To convert a non-descript industrial building into an architectural statement for an innovative manufacturer of consumer products for the home.
Umbra, the manufacturer and designer of modern style consumer products, wanted an equally artful and resourceful Construction Manager for the construction of their new headquarters. The project was to convert a thirty year old industrial building into an innovative and functional space for their offices, design studios, showrooms, assembly and distribution activities.
The remarkable exterior cladding is the most striking element of this renovation. The architects’ concept was to clad the existing building with translucent plastic panels reminiscent of the polypropylene that Umbra uses in many of its product designs. The one metre square modular panels were suspended from the building on a metal framework which has given a new form to the building. Urbacon made this process cost effective by sourcing a manufacturer who was able to vacuum form the panels in a copolyester plastic suitable for exterior applications. Once the decorative design was created by routering holes, an innovative fastening system was developed to secure the panels to the metal framework.
Acting as liaison between the architects and designers, Urbacon mastered the smooth integration of exterior and interior spaces. The interior is defined by curved, canted and translucent partitions. Custom sized templates were made in order to achieve the curved acrylic walls. A third storey lantern was added to provide additional light and increase highway visibility. The clean lines and monochrome colour palette meant that the detailing took a high priority to bring the design to reality. The result is a building that is as striking and innovative as Umbra’s products.