The design vison for the new headquarters for the Lancaster Chamber began with an office-wide design competition, with more than 12 teams participating. A variety of approaches to reinventing the existing 30,000 square foot office building were presented to user groups, and the preliminary concept developed by David McNally, Designer and Liz Koch, Interior Designer resonated with Chamber representatives. However that was just the beginning of a collaborative process working closely with Warfel Construction Company, Lancaster Chamber representatives and many other local companies to create a contemporary, multi-functional community hub for learning, connecting and collaborating.
The existing façade of 115 East King Street was designed at a time when modern lines and new architectural rhythms rejected the context and cadence of the surrounding buildings in favor of new ideas. The new home for the Lancaster Chamber captures the rich architectural context of King Street by breaking down the former 60 foot façade to create a more graceful 45 foot wide main elevation stepping out toward King Street.
“The renovated building follows the pattern and scale created by the windows and storefronts along this historic street,” David states. “The form follows a classical hierarchy, but is rendered in modern tones and textures.”
The interior design, resulting from collaboration between David and project architect, Stacie Doman, working closely with interior designers Abby Stewart and Jessie Santini, incorporates multiple types of work spaces, collaboration zones and meeting rooms. Varied furniture solutions include stand-up desks, “touchdown” work stations and comfortable seating with integrated charging stations, all supporting the needed flexibility. Bright pops of color and writable walls within meeting spaces and casual seating areas reinforce the energy and openness of the many spaces designed to foster idea sharing, community partnerships and business development.
“We wanted to create spaces that would reflect the Chamber’s mission to foster a vibrant business environment in Lancaster County,” Abby reports. “Keeping it local was really important.”
Notable local examples include slate and copper accent walls in meeting rooms, linear wood plank clouds painted in custom platinum and an open structural steel-frame stairway leading visitors to the community business center. Ceiling and lighting solutions throughout the building reflect a contemporary industrial aesthetic while maximizing natural light, integrating LED technology, and managing acoustical stability. A few details were incorporated during construction when unforeseen treasures were discovered during interior demolition. For example, an original beam from a Lancaster steel company was left exposed in the employee bistro.
As David sees it, “Good design is easier to achieve when a client has a great vision for their project. The Chamber was committed to accomplish an excellent design that respected the history of Lancaster, while letting people know they are looking forward as an organization.”
Photography Credit: Nathan Cox Photography