project: The Client + Program

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

WHY Environmental responsibility Publicity of building

HOW Designed based on highway metaphor Design affected by Caltranss effect on LA

Caltrans is the moniker for Californias State Department of Transportation. When the agency wanted to build a new headquarters, they needed space for 1,850 Caltrans employees, as well as 500 Los Angeles Department of Transportation employees. In addition to basic office space, they required an exhibition space, retail, a cafeteria, a warehouse, an autoshop and autoshop yard, a day care center, a conference center, a wellness center, and a public plaza. The State of California has a commitment to creativity, environmental sensitivity and design excellence in public architecture. They also recognized that the building would be part of a large fabric of public spaces in Los Angeles and needed to function as such.Quotes in a Caltrans speech bubble like this are comments from Duncan McIntosh, Deputy District Director of Administration for Caltrans District 7.

Thom Mayne designed a building for CalTrans based on the metaphors of a Los Angeles that was defined by the actions of CalTrans itself as it built the citys infrastructure over the past century. Mayne expressed, despite the blight of downtown Los Angeles, an optimism for the future. The building came at what Mayne referred to as a lovely time because Gehrys Disney Concert Hall, Moneos Cathedral, the expansion of Gehrys 1979 Childrens Museum, and the new courthouse all made improvements to the fabric of downtown L.A. In his mind, these projects begin to anticipate the L.A. of the future. The specific project deals with the demands of: 1) urbanism 2) environment 3) office culture in Gestalt unity & symbiotic relationship. The client had an insistence on quality that Mayne found influential.LOS ANGELES CHILDRENS MUSEUM

HIGHWAY INTERCHANGE MANAGED BY CALTRANSPhoto courtesy So Cal Metro via Flickr

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELSPhotos courtesy Carol Highsmith and Dmitri76 via Flickr Sketch courtesy Frank O. Gehry

CALTRANS DISTRICT 7 HEADQUARTERS BY MORPHOSIS Marcey Mankosa Michael Tyznik Alissa Weaver

Project: The Site

7

WHY Many public spaces Focus on vanity and publicity

HOW Visual connection to surroundings Local construction techniques Thin construction echoes vanity Public plaza links into network of public spaces Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. The urban environment of Los Angeles contains many public spaces. One reason for this is the difficulty and expense of providing water infrastructure to developments, which leads to buildings being grouped in clusters. Another reason for the multiple public spaces stems back to when Los Angeles was made of several neighborhoods, each with its own public gathering space. As the home of Hollywood, Los Angeles is filled with young actors, actresses, singers, and comedians who are trying to catch their