Red Rock Division Headquarters for Onset Financial sets a new bar for commercial design in St. George.

For a year or so in the early 1980s I called St. George home, and I was enamored with the beauty of the red cliffs and desert, and I was drawn to the cluster of early homes in the town center. At that time, it had started to grow with strip malls and new stucco homes primarily for retirees from the Wasatch Front. But nothing prepared me for the growth that was to come. 

I recently returned from photographing Onset Financial’s Red Rock Division Offices in St. George built by Okland Construction and designed by Axis Architects. I have often wondered why the bold, cutting-edge Desert Modern architecture that took hold in Phoenix and other desert locales in the late 1980s and 1990s hasn’t been seen much in St. George. Now it has. 

The building’s sharp lines cut into the desert sky at twilight. You can see the four levels that comprise 55,000 square feet and the opportunities the shape creates for patios and outdoor experiences.

This is the main level looking toward the front entrance. Onset Financial is the sole tenant and staffs the concierge desk. In the center, the ceiling opens to the second floor with an atrium effect where the second-floor windows serve as clerestory to maximize the natural light.

Here is the same lobby space, photographed near the front entry with a view to the rear patio, which is located by the Santa Clara River Parkway. The floor-to-ceiling doors on each end of the entry fold back to disappear and allow fresh air to blow through. The focus of the main level is employee amenities and fitness, and the lobby is a central hub for these areas. 

This is the extensive patio space adjacent to the Santa Clara River Parkway. You can see the patio space on the second level, as well.

There is ample court space for basketball or pickle ball in this first-level recreation area.

Heading the other direction from the reception area is the bistro. Again, the glass doors slide open to expand dining to the outdoor patio. A pizza party luncheon was planned just after I made the photos. Bad timing on my part to not get a bite of pizza!

Beyond the bistro is the fitness center, which is fully equipped for cardio and resistance training. To the left are the locker rooms, and behind the camera is an entrance to the yoga studio. 

Moving up to the second level, you can see how the central area is open to the reception area. The second and third levels are dedicated to workspaces, private offices, collaboration areas, and conference rooms. 

The fourth level is executive offices and high-level client meeting spaces that showcase fine finishes and materials. This reception area offers views to the river.

The conference room establishes an elegant invitation to get down to business.

At the far end of this private office, you can see the desk. The seating area in the foreground provides for more relaxed business conversations. 

The wall of sliding glass doors of the residential wing intended for executive overnight stays opens to this desert-landscaped rooftop patio.

With some transitional weather, I experienced some incredible skies that enhanced the photos. My experience photographing desert architecture is that a great sky makes all the difference. 

See more Photo Friday work here.

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