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CalTrans HQ: What Could Have Been

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[all renderings of Caltrans District 7 HQ via OMA]

We like hearing about the Thom Mayne-designed Caltrans Building from our friends that work there. It must be so exciting to work in a state of the art, super green environment. Then we hear stories about the bathroom stall doors that never close quite right, the all encompassing gray, the elevators that constantly break, and the ban on coffee makers and other plug-in appliances (it seems those things aren't LEED friendly, forcing CalTrans and DOT employees to cross the street to the Starbucks to get their $4 coffee fix). Which brings us to today's topic, the what might have been had Rem Koolhaas' Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) been selected to design the building instead. OMA has a little slide show on their site that shows renderings of the structure, as they were proposed. We're a bit partial to the current design, but this could have been interesting.

Via the OMA web site:
"The building is composed of four major floor plates, divided into three floors for CalTrans and a single floor for the LA DOT. The middle floor of the CalTrans stack is given to the design department, and treated a special floor, slightly shifted from the building envelope to create a balcony on the north and shade for the floors below on the south. This treatment emphasizes the role of the design department within the organization, as well as its connectivity with the other departments."