Watermark Design Group, a Mobile-based architectural firm, has completed the design of a new administrative complex that will soon house ThyssenKrupp Steel USA’s management team. The design of the 78,000-square-foot complex features Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) elements, and, of course, uses steel as the signature building material.
“Our design reflects ThyssenKrupp’s respect to the environment and its pride in the plant,” said Jim Clarke, lead architect for Watermark Design. “Exposed steel framing is incorporated into the design of the building’s conference rooms, and prominent patio areas encourage employees to meet outdoors.” The building’s most striking design element is a 440-foot segmented glass wall on the building’s east side. “ThyssenKrupp built one of the most technologically advanced steel processing facilities in the world,” said Clarke. “Our design allows almost every employee with an office in this new building to view it.” Some of the building’s green design features include a reclaimed water system for irrigation, natural lighting, lighting and thermal inhabitant controls and reflective and light colored materials for the minimization of heat island effects.
Watermark’s sister company, Thompson Engineering, provided geotechnical, structural, and civil engineering services for the new facility. “Because we have direct access to engineering consultants, we can facilitate a quick response – many times a 24-hour turnaround – on design changes, which is critical for a fast-track project,” said Clarke. Construction of the administration building is already underway; about 400 employees will begin working from the new complex in the fall of 2012.