Zeppelin – 1500 Superior.
The Zeppelin Project is the name given to a three story renovation which include two levels of interior parking and the reconfiguration of an existing former bowling alley to become retail, parking, and office space.
The former Ambassador Lanes at 1500 Superior closed down bowling operations in 2016 and offers unique office experience due to the combination of location, access, floor space clear span, and room height. The architecture of the former bowling alley allows for clear span of over 100’ with ceiling heights of over 20’ which allows for mezzanine office space as well. The existing bowling alleys necessitated for the structural concrete slab to have a “sunken” level under the alley for ball return and framing of the lanes. A simple reconfiguration would allow creation of a raised floor system to create flexible deployment of office workstation power and data or depressed infrastructure areas for interior planters or secure storage.
The name “Zeppelin” was given due to the appearance of the space as the drop ceiling was removed to expose the long span bow trusses, which coupled with the volume of the space, make one feel as if they are standing in a large hanger, or the insides of a rigid airship. The large span trusses are the signature element of the structure, providing a spatial experience and rhythm that would be hard to match in a downtown Cleveland office building. The voluminous space also creates opportunity to utilize incisions in the roof structure to provide not only natural light to the heart of the space but also interior wayfinding if needed.
Architecture Office was approached to provide conceptual designs, interior layouts that promoted flexible workflows, and a marketing packet. After working closely with the clients to determine identity, image, and spatial goals, we provided an overlay of expandable work areas that were informed by the Zeppelin’s particular form. Multiple designs were studied, using incisions into the high ceilings as an organizational framework. The iterations were based upon providing flexible, and scalable workspace solutions, coupled with creating environments that could leverage internal collision and the informal learning that would come with it.
Ambassador Lanes was previously what one could call a “third space”, the gathering social space for regulars that is neither home, nor work, but allows one to have an additional sense of community belonging. Our reconfiguration of the program wanted to not only recognize but also repeat creating a space that walks the tightrope between work and life. We experimented with internal program for the new target users that would allows for a sense of individuality, as well as community, and ownership, that workforce talent current looks for as plan for the future of business. The provided amenities have to go beyond looking at recreation as a reward, we have to allow for a variety of lifestyles and work processes to occur. We studied how to make typically “non-productive” spaces (kitchenette) become productive for moments of ideation and communication, we explored the varieties of work “shifts” that many creative industries need to accommodate, and we extrapolated upon ideas of team creation and management, to develop suggestions for internal layout, not just of formal building spaces, but also potential tenant arrangement. With this in mind we could offer optimum locations for “fixed” elements, while providing a framework for more “flexible” options.
The plan for adaptive reuse of the structure included planning for more mixed use space such as ground floor retail which would face Superior Ave. and take advantage of the wide sidewalk as well as bike parking facilities that would face Payne Ave. taking advantage of an under utilized but exceptionally wide urban corridor. Both Payne and Superior would receive new entrances and lobbies with the Payne facade on the table for a future phase as the neighborhood further develops.
While the existing facade is a physical reminder of the building’s history from office/warehouse to parking structure with bowling alley, we have wanted to keep our interventions small and simple. Adding new windows within an additive band where they can make sense with the existing masonry and concrete framing and and stand out as as element not meant to be confused with the original structure, but that still ties the Superior facade together with a single gesture.
Our biggest goal was to avoid the obfustication of the history or bones of the structure, but instead expose its individual strength and hidden character, relying on Zeppelin’s sense of history and terroir to add Cleveland’s already complex brew.
Michael DeAloia, “Tech could be focus of Zeppelin development near Playhouse Square: Tech Czar Talk.” Cleveland.com, July 9, 2017
- Victory Properties