AKA: State of California, Bateson, Gregory, Office Building, Sacramento, CA; State Office Building 1977 Building Competition First Prize Design Project, Sacramento, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: State of California, Department of Public Works, Division of Architecture, Van der Ryn, Sim, State Architect (firm); Peter Calthorpe (architect); Sim Van der Ryn (architect)

Dates: constructed 1977-1978

4 stories

1600 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-6414

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Building History

Designed to maximize human contact with the outdoors, no desk was placed more than 38 feet from natural light. The Bateson Building was designed around a central, four-story atrium, what architect Michael Bednar called "an indoor plaza and employee lounge." He continued: "Inviting entrances encourage the public to walk through this common space, which lies between a city park and an urban plaza. Visitors also are encouraged to stop and use the atrium's pedestrian amenities and snack bar. Employees whose work spaces surround the atrium use it for breaks, lunches, and meetings. Thus, employees and the public have the opportunity to meet in a conducive social setting." (See Michael J. Bednar, Interior Pedestrian Places, [New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1989], p. 131.)

Building Notes

This large office building was multi-storied, shaped around a central courtyard. Professional literature of the period touted the HVAC systems of the Bateson building as particularly inventive and noteworthy. G. Z. Brown and Mark DeKay, authors of the important textbook, Sun, Wind and Light, observed about the Bateson Office Building: "Mechanical night ventilation of thermal mass is an important cooling strategy in the Bateson Building in Sacramento, California, designed by the Office of the State Architect. Night cooled mass satisfies about 65% of the building's cooling load. The building uses extensive shading and daylighting and an interior atrium to reduce the magnitude of the cooling load. The night ventilation system works by pulling cool outside air down the ventilation shaft at night and distributing it to each space using the HVAC system. The air then picks up stored heat from the concrete structure and is exhausted outside. The major mass area is in the ceiling, where the precast concrete double T's are left exposed. The thermal mass of the building is supplemented with a rock bed storage system." (See G. Z. Brown and Mark DeKay, Sun, Wind and Light, [New York: John Wiley and Sons, Incorporated, 2001], 284.)

PCAD id: 5939