Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wright Executive Park in Detail

The building block of the office part of Wright Exectutive park was this three story spec office building. There be minor individual variations they are all essentially the same. The design accentuates the verticle, but there is variation on the facade to articulate the corners and the entrance.

What is interesting is that the site planning was relatively sophisticated for a Dayton spec office development. There is generous use of landscaping to define and soften the exterior environment and the entrance from the parking lots is developed more than usual.

From the parking lot side the repetition of the standard design gives the complex visual unity. The treets would help soften the exterior environment when full.

An example of how the parking lots are seperated and defined by rows of trees flanking the access roads, turning each lot into an outdoor room.

It's not evident that much from the ground, but each building fronting I-675 steps back, adding a bit of visual interest. The little plaza to the left is in front of the Wright Executive Center "monument".
From I-675 the streamlined horizontality of the offices is fairly dramatic, somewhat a visual analogy to or correspondence with high speed travel on the interstate. These buildings read especially well when floodlit at night.

University Shoppes, a 1980s strip center with the FedExKinkos on the corner. Sure sign of a business environment. Most of the center is food and drink places, probably catering to both the office workers and college students.

Executive Boulevard (?) which parallels Colonel Glenn. The fast food places have low signs and the visual environment is uncluttered but very horizontal. Interestingly enough they did provide sidewalks.

And the Holiday Inn, from the 1980s. At 6 stories this was the tallest building in the area until Mills-Morgan built their little high rise across the freeway. This Holiday Inn has meeting facilities and a restaurant.

Analysing Wright Executive Park

Color coding the map using the code in the previous post; some of the planning intentions become more evident.

The site was apparently zoned two ways; Offices to the west and retail/hospitality to the east. and retail /food to the front, hotels to the rear.

The office environment was kept uniform and the site was developed as a grid of plantings and access roads seperating the parkng "outdoor rooms". There was aggressive access control for Colonel Glenn, with Executive Boulevard operating as the secondary parallel access road to the fast food, retail, and office uses.

Access to Colonel Glenn was coordinated with WSU access so the road systems of the campus and the two developements south of the highway are integrated. This is really good planning.

An anomalous feature, though, is the lone office building in the hotel area. One suspects that since the initial spec office development was so sucessfull a site that might have been planned for hotels was built out as offices instead.

And a little parti diagram of some of the land use concepts. There would have been access control along Colonel Glenn, but I think the reason the greenbelt along the highway is relatively wide to the south is that there is a power line right of way here, so it had to be wide to accomodate the transmission line.


Anonymous said...

I worked in those office buildings in the late 80's, early 90's. I watched one going up and was impressed by the technique. They pour the foundation slab, then on top of that they pour flat wall panels that are then raised into position. I described this technique to my architect brother. He paused for a moment and then said, "That's how they build warehouses." And indeed, those buildings are warehouses for office workers. I think Miller-Valentine won an award for their cleverness in adapting warehouses to other uses.

Jefferey said...

Tilt-slab construction. They do that a lot but for low rises and industrial/warehouses. I guess this is a not-to-standard use of the technology.

And yeah, warehouses for office workers. That describes most spec (for "speculative) offices. In Dayton most of these are pancake buildings (one story or maybe two) like over in Newmark.