WRNS Studio Transforms 70's Era Tilt-Up into Net Positive Workplace

WRNS Studio Transforms 70's Era Tilt-Up into Net Positive Workplace

WRNS Studio was commissioned by Kevin Bates' Sharp Development to transform Pastoria, a low-slung, decades-old vacant warehouse located in Sunnyvale, Calif., into a net positive, design-forward workplace. Originally built in 1976 and located at 380 N Pastoria Ave., the energy-efficient retrofit is designed to maximize employee health and wellness while minimizing the building's environmental footprint and operating costs.

"Sharp Development tapped us to create an attractive, high-performing workplace that would appeal to young, growing companies," said WRNS Studio Partner and Director of Sustainability, Pauline Souza. "Potential tenants, like Silicon Valley technology firms, seek innovative sustainable office spaces as a recruiting tool for top talent who expect healthy, environmentally responsible workplaces. They see green as a baseline rather than a perk."

Recognizing the positive impacts that nature has on health, performance and wellbeing, the design elevates and makes evident natural systems. Likewise, strategies for supporting wellness are integrated from the inside out.

The outdated interiors were stripped to the bones, revealing exposed wood beams and blackened steel columns. The raw, industrial aesthetic is softened with a reclaimed wood paneled wall featuring a preserved vertical garden. Special consideration was given to natural lighting and ventilation. Generous windows offer seamless connectivity with nature, and daylight floods the space. Operable skylights and smart electrochromic glass windows (activated by sunlight, they become automatically tinted) are complemented by museum-quality, full-spectrum LED color-tunable fixtures. High-volume low-speed (HVLS) ceiling fans allow fresh air to circulate around the open floor plan.

The building envelope is a high performance exterior insulation system that resists heat flow. A state-of-the-art photovoltaic array combines with passive heating, cooling and lighting methodologies to generate enough power to eliminate the PG&E bill for this all-electric, carbon neutral building. Solar panels double as a portico providing an attractive, shaded entrance.

Reinforcing its connection to nature, the surrounding site is populated with community gardens and edible plants, including tangerines, pineapple, lemons, and herbs. Patio benches were made from repurposed wood.

Photography: Daniel Gaines

WRNS Studio

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