Wilkinson Office And Warehouse Buildings

Phoenix, United States

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Michael P. Johnson

The anonymous faces of the huge block housing the Wilkinson offices and warehouse, made with grit shot concrete panels, were completely upgraded when the building was refurbished. The bottom section of the large entrance facade stood out for the uneven distribution of its doors and windows; these were brought together by a 40 meter long steel beam painted in a vibrant yellow colour. The top of the beam, about 2.50 meters above the ground, is also the lower edge of the new ventilated facades ade that wraps around the entire building, giving it a fresh and dynamic look with the distinctive mirrored effect, integrating architecture with the environment. The use of a simple and continuous ceramic face lent new, architectural dignity to the building. Choosing this technology also significantly cut energy demands for heating and cooling the building. Marazzi Engineering designed and supplied the continuous face in 60x60 cm porcelain stoneware slabs, fitted using a system of exposed hooks. The design won the “commercial architecture” category of the prestigious Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition in 2005.

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