Commercial Projects by Richard Turlington Architects

Connecticut architecture firm, Richard Turlington Architects was enlisted to create a re-use design for an old Jute factory in Yangon, Myanmar. Repurposing this old Jute plant is about economically infusing a new sustainable energy and purpose into a very large, 60 year old factory originally used for producing jute. The essential approach is short term (<10years) and intended to generate capital to manage the long-term objective of increasing density and significant value into the property at large. The building itself has a large footprint, measuring 470’ x 760’ and is a single story structure of wide open space with steel columns supporting shed roof trusses that introduce natural light into each column bay. The project will be the only retail site in Yangon that combines heritage with a contemporary lifestyle suited for all ages. This holistic approach of integrating history, culture, entertainment and shopping for a new population base transcends the art of just designing a building. This is what makes Richard Turlington Architects uniquely suited to shepherding this project. The repurposed building respects the ideals of Yangon’s past, its past work ethic, its sense of a single story village scale, mixed with jungle vegetation from which Yangon has grown. This is achieved by making modern, selective removal of parts of the building, which pulls the landscape and more natural light into the interior portions of this immense footprint. Richard Turlington Architects has extensive understating of building methods in Southeast Asia and the Burmese culture. Since the project must be a destination site by definition, its success will be wholly driven by enticing the right people to dive 30 minutes through heavily congested traffic. The enticement will come from an elevated design consisting of shopping and dining experience interlaced among gardens with twinkly lights, after hour pubs for relaxing, outdoor sports and indoor fitness opportunities for the whole family. Additional, supplemental educational spaces are a must for children with afterschool programs, summer camp and music enrichment. Grocery store(s), dry markets, boutique retail shops and unique, period specific, residential lofts for the SOHO group. The result will be an ever-changing campus of uniqueness that is tied to the historical character of how Yangon has grown through the labor of its inhabitants.  

There are so many different types of commercial projects that New Haven architecture firm Richard Turlington Architects has been a part of (Commercial Office Buildings, Libraries, Restaurants, Court Houses, Car Dealerships, banks…) our design process for each one remains unique and consistent.  However, since architecture plays an important part in how everyone sees our world, especially in commercial settings, there are common themes among all buildings catering to one form of "trade" or another.  The urban environment is, for the most part, comprised of buildings in which trade and commerce occur.  The result is an urban fabric that tells a story about the town's occupants that reflect what the town is all about.  For instance, a New England fishing village, a bustling downtown metropolis or an old western ghost town express the specific culture and time of its occupants.  Commercial architecture is driven by, and reflects, the collective whole of its users with each building being a subset of this whole.

Richard Turlington Architects works within this context to create a sense of place that fits into this fabric, or consciously breaks from it.  Our buildings are created with this external acknowledgement in mind.  For instance, fitting into the environment means that our projects not be proportionately too tall, the façade materials borrow from local sources and are patterned to maintain the street fabric by respecting the patterns of its neighbors.  What makes our projects unique is that our design process creates something different that sets our buildings apart from its neighbors, thus creating a memorable place for our clients to operate within.

The interiors of commercial buildings must be designed to a specific use while remaining spatially flexible enough to accommodate future design changes as the building evolves through time.  Typically, our buildings' "credibility is established by the quality and character of the main lobby, the elevator lobby, the elevator cars and, oddly enough, the public restrooms.  If we are working with an adaptive reuse project, we incorporate as many historic elements of the original building as possible, respecting the past while imbuing a new life into an old building.

Richard Turlington Architects is experienced with working within BOMA standards for tenants and clients working with gross and usable areas.  We are also familiar with working with local planning and zoning departments, inland wetland agencies and city engineers.  This ensures our Clients' projects are properly coordinated and in compliance before we attend formal reviews and public hearings.

Successful commercial projects must also deal with site constraints such as parking, pedestrian walkways, exterior lighting, grading/drainage, landscaping and security.  Richard Turlington Architects treats each project holistically, designing the entire site  from entry experience at the street transition to the selection of the lighting for the parking lots to the walkway in front of the main entry.  The result is a completely well conceived project that looks like it belongs in the neighborhood while maintaining a distinctness all its own.