Phase IV

pittsburgh, pennsylvania

Located in the historic Firstside area of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle" business district, this interior accommodates the fourth expansion of BodyMedia. Their offices currently occupy the entire top floor and this fourth expansion on the 10th floor will double their space and provide for their graphic and interactive operations.

Similar to earlier phases, the goal of this interior is to create personal work space within an open office setting. Program spaces include open workstations, individual team areas, a kitchenette, a server area, a conference room, and an electronics lab workshop.

In keeping with the design intent of the first three phases, this interior is comprised of a palette of recycled, locally available, and low cost materials that are composed and detailed in unconventional ways. The finished flooring material is polyurethaned OSB (oriented strand board) sheets fastened to the existing subfloor while the wall cladding is an articulated panel assembly comprised of unfinished fire-rated particle board (Duraflake) and lightly sanded recycled newsprint board (Homasote). Each panel is screwed to a galvanized backing strip which is attached to a frame of steel studs making the interior a demountable wall cladding system.

Above a low horizontal datum line on the wall, the surface is Homasote allowing every wall to function as pin-up space. The existing deteriorating plaster ceiling has been scraped clean of peeling paint and a thin layer of galvanized steel sheeting has been applied. Within the open plan, stretched, translucent Lycra fabric panels divide work and meeting areas yet provide private spatial enclosure.

In order to provide for fresh air and minimize electric consumption during normal business hours, the existing fixed windows were replaced with new, operable ones and the ceiling is clad with reflective galvanized steel sheets allowing daylight to reflect farther into the floor plate. Aluminum blinds help to control natural day lighting and an innovative fabric ductwork imported from Denmark is quickly demountable and machine washable for ease of maintenance.

Designed for both function and flexibility, BodyMedia's interior elements such as workstations, bookcases, and meeting area tables are made of common materials consistent with elements from previous expansions. Both the workstation and meeting area table components are designed within shape grammars that allow for flexibility in their arrangement and usability.