Centra is a Class A office building located on 19 acres in Metropark, a cluster of office buildings and a train station straddling the Woodbridge and Edison border next to the Garden State Parkway.
KPF’s design for CENTRA adds value by expanding the total area of leasable Class-A office space while utilizing the existing structure. An extension of the top floor adds 10,000 square feet, while the addition of vision glass and light wells activates the previously unoccupied basement, adding 15,000 square feet of day-lit office space and tenant amenities.
The project, targeted for LEED Gold Certification, exemplifies KPF’s dedication to finding the most sustainable solution for each project. In lieu of tearing down the existing structure, the KPF design salvaged and recycled its valuable components. The existing exterior wall was removed, but the steel structure was kept and reinforced and a new high-performance glass façade added.
The building’s unique structural design, developed in collaboration with DeSimone Consulting Engineers, utilizes an asymmetrical tree-column and truss to support the fourth floor extension and provides a signature feature for the project. By carving a rectangular hole in the center of the suspended fourth floor, the ground-level grand entry plaza is showered with natural daylight.
Surrounding pyramidal landscape forms further animate the environment and create a dynamic visual foreground for this next generation suburban office building. Commenting on the project, KPF Director and Senior Designer, Hugh Trumbull said, “At center stage, the powerful iconic column lifts the new addition 35 feet into the air, creating a grand canopy over the entry plaza.
It is in this new urban place, where people meet and greet one another, that nature is most present. The building frames and reframes the landscape; its skin captures the lush green environment and reflects natural light at every turn.”
Centra is the first building, and ultimately the gateway, for a larger master plan, also designed by KPF, for the corporate campus of the future. This new suburban office paradigm epitomizes a user-friendly approach by avoiding the common practice of siting blocks of buildings in vast seas of parking devoid of landscape.
Emphasizing the movement from car to building, the design is based on an urban/suburban campus aesthetic. As buildings are added, landscape promenades, urban rooms, and closely-spaced architecture foster a strong sense of community and place. Together, the landscape and building forms encourage social interaction and provide a healthier and more sustainable environment.
Location: Iselin, NJ, USA
Architect: Kohn PedersenFox Associates
Size: 110,000 ft2/ 10,000 m2 Platinum
Client: The Hampshire Companies
Pritze: National Honor Award 2012 by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Article by Marco Rinaldi