Edwards Lifesciences Starr Atrium

Irvine, California

A LEED Platinum centerpiece for a medical device maker

The key element of the campus renovation for Edwards Lifesciences, an industry-leading medical device maker, is the LEED Platinum, 22,000-square-foot Starr Atrium, which created a bridge between two existing office buildings and provides a dramatic new entry to the corporate headquarters.

The atrium serves as a gathering point, social area and collaborative space for the company’s team. The atrium is also used as a venue for hosting events, including product launches and company meetings, requiring a large flexible space that also reflects the company’s image and values.

To bring the space to life, furniture clusters are arrayed throughout the space, creating different spaces for people to work and collaborate. Stadium stairs on one side of the hall are used as seating for large group events, including community meetings and product launches. On a day-to-day basis, the wood stairs offer a casual setting for meetings and solo work time, with red cushions available on different levels.

LPA’s engineers designed a unique box truss structural system that spans the space and maximizes the open space. The customized structure also casts an artistic weave shadow across the interior, filtering the light streaming through the skylight that runs the length of the atrium. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a connection to the outdoors, while a bi-fold vertical door can be opened to provide natural ventilation.

The atrium operates at net zero, with a rooftop photovoltaic array providing more energy than the space uses. The atrium also includes a variety of conservation measures, such as a displacement ventilation system and LED lighting with controls designed to minimize the project’s energy use. The surrounding landscaped area incorporates a variety of water strategies, including bioretention planter areas to clean and conserve stormwater.

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