This project represents a new era for Cache County Public Works. The division and the County desired a new, more dignified and functionally efficient facility which represented more of a civic stature for the Public Works as a critical resource in supporting the County’s residents. The administration building is the public face of the complex and seeks to respect the existing natural context while also representing the machine-like qualities of the work performed on the campus: large vehicle maintenance; snow plow repair; heavy duty vehicle fueling island; large vehicle storage; sand, salt and brine storage.
The architectural massing is broken into two primary volumes: the front, public volume rises to the west greeting visitors as it announces the public entry. The rear volume rises to the east, nodding toward the mountains and being proportionate to the larger open spaces contained below. Each of these forms is wrapped in different materials as well. The front volume is clad in charcoal slate whose natural material grounds the building and ties it to its natural setting. The rear volume, reflecting more of the technical and “nuts and bolts” aspect of the facility’s work setting, incorporates sheets of expanded aluminum siding. These sheets, at approximately 33” wide, have three different treatments: non-perforated; light perforation and medium perforation.
The openings in the expanded metal sheets, as well as the perforations, create lightness and texture in contrast to the darker and heavier slate cladding. Used at the south, west and east sides, the expanded metal cladding pulls away from the occupied, conditioned spaces to provide shaded exterior spaces and reducing solar heat gain at the building envelope.
2022 Merit Award, AIA Utah
Photography credit: Paul Richer