AIA Utah

In response to growing service and space needs, AIA Utah sought a new place to call home in the spring of 2018.  They found an available space in the historic Ford Building in downtown Salt Lake City and hired Blalock and Partners to design the tenant improvement.  In addition to employee workstations and visitor lounge space, the new AIA Utah office required ample training and presentation space, as well as studio / classroom space to accommodate the University of Utah’s College of Architecture and Planning (CA+P) Downtown Graduate Studio.  Access to the dedicated CA+P and AIA spaces – as well as ADA access challenges posed by the floor elevation change between the building’s central corridor and entrance from the sidewalk – was a central driver of the design.  The design team’s solution features a felt covered ramp that serves dual purposes of wheelchair access and gallery / display space.  Acrylic vertical fins (the “veil”) separate the open AIA office space from the gallery, creating a unique experience of light and image reflections when moving between the spaces.  Furred walls along the interior dividing wall were removed in order to expose the building’s historic brick, further adding dimension and texture to the space.