Hewlett-Packard’s new facility in the Rio Rancho City Center is a 218,000-square-foot, three-story office building which will house the company’s New Mexico operations. HP will initially employee 1,350 with the ability to expand within the building. The design of the facility incorporates many attractive features and amenities for employees, and will be an integral part of City Center.
The site is located just west of City Hall and the Santa Ana Star Center, and is configured to fit within the street grid/block pattern established in the City Center Master Plan. This site plan configuration allows the site to evolve over time as City Center develops, with the potential of individual parking cell blocks being redeveloped with additional buildings and parking structures. The Hewlett-Packard building occupies one oversized block in the middle of the site, with separate parking cells located within the surrounding blocks. The primary building entry is situated at the north end of the facility to provide a compelling, axis terminating vista.
Parking Areas and Landscaping
Each parking block is surrounded by public streets that maintain the urban form envisioned by City Center planners. Landscaping along the public streets will follow the master plan, with on-street parking, street trees, planting beds, sidewalks, and elements to enhance the pedestrian experience. Within each parking block, shade trees and landscaped islands are provided to reduce the heat-island-effect of the parking lot paving. An outdoor plaza area including additional plantings and landscape elements along with seating is adjacent to the building's food service facility. The landscaping design will be primarily based around drought resistant and low-water use vegetation.
Building Form and Aesthetics
The E-shaped building plan is a by-product of interior building functions and the desire to reduce the scale of this relatively large building. Each wing of the ‘E’ is limited to ninety feet in depth to maximize the amount of natural light entering the work spaces. Large window openings and ten-foot ceilings help further enhance the admission of natural light. Courtyards are created between the wings, and these will be used as landscaped areas and outdoor employee amenities spaces. The ‘E’ form also breaks up the length of the building into smaller segments, reducing the overall scale of the building to be more in line with the rest of City Center. In addition, two distinct colors are used on alternating wings, suggesting multiple buildings rather than a single large one. Screening elements integrated into the overall design are used to conceal both rooftop and ground mounted mechanical equipment.
A large spiral sculpture is immediately adjacent to the primary entry.
The facility has been designed with a number of features that will improve the building’s performance and provide lasting benefits to employees. The building has a high efficiency HVAC system that features variable air volume boxes allowing maximum control and comfort within the building. The building has increased wall and roof insulation and high-performance glass to improve energy efficiency. All paints, adhesives, and carpets in the building are low-emitting to improve the indoor air quality. Walk-off systems are provided at all entries to prevent contaminants from being tracked into the building, further benefiting employee health. Bike racks and showers are included in the design to encourage employees to bike to work. A dedicated recycling room has been provided to encourage ongoing recycling by the staff. Designated smoking areas have been included in the site design to ensure that smoking is kept away from the building to prevent smoke from being drawn in through windows, doors and air intakes. Together these measures provide a healthy working environment and encourage sustainable practices.
The design of the facility incorporates various amenities for the benefit of HP employees. The building is designed with a high percentage of exterior glazing to increase the amount of natural light into the building, creating a more productive work atmosphere. A large commons area connecting the two building entries provides space for circulation, collaboration and ‘all-hands’ gatherings. An open stair provides an airy connection between the first and second floors. A food service facility for employee’s use is provided adjacent to and immediately off of the first floor commons area. A fitness facility with changing areas, showers and lockers is located adjacent to the courtyard on the north side of the building, where secure outdoor bicycle storage is provided, as well as outdoor dining for the food service facility. Office spaces are predominantly of the open-office type, with only a few closed offices and conference rooms located toward the center of each wing.