Embracing the influx of tech companies in the 1970s, the city envisioned building a new and iconic city hall as a modern complex and gathering destination.
So it saved funds scrupulously for 20 years, issuing no bonds and incurring no debts for the construction of the planned project. SmithGroupJJR worked with Chandler to redevelop an existing urban site, promoting density and pedestrian connections, and “leading by example” for future economic development.
Chandler City Hall is a low- to mid-rise government complex developed on two city blocks and located with Arizona Avenue along its eastern edge and Washington Street as its western edge in downtown Chandler.
The center of the development is bisected by Chicago Street. The north block is devoted to a 5-story office tower at the north end and one-story buildings along Arizona Ave and Washington Street.
The tower houses City departments while the 1-story buildings contain an art gallery, council chambers and a television studio. The south block is devoted to one-story buildings and a 2-level parking structure. The buildings contain a neighborhood redevelopment office and a print center.
There were two underlying goals for the project. The first was to provide an identity for the community. City departments were leasing space in various buildings, and the goal was to bring all of these entities together into one facility, therefore providing a community center that could generate pride for its citizens.
The second was to revitalize the historic downtown by building in an area that was devoid of activity and in disrepair and to promote future community-based development in an around the city center.
Housing new council chambers, administrative offices, a public television studio and a 330-space parking structure, the new city hall facilities celebrate Chandler’s heritage, yet deliver a rich and exciting mix of aesthetics: pyramidal acoustic ceilings, a shaded mezzanine for receptions and events, and a daring kinetic sculpture adorning the entirety of a street-facing façade.
A hinged exterior shading device on the western façade provides shelter from the harsh western sunlight, and at night it turns into an artistic centerpiece. The perforated panels shine during the day as they move due to the wind, and at night LED lights shine through the perforation creating art from the colored light. Furthermore, the resulting highly sustainable complex is designed to be one of the first LEED-Gold city halls in the nation.
“Civic projects give a lot back to the community,” says Mark Roddy, AIA, LEED AP, design principal at SmithGroup. “The City of Chandler recognized this and set high goals for the project — embracing sustainability, enhancing the downtown area and making Arizona Avenue more appealing to developers.”
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott Inc.
Civil Engineer: Dibble Engineering
General Contractor: Sundt Construction
Landscape Architect: Gbtwo Landscape Architecture
Public Art: Ned Kahn, Catherine Hammond
Gross Floor Area: 187,000 square feet
Client: City of Chandler
Photogrphy: Bill Timmerman