Herkules Machine Factory, Pittsburgh, USA

















This well engineered glazed box houses the US administrative headquarters of the Herkules Group, a world leader in the manufacture of roll machining equipment.

In plan, the offices and meeting rooms are organised in a U-shape configuration around the service spine, so enabling them to enjoy the quality of light afforded by the full height glazing design. Sun glare is subtly managed by semi transparent screens. On its west facing side, the building enjoys scenic views of the neighbouring woodland area.

The reception area, double height lobby and stairwell organise the building's south facing composition. Externally, this elevation is finished with a striking roof sign in perforated mesh. This
serves three functions: first, as a way of enriching the architectural box typology; secondly, to locate the development in its surroundings, the sign being visible from the nearby highway; and finally, to soften the visual impact of the mechanical plant equipment sited behind it on the roof.

Internally, the sculptural articulation of its heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems - all of which are designed to be powered by the building’s geo-thermal heat well - reflects the project’s industrial aesthetic. This can also be seen in the elegant folded steel plate staircase situated at the front of building; and in the use of translucent glass panels, which allows diffuse light to illuminate the central service spine housing the technical infrastructure and kitchen.