Written by: Jason Hovet
Photo by: Luminum
Opening its first building in the
spring of 2003, The Park, which sits off the D1 highway out of
town and will comprise 12 buildings when it's finished, is nearly
halfway completed. The technology park, housing, among others,
IBM, Dell and DHL, incorporates nature into a campus-style design,
giving employees a welcome break from their computers.
Enclosed by the Datum wall, it's a warm spring day all year in
the atrium gardens, bringing grass, plants and small ponds inside.
Besides offering brief sanctuary, office dwellers on this side
of the building can keep windows open year round.
The Avenue connects the two rows of buildings and serves as its
social heart complete with a central plaza, a rolling green, a
putting green, a stream, benches, and "candles" that
light up at night.
While the buildings were designed with uniformity in mind, it
was decided to distinguish the reception areas with unique creations.
The result: interiors incorporating fish aquariums or layered glass
(both pictured), as well as a flower case and jade stone.
Designed by Dutch landscape artists, the Meadows, with native
plants, trees and grass, provide a quiet place to relax.
Tenants can choose an overhead or under-floor cooling system,
as well as an open-plan or cellular office layout - or a combination.
The most striking part of the project, the Datum wall is transparent
during the day, but lights up with nearly 15 million color combinations
at night. Intended to unify the buildings visually, the wall offers
an elegant apparition to cars passing by.
Photo: Věroslav Sixt
from the outside
architect, Cigler & Marani
What challenges and opportunities did the project's location
and size present?
To create a small piece of a city is a challenge. I brought
the idea of the Datum Wall to separate the buildings from
the highway by building a huge, 650-metre transparent screen.
We also wanted to create more than an office, so you're really
in an office but surrounded by greenery, which is better
to look at than some gray buildings. Another challenge was
the size of the project. The identical buildings help to
create a focus [for passing cars] as different buildings
become too chaotic. Finally, the plaza pulls the project
from the INside
managing director, AIG-Lincoln
A technology park needs to be able to adapt and change quickly.
How did this figure into the project?
We tried to determine what would be required to accommodate
growth, flexibility, and change in the workplace. So we connected
all the buildings with a fibre-optic ring, and each building
is connected to a core - like a tree trunk, where you can
connect anything to that point as you grow and not have to
rip anything up and start over again. Then each level has
raised floors or ceilings so you can change anything at anytime.
This is important long-term for tenants to plug into new