CASE STUDY / HIDDEN GEM
Transformations at The Gateway
Teaming up to reimagine state-of-the-art amenities for downtown office space.
Hidden Gem is just what its name describes: an extremely outstanding outdoor space, relatively unknown due to its location as a private rooftop patio connecting three office towers in downtown Salt Lake City.
This amenity space is a small but important part of a tens of millions dollar investment to recover The Gateway – a struggling large open-air retail, residential, and office complex. It has proven to be pivotal in attracting new tenants including We Work, whose high office space standards were met by the quality amenities.
Loft Six Four is pleased to have collaborated on Hidden Gem, the only large outdoor office patio amenity in Salt Lake City’s Central Business District and a fine example of a successful transformation of an under-utilized space.
Reinventing The Gateway
The Gateway is undergoing a nearly complete transformation from a skeleton of a shopping mall – often referred to as a ghost town due to the empty storefronts and complete absence of people – to a destination for entertainment, eating, living, and work. Vestar, the company responsible for most of the improvements, has determined to resurrect The Gateway by deciding it will no longer be a shopping mall.
A major component of their plan is converting empty storefronts and abandoned office towers to workspace for tech firms. Jenny Cushing of Vestar said, “We’re poised to be the urban extension of Silicon Slopes. We have a unique opportunity where we’re going to bring on large blocks of creative workspace.” In order to draw the much-needed and highly sought after tenants, it was clear that all of the must-have commercial building amenity “check boxes” had to be provided.
We joined forces with the diverse creative studio team at WOW Atelier to help execute on the outdoor patio space adjacent to their high class interior amenities dubbed The Parlour. Our experience with rooftops and tech center amenities combined with collaboration with like-minded architects made Hidden Gem a perfect-fit project for Loft Six Four.
“When we were tasked with designing a seamless interior/exterior space that was cutty, urban, and reminiscent of a secret pocket park that you might stumble upon in a new city, we knew we had to collaborate with Loft Six Four! They bring awesome ideas, energy, and passion to the table on every project we work on with them, and… no one does rooftop space better. Full stop. Their team is legit, and we love collaborating with them every chance we get!”
Greg Walker / WOW Atelier
On-structure outdoor amenities can be very complex to design and coordinate. When it comes to building over an existing structure the complexity increases. It becomes critical to have an experienced team with expert knowledge of multiple rooftop scenarios to ensure that everything comes together right.
For Hidden Gem we knew the space needed to feel lush and green to provide a refreshing place for employees to get outside and recharge. Our rooftop design experience came in clutch as we resolved challenges related to the structural integrity of the roof deck and the need for irrigation and drainage of the planters.
Amenities that Attract
As workplace design has evolved, attractive amenities have become the expectation for companies competing for the top talent. Creating a rich workplace experience leads to higher employee retention which is attractive to tenants. At Loft Six Four we understand the ins and outs of the amenities race and know how to enhance a space so that it can attract those looking for a personalized user experience.
People living and working in an urban environment tend to have more stress, depression, and anxiety due to a disconnection with nature. Studies have shown that being in nature improves memory, concentration, energy, and creativity. These studies speak to the importance of outdoor workplace amenities and the value they offer to companies that care about their employees.
At Hidden Gem the challenge was to create the feeling of being in nature with a limited amount of planters due to the constraints associated with logistics and cost. We recognized an opportunity with the unique narrow L shape of the existing roof deck and capitalized on that to maximize the green. By strategically arranging the planters we formed a continuous backdrop of green at the corner of the L so that each leg of the roof deck had visual access to the plantings. We further thought through the arrangement of planters to minimize penetrations (needed for irrigation and drainage) into the existing structural slab. The result was a surprisingly green area with significantly less expense.
At Loft Six Four we specialize in creating the best rooftop and outdoor amenities that both standout to potential tenants and also bring high returns to developers and real estate owners and investors.