Sneak Peek: Merging an Office Building with Nature

On a wooded, 18-acre site in New Jersey, five existing buildings and associated surface parking will be replaced with a sustainable new building and a range of landscape interventions aimed at restoring the development site and creating a biophilic workplace for a high-tech client. The two-story, 50,600-square-foot building rests along an existing ridge on the sloped site, directing views northeast toward an 11-acre natural preserve. Two building wings pivot around a central collaboration hub, creating a boomerang shape that follows the natural topology of the site and hides much of the building’s bulk. Setbacks and passive shading create an indoor environment that is open to views but shaded from the sun, with access to natural light available throughout the building.

LPA’s landscape design team led the site design, which works to improve both individual and ecosystem health. A below-grade parking structure will reduce the site hardscape by a third, enabling a robust stormwater runoff system aimed at improving downstream waterways. A variety of occupiable outdoor spaces descend from a veranda on the rear side, leading occupants toward walking trails, the meadow and a stream. Careful site organization, massing and envelope design, along with a rooftop PV array, contribute to a predicted energy use reduction of 83% against baseline, meeting the AIA 2030 Commitment for energy efficiency.