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  Mechanical Dynamics, Inc. World Headquarters, Page 52Mechanical Dynamics, Inc. World Headquarters
Architects
Jickling Lyman Powell Associates, Inc.
2900 W. Maple Road, #210, Troy, MI 48084

Location: 
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Total Square Feet: 71,631
Construction Period: Dec 1999 to Jan 2001


Construction Team
General Contractor: O’Neal Construction, Inc. - 525 West William, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Structural Engineer: Robert Darvas Associates, P.C. - 440 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Electrical Engineer: Peter Basso Associates, Inc. - 5145 Livernois, #100, Troy, MI 48098
Mechanical Engineer: Robertson Morrison, Inc. - 4721 Runway Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Landscape Architect: Atwell-Hicks, Inc. - 500 Avis Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Cost Estimator: O’Neal Construction, Inc. - 525 West William, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Acircular landscaped driveway bordered by a radiating sidewalk pattern and crisp flags reflecting in a two story glass entrance leads each visitor to the contemporary world headquarters for this growing computer software company. Sited along the edge of a steeply sloped site, the building rests in the slope, concealing the lower level from view.

The north building exterior consists of a series of horizontal brick bands whose lines extend through the fenestration and links the building to its surroundings. The remainder of the exterior continues the design theme with a contrasting light color synthetic cementitious veneer and grey tinted glass. A sharply angled wall adjacent to the main entrance shields the service entrance and effectively draws visitors into an elegant lobby that continues the view through the building of the naturally landscaped flood plane sixteen feet below the first floor. Visitors are left with the impression of standing amongst the trees.

The building consists of three floors for business offices, conference and training rooms, computer and software research support facilities and design labs. The company occupies the entire building with plans to double its size with a matching building connected to the main lobby.

The interior offices are designed for peak efficiency and flexibility. By using long span structural members, two large spaces provide uninterrupted space for staff office cubicles. Staff areas are separated by the building core elements accented with warm colors chosen to provide a backdrop for clusters of furniture.

Separate core elements conveniently divide departments into manageable groups that can be arranged as individual offices or larger team spaces without interfering with columns or walls.

Private offices along the south and west sides of each floor are designed with generous amounts of glass to bring natural light deep within the interior. 

Exterior window sills are set high to control views of the wetlands and afford sufficient wall space to accommodate a variety of furniture types.

The lowest level of the building provides space for specialized technical computer training and for less formal group gatherings. The technical training room features a high acoustical folding partition to divide the room for individual activities, recessed floor ducts fitted with electrical and data wiring and multi-port terminals positioned to allow several variations on furniture arrangement to suit each training group. The room environment can be remotely controlled from the speaker#s podium including controls for lighting and sound for audio-visual presentations.

Employees can take advantage of the indoor exercise and locker facilities away from daily business activity. The facilities are outfitted with lockers, showers and toilets to afford users the privacy and conveniences of a private club.

The overall design concept was to design a building for under $100 per square foot with sufficient technological capability and functional flexibility to serve a constantly growing and changing company well in the future.

Manufacturers/Suppliers
DIV 04: Brick: The Belden Brick Company.
DIV 07: EIFS: Dryvit.
DIV 09: VCT: Armstrong; Carpet: Lee's, Patcraft; Rubber Floor Tiles, Base: Roppe; Acoustical Tile: USG.
 


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