AIAGE Merit 2009

Greater Bakersfield C. & V. B.

AIAGE Merit Award 2009 & Arts Council of Kern Arts Innovation Award 2004


The Greater Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau required an office building that was both public and private; the building provides a place for visitors to learn more about the Bakersfield area while also serving as offices for the organization. The building is located adjacent to the Amtrak Station and County Library near the Convention Center and arena. The street side of the site is highly visible, with vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The idea of the public and private became the form generator for the building, but importance was given to the character of the surrounding area. To achieve this, a rectangle was used for private office uses, and a triangular form defines the public space. The two forms join each other and overlap, further expressing the separate but combined use of the building.

As the building progresses from east to west, the exterior walls begin to modulate: windows convert from regular to random, then to all glass, and end with the triangular form cantilevering over open space. This triangular form of the public space is vibrant and dynamic. Slightly shifted off-axis over the rectangle, the triangle is sheathed in a smooth composite material. It becomes transparent with the introduction of full-height glass wall planes to invite the public into the space.

The building meets T-24 energy standards by using low-energy glass and batt insulation. Sustainable issues were addressed with the use of stained concrete in lieu of additional floor covering. Also, premanufactured exterior cladding was chosen to eliminate future painting and maintenance issues.

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