Increasing operational efficiencies and customer access were primary goals for Aiken County with the design of a new Administration Center. After spending years in the former County Hospital and leasing off-site facilities to accommodate growth, the County’s operations became increasingly more expensive to maintain and less customer friendly. As a result, citizens frequently had to visit multiple locations for necessary transactions. A progressive Administration and Council addressed the issue through careful consideration of alternatives, including renovations, additions and new construction.
After a detailed Space Utilization Study and Needs Assessment for all County functions and a site selection process, the McMillan Pazdan Smith team facilitated Public Information Meetings throughout the County to communicate Council’s plans and solicit input on the building’s design.
The central concept locates departments with the highest public traffic volumes on the ground floor. The Gallery spaces increase visual connection between related departments, reduces travel time for visitors and consolidates queuing areas. All three floors of the 130,000 square foot building are designed with simple circulation patterns to maximize building efficiency and improve wayfinding.
The building’s exterior was conceived as a simple, elegant form with durable materials that maximize life-cycle cost. The brick exterior recalls Aiken’s equestrian heritage while underscoring the building’s civic importance.