AT&T Reno, Nev., central office expansion

Project Summary

Hanson provided architectural and engineering services during a renovation project in historic downtown Reno, Nev. AT&T contracted with Hanson to upgrade an existing building and design a new addition while complying with the city’s architectural and public-space guidelines.

One goal of the renovation was to improve the aesthetic quality of this 1970s-era building, located in the city’s arts and culture district along the Truckee River, while bringing it into compliance with guidelines set forth by Reno’s Historic Preservation Commission.  Hanson guided the design through the complex approval process, including multiple levels of municipal regulatory oversight and community endorsement.

The city’s redevelopment guidelines required that the building’s first floor be accessible to the public.  However, AT&T had security concerns about the building since it houses communication equipment. The project team, along with AT&T, proposed a compromise that met the city’s
needs — a distinctive outdoor art gallery along with a new river walkway.

The Sierra Arts Foundation of Nevada worked with the project team to obtain artwork for the outdoor gallery.  The gallery consists of canopy-covered display cases of mosaics and public art. The design of the arcade along the Truckee River also enhances downtown Reno’s pedestrian-friendly environment.

The project included upgrading and enlarging the existing 48,380-square-foot facility to accommodate new equipment and renovating the existing exterior to complement the city’s riverside redevelopment design. It also involved constructing an additional floor and performing a seismic upgrade to the existing building.

The building design features more than 70 percent glass on the first floor facing Center Street and integrates windows and doors specially designed to harmonize with the historic downtown area. The windows and doors serve an aesthetic purpose only, concealing a secure concrete backdrop. 

The facility’s electrical design included a portable generator standby power system interface, the addition of a third 750kW engine generator set, emergency egress lighting, emergency restoration work lighting for facility critical support systems, and 120 VAC protected power system distribution to mechanical control systems.

A key to this project’s success was Hanson’s ability to communicate successfully with and inform the various stakeholders of the project, as well as to respond to and satisfy both the client’s and the community’s requirements. The project also used graphics such as a computer simulation, enabling stakeholders to visualize the transformation of the old building into a new, beautiful structure.

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