THE EVOLUTION OF A FLOOR PLAN
In January 2006, the Samuel Hadley Public Services Building design team began assessing the various elements of the new public services facility for Lexington, Mass.
The 9.6-acre campus is surrounded on two sides by homes, raising siting and vehicle circulation issues. Other considerations included:Initial, lifecycle, and maintenance costsImpact on operational productivityEmployee safety.
Looking at these factors helped the team — comprised of HKT Architects Inc., Weston & Sampson Engineers Inc., RW Sullivan Engineering, The Bioengineering Group Inc., Weidlinger Associates Inc., and Advanced Storage Technology Inc. — develop a holistic design with low initial cost and high return on investment.
The process started with a programming phase to determine space requirements for the building. The design team interviewed future occupants — public works, school facilities, town management, and town engineering employees — to determine what would be needed in required spaces.
The team then analyzed rooms and occupants' desired sizes against industry standards, and revised accordingly. Room data sheets were reviewed and revised by the occupants.
Below is a step-by-step description of how the room data sheets evolved into final floor plans.
Room data sheets
These are basically performance specifications: size and function of the space (audio-visual equipment; furnishing requirements), building system requirements (types of walls, floors, ceilings; HVAC; electrical and lighting), and adjacencies (which rooms should be close to each other).
Administration area bubble diagram Facility bubble diagram
The next step is arranging these spaces most logically. In the first diagram, the public physically accesses several departments but sees almost all of them (indicated by the broken yellow circle) from the lobby. The second diagram places the first one within “administration/operations” to show its relationship to the entire facility. Once future occupants approved the diagrams, they became the backbone of the floor plans, which were flushed out with details from the room data sheets.
Finalized floor plan
Detailed information about both the administration and facility spaces: an obvious entrance/exit for the public, secure off-hour public access areas, and a separate employee entrance with easy access to main public works operational spaces.