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  Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Customer Service Field Services Bldg. #3, Page 48Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Customer Service Field Services Bldg. #3

Kennard Design Group
3600 Wilshire Boulevard, #1820, Los Angeles, CA 90010

LOCATION: Van Nuys, California
DATE BID: Aug 2004
Construction Period: June 2005 to July 2006
Total Square Feet: 22,100 
SITE: 2.35 acres. 
BUILDING SIZE: First floor, 22,100; total, 22,100 square feet. 
Building Height: First floor 23’; total, 23’. 
Basic Construction Type: II-N Noncombustible.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: Metal cladding. 
Roof: Metal. 
Floors: Concrete. 
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: APSG Engineers, Inc. - 285 N. Hill Avenue, #100, Pasadena, CA 91106
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Mallcraft, Inc. - 2225 N. Windsor Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001
MECHANICAL-ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: William Yang & Associates - 847 N. Hollywood Way, #100, Burbank, CA 91505
COST ESTIMATOR: Construction Cost Consultants - 2007 Wilshire Boulevard, #908, Los Angeles, CA 90057

To serve the growing needs of business and residential customers in the San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles, the city's water and power agency commissioned the design of a new facility. The site is located within the Department's Valley Center, a regional corporate yard in Van Nuys. The new building houses the field groups who serve business and residential customers in this region. These groups are: Field Services/Collection Unit, Field Investigation/Revenue Security Unit, and Meter Reading/Training Unit. The majority of employees who use the building are in the field during the day, supplemented by an administrative staff occupying the building. This facility is not open to the public.

The new building is a single-story, 22,000-square-foot structure with an open space plan, which includes offices, conference rooms, locker/shower rooms, two training rooms, kitchenette, a lunchroom and storage areas. The design team worked closely with the user groups to develop the program and the design.

The building is of steel frame construction with column lines at the north and south perimeter supporting steel arched trusses. The roof is standing seam steel with exposed metal decking at the interior. Exterior walls are of expressed aluminum paneling. Skylights and windows of graduating colors playfully illuminate the interior. The interior also has a playful selection of paint colors, some bright accents that play against the basic white walls and a sky blue truss and metal decking color. The stimulating color palette, combined with the high arched ceiling, offers an enhanced spatial quality in lieu of a more conventional work space.

Although the Department's site is in a storage, service and maintenance yard, this new field office is set within a limited pallet of plant material that provides landscape-framed views from the interior. The majority of the yard is paved with asphalt and concrete and contains numerous reels of cable and large power and electrical equipment. The program called for two entrances, one at the east and one at the west side of the building. They are internally joined by a tiled walkway the full length of the building. These entrances are offset to the south, where the common facilities are located, and to the north where the office spaces are located. Large expanses of glass are to the north with mountain views in the distance. Yet the glass is not penalizing because of its energy-saving northern exposure. 

The architect's goal has been twofold: first, to provide a functional and comfortable work environment in an open plan configuration. Both open furniture systems and a limited number of private management offices create spaces that define each of the various work groups. Second, the design approach was intended to create a building with form and mass to manage the large scale of the site and its makeup. The building echoes a form and materials for a building that would be found in an industrial setting - not fussy and yet expressive of a structural concept in form and detail. 

DIV. 5: Metal Deck: ASC Profiles.
DIV. 7: Manufactured Roofing & Siding: Alcan Composites USA.
DIV. 8: Entrances & Storefronts, Windows: United States Aluminum; Glazing: Oldcastle; Steel Doors & Frames: Timely; Hardware: ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions.
DIV. 9: Carpet: Shaw.
DIV. 16: Lighting: Prudential.

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