Properties Magazine May 2017 : Page 25

GATHERING SPACE The Atrium is envisioned as a fifth quadrant of Public Square, which is situated just outside the front doors. tion had more to do with an Italian piazza. This was because of the propor-tional relationship between floor area and wall heights of the existing 200 Public Square Atrium. “Many of the great Italian civic spaces, such as those found in Florence or Siena, are quite elemental in design,” explains Reed. “Other than an occasional monumental fountain or statue, the paved areas are highly flexible and accommodate a multitude of uses. When seating is provided, the furnishings tend to be easily moveable chairs and tables. The architecture is all about scale, proportion, material texture and, during the day, natural light. With the Atrium reimagining, we felt it was important to respect and retain the magnificent spatial and material characteristics already in place, but introduce greater flexibility into how the Atrium might be used. “We went through a number of iterations before finalizing our plans, and I have to give Harbor Group credit for being extraordinary editors. They realized that for this to be a true amenity to the building, we needed a space that would foster a multitude of activities, without becoming excessive or overwrought.” To complete the work, Jim Fantozzi, vice-president of construction services for Infinity Construction, needed to enclose the entire worksite in a ply-wood and plastic housing for dust control. By building an enclosure 190 feet long by 80 feet wide by 24 feet tall, the dirt and dust was contained in the worksite, but they still needed to get the demolition debris out. Existing reinforced concrete walls were built much sturdier than assumed and five pieces of power equipment were needed. Too big to come through the front doors, they were disassembled, delivered through the freight elevators and then reassembled. “To get all the debris out, we were able to cut a hole in the floor, which was directly over the loading dock,” explains Fantozzi. “We then built a chute and sent debris down to trucks in the service level. In all, we sent out 42 truckloads or 600 cubic yards of debris.” A new piazza for Cleveland The space truly does now lend itself to multiple uses with large open areas on one level, with white and black terrazzo flooring, and with round café tables bordering the sides of the space. The center is punctuated by high top tables, communal worksurfaces, and a lengthy, strikingly-red settee that runs half the length of the space. “It works exceedingly well, and all but the bench are used for meetings – at the high tops, at the large work tops, and even the small café tables,” says Renee Evans, general manager for the Harbor Group. “It was just happenstance, but the red selected for the settee plays into the red of the Ruth’s Chris logo.” While most people will never realize it, Reed made sure to light the interior with the most attractive lighting – fron-tal lighting as opposed to straight-down lighting. Tall torchiere columns casu-ally blend in with the bamboo shoots rising to second-story height. In addi-tion, the great, glass ceiling of the Atrium lets in abundant natural light, always changing in color temperature and intensity. With the sounds of the fountain and waterfall, the plants and greenery, and 25

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