Software Headquarter Facility
The Software Headquarters Facility project (Medina, Minnesota), created by Minneapolis-based firm RSP Architects, received the Commercial Honorable Mention in the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. The award was announced during Coverings, the most important northamerican exhibition of floor and wall coverings held in Orlando from 17 to 20 April 2012.
RSP Architects is an integrated architectural design firm that handles all aspects of projects, with a particular focus on workspaces and corporate spaces, an activity that accounts for 58% of its business. Its principal clients are international corporations.
RSP is highly sensitive to issues of sustainability and carefully appraises the characteristics of new products, taking into account the life cycle of the building.
This project, located in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, involved a very short on-site construction time and stands out for its elegant, minimalist interior design solutions. To achieve LEED Gold certification, the architects chose the Ecotech tile series from Floor Gres both for its characteristics as a recyclable and sustainable material and for its texture, colour and versatility for use in various sizes. Ceramic tiles from Floor Gres feature extensively in high-traffic spaces such as the central common area, the corridors, the restrooms, locker rooms and lunchroom.
Special attention has been devoted to the use of natural light throughout the building to ensure the maximum usability of the workspaces and relaxation areas.
The warm design aesthetics and soft tones stimulate interpersonal communication. The declared intention of the architects was to «elicit an emotional response from users». They concentrated on improving user experience through an interdisciplinary approach that embraced anthropology, marketing, strategy and industrial and environmental design.
Outside, the building’s stacked and interlocking parallelepipeds structures with large windows and ribbon glazing blend discreetly into the natural environment of the suburban site. Inside, rhythmic, fluid connecting routes have been created between the offices and the common areas. The central reception area, with a large staircase leading to the mezzanine office floor, was conceived by the architects as a living area, a kind of lounge where the groups of blue armchairs break up the compositional rigour of the interiors. Like the central lobby, the lunchroom/café area also features «black carpets» running across the pale-grey floor tiled with large-format Ecotech porcelain from Floor Gres.
In the restrooms and locker rooms the grey ceramic tiles have been chosen in an alternation of sizes to create an interesting graphic design.
Floor Gres, Ecotech series
40x40 - 40x80 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <150 mm3
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 40 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant