Water Street Tampa is a wellness-focused community with 1 million ft2 of retail space, residences, and offices. The waterfront development is centered around 1001 Water Street, also known as “Thousand & One,” which is the city’s first WELL-certified office building. The building design includes water features, landscaped terraces, natural lighting, water views, and indoor/outdoor spaces, all aimed at promoting health and increased productivity.
Wellness is a big draw, particularly in the post-COVID-19 work culture, and this 20-story biophilic workplace connects its occupants with nature. Biophilic design is a strategy to support the health and well-being of everyone in the office through the design of spaces themselves, bringing natural experiences to the built environment. Nine double-height, planted loggias are carved into the massing, offering direct access to nature for every workspace. An expansive rooftop terrace provides a landscaped oasis with views of Harbor Island and Hillsborough Bay. Pedestrians are protected from the sun and rain by tall marquees, which are inspired by the industrial past of the city and planted to provide additional habitat and views of nature.
Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure an abundance of natural light for every workplace, while glare is mitigated by the deep facade’s 30-in. solar shading. Dense grids to the east and west maximize shading from the early morning and evening light to improve energy performance and occupant comfort.
The design for the new office tower drew inspiration from the architectural vernacular and ecology of Florida, and from Tampa's industrial past. Deep verandas and setbacks historically worked in concert with oak groves to shade and cool buildings in the South. The rigorous modern grid of the building exterior is punctured by a series of deep verandas on each corner of the tower to provide access to outdoor terrace gardens from nearly every office floor. These terraces work together with a deep precast concrete facade to limit glare and solar heat gain to the interior, while also providing shaded exterior spaces for the workplace.
“The precast concrete envelope of the office building has rounded, smooth edges that soften the intense Florida sunlight and create a play of changing light and shadow throughout the day,” says Darin Reynolds, AIA, partner, COOKFOX. “A pattern inspired by native mangrove trees is embossed on the precast concrete panels. The light-sand color evokes the tones of Florida limestone while the curvilinear forms reference the buttressing roots of the bald cypress tree,’’ he adds.
Precast concrete made these highly sculptural and biomimetic forms throughout the facade possible. Biomimicry finds solutions to design challenges in nature and translates them into the built environment. The complex pattern that was cast into the precast concrete panels would have been very difficult to achieve on the same scale with other building materials.
Amenities can attract tenants to an office building and help those tenants recruit talented employees. Thousand & One is a WELL-certified office tower, and the building is seeking LEED Silver certification. In addition to ground-level retail, there is a fitness area with locker rooms and showers, as well as amenity areas, including a kitchen, flex meeting rooms, lounges, and a town hall area. On the 20th floor, the roof area includes exterior terrace spaces that tenants can use for events and meetings.
The project team faced two major design challenges. The first was executing the complex geometry of the precast concrete components with the applied three-dimensional, biomimetic pattern within very large molds. It was difficult to achieve a texture that would be continuous throughout each structural element.
The second challenge was to maintain consistency and eliminate surface flaws in the precast concrete components. Vibrating the concrete in the enormous molds was challenging because of the dense steel reinforcement and the sheer depth of the pieces. In addition, the geometry of the components made it difficult to keep the resin lining in place as the concrete was poured and after each piece was stripped from the mold. The team produced unrolled drawings of both the geometry and the patterns, which were then transferred to a flat resin to be installed inside the precast concrete molds.
Precast concrete technology was essential to meet the project’s aesthetic, structural, and procedural goals. Manufacturing and installing the prefabricated facade units required less labor than other production and construction methods, enabling large gains in efficiency. There were fewer people on site, which reduced the need for coordination among contractors and helped accelerate the installation schedule. By shifting responsibility off site, the project team had greater control over aesthetic details than would have been possible otherwise. Prefabricated facade units manufactured in controlled production environments facilitated an enhanced level of quality control, ensuring that the building envelope was watertight and the joints were well -sealed. These material and procedural qualities resulted in the building’s high performance on several sustainability metrics.