How does one stand out in a “controlled” environment, where all buildings are required to follow a strict theme—specifically, a “California-Mexican” theme—to ensure that all buildings look the same? We started by asking ourselves: how does commerce succeed? We realized that it relies on networks. A network is a group or a system of interconnected people or things, or a group of people who exchange information, contacts, experiences, services, and goods for professional and social purposes. In other words, for commerce or businesses to survive and thrive, it is dependent on how it is designed to interact with other factors and with other people.
We looked at nature and found inspiration from the beehive, one of the busiest networks in our eco-system. The beehive is complex, but made up of a very basic unit: the hexagon, a prevalent shape in nature that is cellular and modular. When multiple hexagons are put together, it actually has the power to create varied shapes due to its modularity, just like in a beehive. What an apt physical representation of what it means to have a successful business as well!
We designed the project based on this idea of a network. In plan and in layout, we envisioned each single unit to be modular and combinable with others, forming a network of space. We suggested to the client that potential lessees should be carefully screened so that all of them should complement each other, assuring that they would thrive and survive through their functional network.
Project Team : Principal Architect – Jason Buensalido; Associate Architect / Lead Project Architect – Nikki Boncan-Buensalido, Project Architect – Mike Germino