The Link building is an 8,000 sf. mixed-use office-retail environment located in the heart of the Phoenix Cultural District. The Phoenix Studio of Shepley Bulfinch was hired to design a renovation of an existing single-use building into a dynamic mix of space for an architecture firm, café, and three leasable executive office spaces. Held up by a remarkable steel superstructure and precast hollow-core floor planking, the building was stripped down to its primary materials and reconfigured to allow 3 additional street-front entryways. After reconfiguring the entire west elevation, cutting in a stairwell for second level access, and extending a view balcony over the sidewalk, the building was outfitted with unique tenant improvements in each leasable space. As a microcosm of the unique urban setting that is growing in downtown Phoenix, the building has stabilized the pedestrian corridor between the Phoenix Art Museum, Central Library and the light rail stop only one block away.
The Link building extends the use of an existing 1950’s era 2-story office building in the heart of the Phoenix Cultural District. The existing structural shell coupled with high performance interventions returns this building back into the existing building stock well suited for the 21st. century. By reusing the structure, a significant reduction in construction waste was achieved, reducing the volume of debris sent to the landfill as well as a considerable reduction in the impacts of material extraction, production and transportation normally associated with new construction. In opposition to the ‘slash and burn’ development mindset that characterizes the city, the Link boldly chooses to preserve the Cultural identity of the building façade and neighborhood while re-purposing the building for the future.
The link is located within a ½ mile of extensive community resources. Public transportation options are within ¼ of the building and include light rail, local bus routes, and express commuter transportation allowing no additional parking spaces to be constructed for the project. No additional public utility infrastructure was required as well; the Link utilized all existing utility service connections. Within a ½ mile of the building are significant community services including retail, restaurants, civic institutions and municipal parks. These amenities coupled with a pedestrian friendly environment allow the Link to connect with the community at a large scale, invigorating the existing urban fabric and enhancing the quality of life for the Phoenix Cultural District.
All the existing single pane glazing was replaced with high-efficiency Low-E glazing. Additional openings were created to supply ample natural day lighting to the interior spaces to reduce artificial lighting. Numerous fixed windows were converted to operable units to allow passive ventilation when permissible. The entire HVAC system was replace with efficiency split system with a high level of occupant control to suit individual needs within the building. 100% of the existing roof was recoated with a high solar reflective index (SRI) coating to reduce the impact of the heat island effect and maximize building energy savings.Included in the addition to the Link has a 25kW solar panel system that will provide 50% of the building’s power needs during peak months and 100% of its needs during off peak months.
The interior environment consists of many environmentally preferable products (EPP’s) to promote a healthy workplace and high comfort level for the building’s occupants. Interior finishes are left in their unfinished state where possible and included low VOC sealed concrete floors and exposed structure, which require little to no maintenance. Metal-framed interior partitions are clad with a combination of recycled content gypsum board with low VOC paint and sustainably harvested cork impregnated with a non-toxic sealer. Select areas are clad in reclaimed barn wood and left in its natural state. Furnishings and millwork include both FSC certified white oak millwork and unique recycled content furniture finished with low VOC sealers. Work areas are primarily daylight resulting in decreased energy usage related to artificial lighting. Other areas are lit through high efficiency adjustable lighting allowing user controllability. Tenant amenities include a full working kitchen featuring energy star rated Gaggenau appliances. Bathrooms feature a unique wall treatment of tile backerboard and low flow plumbing fixtures from Kohler.
Size: 8,000 sf.
Architect: The Phoenix Studio of Shepley Bulfinch
Principal Architect: Joe Herzog, AIA
Electrical Engineer: Woodward Engineering
Structural Engineer: AED Structural Engineering
M&P Engineer: Associated Engineering
Landscape Architect: Chris Winters & Associates
General Contractor: [merz]build- Chris Nieto Photos: Matt Winquist