Brian Felder said, “We began this project by looking at other large-scale buildings located around Forsyth Park,” said Brian Felder, managing principal of Felder & Associates. “The Chicago-style of design, prominent in Savannah with examples like the Germania Bank, the Dunbar Theater, Adler’s and the News Press Building (all lost, save the News Press,) was the inspiration for the building. This style has characteristic pilasters, wide, stacked window bays, and simple cast stone ornamentation. The interior design approach centered on creating a modern and efficient layout.”
Q&A with Brian Felder of Felder & Associates:
What was the inspiration for this design?
We wanted a building that fit within the context around the south end of the park. We looked at the Telfair Hospital, the Sears Building, the Armory and the apartment building at W. Gwinnett and Whitaker. All are large-scale commercial buildings, and they set the timeframe for placing this building. We wanted the appearance of matching their construction methods with similar materials and fenestration (openings.)
What are some of the unique aspects to the design?
It was important to us to create a building that suited our image of the law firm. In my opinion, we couldn’t move this group of lawyers out of the Armstrong House and into a West Chatham office building. The building needed to fit the firm, and its prominent location on the southern end of Forsyth Park. Additionally, it was an exercise in designing a building that fit the context and addressed the corner of W. Park and Bull Streets. It needed to anchor that corner. The attorneys wanted a more democratic and efficient layout to the office.
Are there any green aspects?
We do have point-of-use controls for HVAC, allowing more individualized control of comfort systems. For instance, if two offices are warm on the southwest corner, we don’t have to chill the entire floor. We can just bring down the corner zone to be in the comfort zone. We also have highly-efficient HVAC systems. The envelope is as tight as it can be to lessen air infiltration and to provide a thermal break from the outside. We used daylighting and dimmable LED lighting to allow control and lessen the amount of artificial light needed. Every office has a window. We would expect a 30-50% reduction in energy use per person, when compared to their existing building.
Any other interesting things to know?
The building was constructed in around 9 months, a bit of a record for a custom private office building in our area.