Russell Total Wealth Management
“Today, any CEO worth his or her salt knows that a company’s headquarters can be a powerful tool by which to attract and retain talent.” (Barbara Armstrong, Forbes Contributor)
Russell Total Wealth Management is a local, family-owned and operated investment firm founded in 2003. Their wealth advisors specialize in helping people Near/In Retirement, Beneficiaries/Trustees, Professional Athletes & Entertainers and DIY (Do-It-Yourselfers).
Russell TWM’s new office building will provide a headquarters tailored to the unique needs of its clients, staff and leadership. Glaserworks has taken great care to ensure the new headquarters is a welcome addition for its immediate neighbors and a valuable asset for the larger community.
The site has a fascinating history tracing back to the turn of the 20th century.
It was the location of an operating maple sugar camp owned by John Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company (NCR). Then in 1903, NCR founded a summer training camp for its employees, who lived on-site in tents. By the 1930’s, the tents were replaced by rustic cabins.
During WWII, U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were housed on the site while working on code-breaking devices at NCR. The site continued to be used as an NCR training facility after the war. By 1970, the cabins had been replaced by a large, corporate training facility which remained in operation through the 1990’s. Subsequently the site was subdivided, the existing structures demolished, and the eastern parcel developed into Pointe Oakwood, a residential neighborhood.
In its current state, the site is park-like with a flat open lawn, grassy slopes, and mature trees. Its hilltop location affords panoramic views overlooking the city of Dayton, Ohio.
Three main goals drive our design for Russell TWM’s new corporate headquarters:
- Meet the functional needs and aspirational desires of the firm and its clients.
- Preserve and enhance the park-like nature of the site.
- Create a structural form that expresses context, mediating the scales, styles and uses of its physical surroundings.
The work of Russell TWM is based on a belief that true wealth means more than financial success alone; wealth is also about positive personal relationships, community engagement and physical/mental wellness. This belief manifests itself in the design and arrangement of the building’s spaces.
There is a multi-purpose space on the ground floor that can be used for Russell TWM and community functions. There are wellness studios for yoga and other fitness classes. The second floor houses approximately ten legal, tax and other support staff. The four leaders of the firm meet individual clients on the upper floor in small, living-room-style meeting spaces.
To maintain its park-like setting, the building is designed to sit lightly on the site. Its footprint is roughly one-third the size of that of the neighboring office buildings and about twice that of the smaller houses in Pointe Oakwood. The northwest wing of the building is glazed on three sides at ground level to maintain the feeling of openness and to preserve views through the site to the north and northeast. The entry drive, located off Sugar Camp Circle, winds organically through the site. The parking is designed to appear more like a court than a parking lot, with low stone walls around plantings in the center and the drive to the west.
The landscaping, too, is intended to preserve and enhance the property’s current character, while maintaining a degree of privacy for the Pointe Oakwood neighbors and complying with Oakwood’s screening requirements. The Russell design employs a combination of low grasses and groundcovers, medium height shrubs and evergreens, and larger scale deciduous trees planted at different points up and all along the steep hillside. The effect will be more like woods than a wall, providing privacy while preserving a sense of openness. The appearance will be softer and more natural than a hard line of conifers stretching to the corners of the site.
Aesthetically, the building strikes a balance between traditional and contemporary while acknowledging the historical context of the site. It is primarily composed of buff-colored limestone, a very traditional material that is suited to the neighborhood and conveys permanence and quality. Stone also nods to the history of the site, as the first buildings NCR constructed after the tents and cabins were of stone. To provide detail and to contrast with the stone, there is a limited amount of metal panel on the building. It appears mostly at the tops of walls, similar to a traditional cornice, and at fenestration. The windows themselves are set deep within the walls to animate the elevations with the depth and shadow one sees on traditional masonry buildings as opposed to the flat, thin facades of much contemporary development.
In addition to stone and metal, the palette also includes materials that would not have been out of place on the site in the early 20th century. Fabric awnings on the roof deck recall the tents of the original training camp, while the wood basement-level screen wall is of a scale, color, and pattern like the wood siding of the rustic cabins in the 1930’s.