Corps of Engineers Field OfficeBlack Warrior/Tombigbee River: Tuscaloosa, AL for the Corps of Engineers
For the new Field Office for the Tuscaloosa Corps of Engineers, our overall design intent was to integrate simple forms, natural materials, and passive sustainable strategies into a modern facility that both respects and responds to its site on the Black Warrior River.
Connection to the river was a leading influence of the spatial diagram of the building. A double-height lobby, glazed on both ends, serves as the public aperture to the river. The limestone cladding wraps from the exterior into the building through this space, folding at openings, and finally creating the expressive butress-like forms that hold the delicate steel catwalk above. The weight of this stone is juxtaposed against the spanning ceiling, with its warm glulam beams and tongue-and-groove cladding.
Feeding off of this lobby are the Public Information gallery, Multipurpose Conference space, and the first floor corridor which, lined with contemporary reveal wood panelling and integrated picture mold, will serve as a gallery in addition to circulation.
A reception area on the second floor sits on the mezzanine overlooking the main lobby. Office spaces and systems furniture are situated along the glazed perimeter to allow employees continuous access to daylighting, while shared functions are located through the office core, maximizing the function of circulation spaces. A large exterior room perches between roofs overlooking the river.