architecture - engineering - construction

Morin Case Study: WE3 at Water's Edge


Completed in 2020, WE3 is the 3rd and final building of the 6.5 acre campus sited in the 'Silicon Beach' development area of Playa Vista.

Morin Case Study: WE3 at Water's Edge

With six stories, four of which are creative workspaces, and spread over 160,000 square feet of usable space, WE3 is 400 feet in length and stretches across the site’s eastern edge. California-based SPF:architects were tasked by the client to design around already established structures and spaces, developing a building that is as architecturally compelling as it is environmentally conscious.

Certified LEED® Gold eligible, WE3 incorporates several different construction strategies, including: locally sourced materials; large insulated windows for optimum natural light and energy use; and, a perforated aluminum ‘screen wall’ that wraps the building – filtering daylight to provide relief from its harsh western exposure and, in turn, reducing the need for heating and cooling.

The screen wall is WE3’s most striking feature, created using custom designed Morin architectural wall panels in both perforated and solid .050 aluminum. SPF:architects state its design is, “ inspired by the play of light on water”and “ designed to dematerialize, visually lightening the structure’s mass while functionally providing relief from the full brunt of the sun”.

The custom design of the Matrix panels included exposed fasteners with special connection framing allowing for individual cells to be ‘dropped out’ instead of whole panel widths. Most openings are not full panel widths and dropped panels do not align with full panels to achieve design intent. In addition, the screen wall panels are uniquely finished on both sides in 1.5 Mil Bright Silver from the Fluropon Classic paint system, adding to the visual appeal from inside the building.

This color was specifically chosen for its high Solar Reflectivity due to its location within this sun-baked warm climate. Another interesting feature is that the ‘roof’ portion of the screen wall incorporates inserts in the low rib of the solid panels to create hidden walkways to facilitate cleaning of the roof panels.

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