New Draper office building reflects the mood of the sky.

Lately I have been talking about the significance of sky in photographs, especially in the winter when landscape is less dominant. A new office complex in an increasingly urbanized section of Draper recently reinforced this to me. Designed by Babcock Architects and built by Okland Construction for the Boyer Company, it rises in tiers of asymmetrically balanced glass tiers that beautifully reflect the light. 

There is a point in the magic minutes of dusk that the reflectivity of the glass yields to transparency. Viewed from the back (east side) of the building, you can appreciate the views it enjoys to the Valley to the west. Seated at the edge of a bench, it is in an area of retail businesses, restaurants, and hotels, but also 18 trails are nearby. Part of the area’s growing popularity is its accessibility by car from I-15 and Bangerter Highway and also via the frequent shuttle to Front Runner. 

Returning to a front view (from the northwest corner), you can see some of the architectural features I appreciated and wanted to highlight. The base floor is concrete, and the entrance is marked by a concrete plane that reaches out on the left side of the entrance from the interior and there is a landscaped trellis on the right that similarly reaches out. The asymmetrical massing pushes the second floor and the top floor to the north, and LED lights highlight the top of the building.

Here is a medium view of the main level and the entrance where the continuance of forms and materials unite the exterior and interior.

Here is a detailed view of the entrance showing the vertical upright metal pieces that serve as a trellis for vegetation and the stone base that continues from the interior to the exterior. On the opposite side, a cantilevered concrete bench likewise crosses the boundary of interior to exterior. 

The lobby welcomes you to a sectional seating area defined by a textured rug.

This is the same lobby seating area, but the view looks toward the fireplace. The massing of the fireplace works with the scale and the massing of the concrete walls, but it adds a touch of residential hospitality. In contrast to similar lobbies, I observed that this design attracted people to sit, sometimes checking their phones before proceeding upstairs to appointments or outside to their cars. More and more I am observing that this pause to check messages is a contemporary human need and should be addressed by design, lighting and furnishings. 

The penthouse level is home to Woodley Real Estate. 

A saltwater aquarium serves as a space divider and a focus of interest. It was at this point that I lost the attention of my photo assistant to the remarkable tropical fish in the aquarium. 

To the right is a refreshment station with a drink cooler, microwave, and service items. To the left is an informal seating area for guest/visitors and employees with panorama views. 

A more formal seating area with similar views is glassed in for business conversations and negotiations.

In the northwest corner of the penthouse is a space for private and slightly informal conversations. I tried to capture the space’s invitation and comfort as well as the corner views. 

Scheduling is often tricky business between architectural photographer and client. From the client’s point of view, the space should be ready and complete, and they don’t want the photos to interrupt business activities. The architectural photographer is concerned about the weather, the direction the building faces, and the time of day: essentially the light. When conditions come together like they did for this project, it’s just wonderful.

See more Photo Friday work from Scot Zimmerman here.

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