Glass-enclosed "spine" monitors building activity

January 01, 2001 |

The essence of the Reebok experience is expressed by a curved, 380-ft.-long circulation spine that connects the four elements of the Reebok International headquarters.

Steven McConnell, principal in charge for architect NBBJ, describes the spine as the building's "premier element." The underlying idea was to connect the company both spiritually and literally. "That's an intangible that's hard to put a value on until you experience it," McConnell says.

Near the visitor entrance, the spine widens to provide a vantage point for viewing action on a regulation-size basketball court one level below.

The 51,000-sq.-ft. curtain wall, designed by Marina del Rey, Calif.-based Advanced Structures Inc., rises 35 feet at a 15-degree angle, and then continues at a 43-degree angle for an additional 14 feet. Because the glass lites, which typically are 10 feet wide and 3 feet, 10 inches tall, are cable-supported, major structural support is required only at 30-ft. intervals. Since the glass wall is not supported at individual floor levels, it appears to float. McConnell suggests that it evokes the image of a runner leaping out of starting blocks.

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