Indigo Office

The building receives 90% of its heating and cooling energy from its environment and natural light provides all lighting during the day. 

These elements have combined to create an award-winning building in the heart of downtown Davis, a community that prides itself on bikeability and ecological awareness. Indigo Architects has placed itself on the leading edge of sustainable design and construction while maintaining its artful approach: site-sensitive, innovative and with a human touch.

Location: Davis, CA
Project Facts: 
- 2,800 sf office / studio
- 1,200 sf gallery / community space
- R-40 insulated strawbale walls
- 1,250 gallon water storage tank
- hydronic tubing running through the concrete floors - backup air-to-water heat pump
- Automated louver windows
- Drought-tolerant and edible landscaping

This sculpturally expressive, bioregionally appropriate building was designed to foster creativity and human interaction and to be a living example of Indigo's mission to “integrate art, architecture and ecology”. The office occupies the site of an old Dairy Queen restaurant, an underutilized lot adjacent to the railroad tracks and within walking distance from the Amtrak station and downtown businesses. Instead of tearing the old structure down and starting from scratch, Indigo optimized it, using it’s 1960’s “gull-wing” roofline as a starting point for an entirely new design with an addition, drought-tolerant landscaping and a permeable site surface.

Curving strawbale walls in the main office make use of rice straw, a local agricultural byproduct to provide a counterpoint to an addition clad in austere corrugated metal. Structural columns were designed and fabricated by the architects, as were custom furnishings sculpted from local hardwoods. Building occupants have direct access to outdoor courtyards that are oriented for working, eating and socializing: shaded in summer; sunny and protected in winter. Super-insulated strawbale walls and thermal heat sinks maintain a comfortable atmosphere year round. 

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