Located in the heart of Pilsen, two abandoned buildings share a large green backyard that sits adjacent to what will be the neighborhood’s Paseo trail. JGMA was challenged to transform this block into a new creative office campus. Its position relative to the Paseo presents opportunities for connection and community engagement, making this campus not only for the private entities that will occupy it but a public plaza for the neighborhood.
The design strives to connect the buildings to create a campus feel, which is achieved using an interconnected linear geometry that wraps up and over the building. This language is created through pervious pavers, planters, green walls and weathering steel that gives the building a new identity. Rather than maintaining each building’s separate street side entry, the new design strategically locates the entries to both buildings inside the new plaza, linking them internally and encouraging people to process through the plaza before entering.
Within the plaza, an integrated rail system allows planters and murals to slide north to south, creating small outdoor office spaces or large public gathering spaces for farmers markets or outdoor movies. Local artists will be commissioned to create the murals, giving the plaza a sense of place and furthering the plaza’s mission of collaboration and community engagement.