In the world of optics and medical technologies - few companies have the storied reputation and expertise with which Zeiss has become known. The excellence of the company and strength of purpose is apparent not only in the quality of product they create, but in the care and dedication with which they support the needs of their customers and clients.
As a response to Zeiss' corporate ethos, the MODULUS team has striven to produce a concept and design for transforming the existing building into an elegant and intimately intertwined environment rich in energetic amenities and collaborative workspaces.
At roughly 201,600 square feet - the existing building contains both rewarding and challenging elements in great scale and quantity. By focusing this initial round of efforts on analyzing and implementing those characteristics uniquely beneficial to the Hacienda Drive building, the MODULUS team has been able to strategically transform the current volume into a space reflective of Zeiss' sharp focus and simple elegance.
Based on the existing zoning and after a conversation with the Dublin Planning Department, it was determined that with an FAR of .50, the floor area could potentially be increased to a maximum of 278,400 square feet. This total area would necessitate 928 parking stalls based on a aggregate 1/300 sf parking ratio, and likely be in excess of Zeiss short and long term goals.
With manufacturing, shipping, & receiving all scaling back to ~40% capacity and moving away from the site - the strategy for overall area and adequate parking was focused on increasing both office and R+D spaces, adding necessary amenities, and balancing site improvements to afford higher densities and altered requirements.
Using an allowable 30% maximum compact stall change to the existing standard stalls, as well as quick adaptations at a few of the existing loading areas, the total parking provided is increased from 668 stalls to 780 stalls, which also allows for the overall building area to be increased ~30,000 square feet and still maintain a 1/300 sf aggregate parking ratio.
In addition, any potential increase in workforce is afforded major public transport links with both BART and Bus routes within an approximately one mile radius of the site.
Capturing the concept of visual acuity and identity - the newly proposed entry procession is softly sculpted through strategically placed walls, entry glazing capturing both opaque and translucent panels, and intertwined hardscape / landscape elements that reinforce the importance of a view created and a moment appreciated. Customers, employees, and guests are all drawn in through the focused threshold and treated with the same precision and care as those products created by the company itself.
Flanking the entry and balancing the existing glazed openings, undulating helix sunshades create a unique visual treatment that not only raises the aesthetic quality and light treatment of the existing building, but also ties the corporate colors and marketing back to the headquarters itself.
A building that now reads and acts as a home for Zeiss - and reflects to the public environment the strength of both company and purpose.
The front entry is enhanced with newly placed walls, directing the massing, circulation, and visibility towards the entry to the building. In addition, new full height glazing that gradates from opaque to translucent creates a dramatic entry move and brings greater quantitites of controlled natural light to the interior.
Movement to and from the building act as reminders of the moments desired by customers and employees through a series of varying visual cues and alterations.
By balancing improvements at both macro and micro levels - efficient moves create dramatic improvements and modernize the building to be a proper reflection of a technology minded company.
Taking inspiration from the recently completed Zeiss Museum of Optics, the main entry to the redesigned Dublin facility leads to an Executive Show Room via a brief gallery highlighting the latest Zeiss accomplishments and ends on a piece honoring the origins of the company. This procession creates an avenue along the path of the existing skylight, and combined with the final showcase acts as a daily reminder to set our gaze both upward and inward.
The desire is to create an outdoor amenity space that is centrally accessible to all and works as a town square is common for many companies acquiring and creating new homes. We have proposed a truly unique and crafted instance for the Zeiss community to gather.
In lieu of pushing people to an exposed exterior space - an interior park is crafted inside the building, providing a company-centric and vibrant environment to draw inspiration from and gather within. This new anchor point takes advantage of the rare R+D building components of high ceilings, open column bays, and abundant daylight enabling the park to be visible throughout the building and act as an orientation and gathering point for all.
Trickling off from this central point are a series of greenways that follow the network of existing skylights with a continuation of greenery. The plants thrive with the natural sunlight above, serve as primary circulation route, a sophisticated wayfinding element, and ensure that all paths lead back to the park where the company brings together those involved in design, engineering, facilitation, and customer success.
Occupants are subtly reminded through these features that there are rewards for looking both up and down while keeping one's sights on the horizon. Further reinforcement of both product and mission - Making life visible.
An operably glass clad interior park is created by opening the interior to the exterior and intertwining life back into the space. In addition, the slab is removed and park recessed to allow direct flow into and out of the space with integrated bench seating, vegetation, lighting, and crafted soffit.
Manufacturing, shipping, and receiving functions are projected to be largely relocated off-site, with that excess area being largely re-purposed for office functions and amenities. The manufacturing area slated to remain is intended for prototyping and R+D purposes, and has been located adjacent to hardware labs, software labs, and engineering for a more streamlined and successive approach.
Flanking the new greenways are a mixture of office and conference rooms that act as a buffer between communal circulation and private workstations. The decentralized distribution of these spaces ensures every department has convenient access and variety - from 1 & 2 person phone rooms to 6,8, and 10 person meeting rooms. Larger conference spaces are strategically located for training and education - in addition to the park space which can operate well for large and small group meetings.
Within distinct zones created by a mixture of greenways and office/conference rooms, the workstation clusters are organized to grant a sense of neighborhood, community, and identity. Striking the balance between open collaboration and the opportunity to maintain focus on intricate tasks, workstations are set to be off the main circulation paths and bustling distractions, yet have necessary auxiliary functions conveniently located nearby. The size and layout depicted incorporates the new Zeiss pod, bullpen, and benching approach currently being implemented.
Based on preliminary parking calculations and planning department feedback, future growth and building expansion can take place in the high volume of the existing spaces located across the building. Situated to maintain natural lighting distribution and further define neighborhood identities, an upper mezzanine level can be used for a mix of additional workstations, conference rooms, product war rooms, and café amenity seating.
Decentralized and diverse seating opportunities around the perimeter of the new park focus on the scale of an individual, while accommodating a growing employee base. The variety of seating and dining opportunities include a deli, cafe, market, and group tables - all fed from a centralized kitchen. In addition, the adjacency to open spaces and strategically placed zones creates an organic collaborative environment that allows the space to be occupied on a regular basis while also permitting all-hands and larger company meetings to take place.
As well, a newly proposed fitness center is positioned in a conveniently accessible location, tying into an existing restroom core and side entrance. Fostering sound mind, body, and spirit has proven to be beneficial to overall company and employee well-being, while also enabling more successful teamwork and support implimentation.
At a micro scale, the benefits of the existing building integrated with the newly proposed alterations allow the company to freely connect face to face, and nurture inter-department creative developments fundamental to Zeiss’ evolution and continued success. On a macro scale - the building can effectively adapt to growth of various departments and partnering companies that become part of the forward thinking Zeiss family.