3161 MichelsonIrvine, California, US
Square Feet: 400,000
The diffuse and sub urban nature of Orange County is inexorably becoming more and more of an urban experience. Centers of education, air travel, shopping, and recreation have been emerging from the pastoral beauty of the former Irvine Ranch in the recent past and will continue to do so in the future. Centers of work have been diverse and scattered until now.
Park Place and its new premier office tower at 3161 Michelson will provide a center like no other. Located conveniently at the 405 and Jamboree and immediately adjacent to the open space leading to the single most important natural amenity, the Back Bay, this development of the old Fluor Headquarters site will become what Bunker Hill has become to downtown
Los Angeles, the business address of note.
The master plan provides an extensive environment of high density housing, specialty retail, and a variety of office work places all within an urban plan which is anchored by a central park. With the image created by this development, the long missing urban center of Orange County is now in place.
The 3161 Michelson Building, designed by Richard Keating of Keating Khang Architects, will tower over the intersection of the 405 and Jamboree and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of passers by as an iconic image for the new center of Park Place.
The building lobby, while functional in providing clear circulation towards the two elevator banks is also a part of the California tradition of visually engaging the inside with outside. A full wall of mullion-less super-clear glass extends along the western façade of the lobby. With plant material and paving material that begin inside and extend through the glass to the landscape beyond, the impression will be that of dissolution of enclosure and a great deal about the beautiful landscape and weather.
To further this concept, a major painting done in the tradition of the great “pleinaire” movement of the early 20th century which was so prevalent in nearby Laguna, will be featured at the terminus of the lobby. The architect has also designed three unique chairs that hold the scale required of a large lobby, yet provide seating groups within the rhythm of the planting material. Made of a semi translucent fabric and free flowing in character these chairs will provide a sculptural counterpoint to the otherwise precise angularity of the space.