At first glance, the JST Production and Engineering Center is beautiful with an expansive single-level timber and glass design captivates you. The geometry of the building in and of itself is striking, with more than 70 corners inside and out. It draws you in as it “flows down a gentle series of sculpted swales for more than half a mile,” according to B+D Builders.

The building represents a deep connection to nature, taking inspiration from tree roots. As the building flows back, it becomes taller and wider to represent this growth. This series of connected wood structures reveal an unexpected, novel, and sustainable design approach using poplar laminated beams, deep roof overhangs, flow-through ventilation, and a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior (composed of 40% glass).

jst production and engineering center ykkap gbd magazine

Photo courtesy of YKK AP

The wood components of the building are impressive, having been cut, milled and assembled individually, so none of the 5,000-plus pieces used are alike. To achieve the floor-to ceiling glass and flow-through ventilation desired in the building, YKK AP developed a new hybrid aluminum and wood veneer framing system to match the existing depth of the 3-inch timber beams. The champagne painted finish of the sustainable aluminum framing system blends impeccably well with the surrounding timber.

A project of this magnitude, with intricate timber and glass design detail and aggressive sustainability requirements, meant that all parties collaborated often to identify challenges and overcome them. The most notable feat of glass and glazing engineering was the innovation of what we believe to be the first thermally broken veneer wall system. This was born out of the need to meet the desired aesthetic of the building. To create a seamless sightline and extend the flow of the timber to the frame of the building, YKK AP created a 3-inch veneer wall system that would match the existing size of the timber beams, and a new die was manufactured to do so. A horizontal aluminum tube was then set above and below the casement window, so that the YES SSG TU Vented Window could be set into the curtain wall pocket for easy installation.

This is truly an intriguing and original architectural project that leveraged every partner’s capabilities to the greatest extent to bring an inspiring vision to reality.