MWA was initially hired to provide a seismic upgrade assessment for the operations facility. However, after a series of interviews with the client, it was clear that we needed to prioritize lobby security. The public lobby is the main point of contact between employees and customers, and TVWD wanted to ensure safety for their employees, both from a potential active shooter and from Covid-19.
The client wanted the lobby to have a separate zone for employees to work while feeling safe and secure. Designers created this protected zone with extensive safety measures, including an updated door security system in case of a lockdown, and ballistically rated counters, windows, and doors. Occupancy sensors, emergency and LED lighting, exit signs, and HVAC improvements brought the space up to today’s code.
Not willing to sacrifice excellent customer service, designers integrated an accessible counter area with a sliding window and voice mics into the design. This counter enables employees to communicate with customers and conduct business effectively.
To use budget dollars most effectively, much of the original design remained, and new additions had a sizeable visual impact. Working with the original slate floors, designers continued with the warm tones that were true to the space, using a light blue for accent walls. Inspired by the Pacific Northwest, this project incorporates Douglas fir wood facing for the service counter and shelving units. Upgraded white quartz countertops lighten the space, and bronze aluminum frames match the existing windows and doors. With a security wall separating the lobby from the employee area, we added an accessible drinking-water fountain for customers.
Pendant lighting in front of the service counter elevates the design and invites the customers. Accent lighting on the shelving units helps celebrate TVWD’s many awards. New display screens will provide customers with announcements and updates.
Coming in on budget and on time, with construction taking place during COVID restrictions, this small-scale project was a big success.