This week I had a commission to photograph the lobbies and public areas of office buildings in downtown Salt Lake’s City Creek complex. I had the same reaction to these spaces as seeing my daughters in prom dresses. When did Salt Lake grow up? With cranes urging high rises to claim more space in the sky, the whole cityscape is changing. Here’s a peek at some of the lobbies that Okland Construction has been working on, starting with the World Trade Center at City Creek, which is featured in the opening shot.
This entrance to the World Trade Center repurposes the dramatic bronze friezes from the old Federal Reserve Building. I was just as awed by it this week as I was as a kid.
Entering the lobby is this seating area. The sculpted wood on the far wall reminded me of the Tabernacle’s pipe organ.
The security desk just around the corner sits opposite the elevator bank. To the left is the hallway to the employee respite area, training room, gym, and restrooms with showers.
I must not have been paying attention to when the “break rooms” of my era became elegant employee respite areas stocked with refreshments.
Next in our City Creek office tour is the Key Bank Tower. The office space is integrated into City Creek to enjoy the food court, as seen in this photo, as well as the public art, restaurants, and shops.
The security desk oversees the controlled access to the elevator banks. The walnut against marble offers a timelessness to the design. I also noticed excellent acoustics, which wasn’t the case of earlier application of stone in public spaces.
The metal in the partition along the stairway changes character when it is open versus backed by opaque glass.
The lobby space has a fireplace seating arrangement and tables for bringing in lunch and meeting up with colleagues.
Now we will move to the Gateway Tower West at City Creek. Again, the lobby offers a comfortable seating area. The steel security desk oversees the controlled access to the elevator banks.
The redesign pushed a wall out toward the street. The exterior wall had previously been set in with a covered entrance, and the alteration gained lobby space. From the lobby is an entrance to a jewelry store, and the open area can be viewed from the offices on the second level.
At street level, the new exterior wall exactly matches those above. It seems like it’s always been there, although I have a memory of ducking in from the rain when the entrance was deep under the overhang.
Just like the teen age girls who announce in their prom attire that they have grown up while you weren’t watching, I’m afraid that for Salt Lake, it has grown up and there is no going back. It’s a grown-up city. The sidewalks are filled with serious businesspeople in expensive suits having important conversations. After this week’s photo assignment, I now know the location of their offices, but only at the lobby level.