Lake Forest, CA: For Trammell Crow's Pacific Vista project in the City of Lake Forest, it was essential that GAA Architects of Irvine, CA develop a design with maximum flexibility. The office campus program mandated the accommodation of either multiple users or a single corporate user. Trammell Crow Company also requested that the design allow for ceilings up to 10 feet on the ground and second floors of each building. High ceilings will allow for flexible indirect lighting suitable for heavy computer use, if a tenant so desires; a marketing and leasing advantage for Trammell Crow. Trammell Crow selected GAA because of its long-standing reputation of creating designs that combine the technical requirements of all parties involved with economical and aesthetic solutions that exceed expectations.

Pacific Vista's layout maximizes versatility by incorporating three diverse building sizes ranging in area from 52,100 square feet to 76,300 square feet. Trammell Crow and GAA chose to construct the five buildings of tilt-up concrete based on extremely tight construction budget and time constraints. The relative location of the buildings to each other maximizes flexibility for either a number of tenants or one single campus tenant. "The position of two pairs of buildings and their floor elevations are such that they can be connected in the future to allow for either full building and full campus users," says Eric Aubort, Project Manager for GAA.

With the design of Pacific Vista, GAA was able to achieve a unique combination of functionality and design elegance. According to Dan MacDavid, Director of Design for GAA, "The campus-like layout has one main vehicular entry with a ceremonial drive spine that reveals all five buildings from the street edge. The buildings are linked with generous landscape courtyards featuring lunch/break areas and seating for telephone and data computer hookups for the high-tech users that Trammell Crow envisions." All landscaping is unified with a palette that clearly defines parking areas, office building entries and routes for automobile circulation. The site yields approximately 5 parking spaces per 1000 square feet with the interior parking zone designated for visitors and the perimeter for employee parking.

Trammell Crow's desire for 10-foot ceilings on each floor posed a design challenge for GAA because of the city's restrictive height limitation of 35 feet. GAA needed to implement a structural system that would accommodate the client's economic requirements while addressing the city's height limitation. "After analyzing many combinations of structural and mechanical systems while also being sensitive to the interior core, an extremely flexible mechanical system was achieved to allow for ceilings up to 10 feet at the ground and second floor," says Eric Aubort.

The 22.8-acre site is adjacent to the 241 Toll Road in Lake Forest. The location will be easily accessible for Orange County and Los Angeles commuters from the 405 and 5 Freeways that connect to the toll road. Trammell Crow and GAA expect to complete construction on Pacific Vista in Fall 2000.