In the rapidly developing area of West Los Angeles known as “Silicon Beach,” local architecture firm SPF:architects has recently completed WE3 at Water’s Edge, a 160,000-square-foot creative workspace with a striking, perforated facade that takes inspiration from the play of light on water. This unique design protects the interior from unwanted solar gain. Certified LEED Gold, the six-story structure is optimized for energy savings and low-resource consumption, from the integration of operable, insulated windows and sunshades on every floor to the use of locally sourced and recycled construction materials. The newly completed workspace is the third and final building in a pre-existing, 6.5-acre commercial campus in the Playa Vista Specific Plan.
Designed to attract top-level tech and creative talent, including the likes of Google, Yahoo and YouTube, WE3 prioritizes flexibility, workplace health and views toward Baldwin Hills and the Pacific Ocean. To gracefully complement the campus’ existing buildings and maximize the lot’s buildable area, the sleek office building stretches 400 feet in length along the site’s eastern edge and frames a new public courtyard. WE3 comprises four floors of parking — two of which are tucked underground to accommodate a total of 600 cars — as well as four levels of open workspace, each with a footprint of approximately 40,000 square feet and 15-foot floor heights.
In addition to crafting a “floating” skin that visually lightens the building’s mass, the architects left the concrete superstructure exposed to achieve WE3’s modern and minimalist aesthetic. All circulation is located on the exterior to promote outdoor interaction and wellness. Occupants can also enjoy a sky garden on the top floor along with a wind-shielded terrace that can be used for impromptu meetings.
“The objective was to create a clean and simple building that both practically and symbolically completes the architecture of the site,” said Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, SPF:architects’ founder and design principal. “From an urbanistic perspective, this plan simultaneously manages to maximize both visibility and workable density.”
Images via SPF:architects