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Chicago, Illinois, USA
Higher Education, Historic Preservation, Renovation
Leaders of the Harris School of Public Policy sought preservation and restoration of a midcentury masterpiece for their new home on the University of Chicago’s south campus. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks identified the Edward Durell Stone design in 1963 as contributing to the historic district of the Midway Plaisance—the spine of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The transformational redesign integrates policy-inspired solutions to better connect with the community, place policy on display, and serve as an exemplar in sustainable design with LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge Petal certifications.

The decorative limestone building with a five-foot tall imposing plinth was in need of full restoration; social repair to the adjacent underserved neighborhood, which the original building turned its back to, was also needed. One north-facing entry was replaced with new welcoming paths that erode the plinth, inviting passage on all sides. Encircling rain gardens soften pedestrian experience with sculptures, seating, and other architecturally significant pieces salvaged from the original building. Patterned bird-safe glazing wraps the rooftop addition and opens the façade at key locations, inviting passage through the building.

The expansive concrete structure had restrictive floor heights and offered little connection to the exterior. Extensive daylight analyses helped balance perimeter windows with daylighting in the east and west two-story atria. A larger central four-story atrium was carved into the building and serves multiple programmatic functions.

Educational in function and composition, the Keller Center serves as a learning laboratory in which policy students and impactful research can witness real-world challenges and solutions through design. Thoughtful material selections led to healthy modifications of global manufacturers’ material ingredients. Partnerships and specification of salvaged ash wood during the design process catalyzed positive economic and social impacts in adjacent neighborhoods, directly showcasing full-circle sustainability and the mission of the Harris School of Public Policy.
Playa Vista, California, USA
Interior Design, Workplace, Adaptive Re-Use
History, technology, architecture, and art come together in ZGF Architects’ interior for the Google Spruce Goose headquarters in Los Angeles. Located in a burgeoning business district just north of LAX, the Spruce Goose takes its name from the famed (not to say infamous) wood aircraft created by magnate Howard Hughes for the United States War Department during World War II; though the prototype was never put into production, its nearly half-million-square-foot construction hangar remains, now repurposed as offices for the internet-search giant.

To achieve the transformation, ZGF played up the most striking aspect of the original building—its enormous clear-span floor space—leaving the vast wooden ceiling and its arching supports exposed, to stunning visual effect. Into that void, the designers inserted an irregular stack of free-standing terraced structures that runs the full length of the 250-yard-long hangar. Alternating between wood and sleek white cladding, supported by black steel columns, and trimmed with glazed balustrades, the insert is alive with function. From private nooks and conference rooms to amenity spaces and open-plan offices, ZGF’s novel infrastructure answers all the programmatic requirements of the modern workplace. The spaces are connected by zigzagging stairs and open catwalks that create a sense of flow while fostering opportunities for social contact.

Reflecting Google’s famously creative corporate culture, the design incorporates oversized murals by Los Angeles–based artists that riff on themes from the building’s storied past, punctuating the interior with vibrant color as well as a sense of history.
North Haven, Connecticut, USA
Multi-Family Housing, Senior Housing, Assisted Living
101,238 sf assisted living community with 140+ assisted living beds, dining room options, cafes, exercise rooms, multi-media theaters, large community spaces, craft areas, and more.

The Landing of North Haven offers senior living services in North Haven, Connecticut. Our continuum of senior care services allows residents in assisted living to remain in our community where their needs are known if Alzheimer’s or memory care is eventually needed.

Our staff is highly trained in providing high-quality senior care services with a whole lotta heart, which makes our community a place with a whole lotta love. More than our motto, a whole lotta heart is how we live at The Landing of North Haven. It’s seen in every interaction in our community. The Landing of North Haven is a community in every sense of the word. From the first time you walk in our front doors, you will feel at home, like this is where you belong.

We have a dynamic activities program that prioritizes health and wellness and is supplemented by a nutritious and delicious dining experience. Sign up for a group fitness class, drop in on a morning yoga session, or work with a personal trainer to hit your fitness goals. Our menus feature seasonal and local foods, giving our residents and their families only the best. The dining room has a private dining area for residents celebrating special events with family and friends. Our community also has a gardening area for residents to exercise their green thumb, a concierge to arrange for whatever your day calls for, and is pet-friendly so your favorite furry companion can also enjoy all that life with a whole lotta heart offers.

The Landing of North Haven is located near upscale shopping, dining, retail businesses, and high-quality medical facilities. North Haven is a quaint New England town, exuding small town charm while offering big city amenities. Our residents enjoy a dynamic and engaging activities calendar with regular outings to local shopping, dining, and educational opportunities. We actively seek input from our residents when planning community functions and we design every day around their interests and preferences.

At The Landing of North Haven, residents enjoy a friendly and welcoming environment where individuality is celebrated and independence is encouraged. Stop by today to see how senior living with a whole lotta heart can change your life.
Temascaltepec, Mexico
Single Family Home
A couple of hours removed from Mexico City—whose explosive growth has taxed the region’s fragile ecosystem—Seattle-based firm Robert Hutchison Architecture (in collaboration with local firm JSa) has created a paean to the Mexican highlands that promises to help maintain their natural beauty for years to come. Located in the mountain community of Temascaltepec, and bristling with energy- efficient and waste-reducing features, Rain Harvest Home comprises three free-standing structures—a small art studio, bathhouse, and the residence itself—all connected to each other via pathways that wind through a lush landscape. In tune with the rustic surroundings, each of the volumes sports a burnt-wood exterior giving way to spare interiors accented by volcanic stone, with a wraparound porch on the main house providing ample space for outdoor dining and lounging.

The bathhouse, perhaps the most compelling element of the scheme, is a circular volume that serves as a hot bath and steam shower; with its central rooftop aperture, it seems almost like a small temple dedicated to water—which, in a sense, it is. A complex network of infrastructure provides for all of the project’s water needs, channeling rainfall into an on-site reservoir that, in tandem with a nonpolluting water treatment system, will keep residents cool and hydrated even during Temascaltepec’s dry season. Complemented by a full battery of solar panels, the project shows a way forward for sustainable construction in Mexico’s interior.

Portland, Oregon, USA
Affordable Housing, Multi-Family Housing, Transition Housing
Designed as a kit of parts, Argyle Gardens is the first buildout of LISAH (Low Income Single Adult Housing), a dignified co-housing model designed to accommodate an optimum number of people to share community space and support. The modular system can be configured as formerly homeless, workforce, or student housing, or to house intergenerational families together.

Argyle Gardens opened to residents in April 2020. Located in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland, the four buildings sit on a transitional site between a neighborhood and an industrial zone close to the MAX light rail line, bus lines, a park, and commercial shopping areas. The largest building contains thirty-five 220 square foot studio apartment units. A large community room, laundry facilities, and support service offices, serve as a central hub and communal gathering space for all residents. Each of three cohousing buildings feature two six-bedroom units with two shared bathrooms and a large kitchen.

Each building takes a simple rectilinear form with a slice removed to reveal color and translucent polycarbonate panels that bring vibrancy to the composition.

Each building is composed of modular units constructed offsite. The size of the modules are maximized for efficiency and to minimize transportation costs.

The site’s steep topography and existing vegetation provide privacy but challenged the design team to locate the buildings in a way that balances ADA access requirements, environmental considerations, and the maintenance of the large staging area required for modular construction of Phases 1 and 2. The resulting calibration meets those needs while minimizing direct solar heat gain on the polycarbonate walls, enabling the main entry stair towers to be unconditioned spaces.

The Transition Projects and Holst team involved the progressive, supportive Kenton neighborhood in the development of the project from the beginning. By offering deeply affordable units with supportive services and adjacent outdoor space, Argyle Gardens will help Kenton alleviate other issues related to homelessness in the area.

The co-housing module systems works within the existing Portland Zoning code and can adapt to any area that allows duplexes or additional density. In Portland, six bedrooms and a shared kitchen constitute a single dwelling unit, so one cohousing module is considered a duplex that houses twelve people. Efficient construction techniques, prefabricated elements, a maximized efficiency of space, and an aesthetic typology can easily adapt the LISAH model to a variety of locales across Oregon—from city neighborhoods to the Coast to the Cascades.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Park, Landscape Design, Urban Design
After sitting dormant as an asphalt surface parking lot in the heart of the city, private initiative stimulated the development of this sophisticated piece of urban infrastructure. European piazzas were an inspiration for the design of the park. The concept of an urban hardscape stretching from building face to building face allows the park to engage the active street fronts of the adjoining properties. While the piazza is meant to be a pedestrian space that cars are invited into, on special occasions the entire city block can be closed off from vehicular traffic to accommodate large-scale events.

The design of this urban park is intended to create new open spaces with a variety of microclimates, amenities and places for activity that present a unique destination and landmark for residents and visitors. Situated within the overlap of the retail, office and cultural districts of the central city, Director Park is active from dawn to twilight, and it accommodates the ebb and flow of a broad range of urban communities.

A key feature in the park is an open, glass-and-wood canopy sitting high along the street’s edge, offering covered seating space and views over the plaza. The plaza is designed to engage pedestrians with programmed and non-programmed activities. A water element, with arching jets and a semi-circular basin at the northeast corner, creates a comfortable environment for pedestrians. It reinforces the architectural massing of the site by addressing the street edge and providing a balance of built elements within the open space of the plaza.

Other elements of the design include loose table and chair seating, permanent architectural concrete and wood benches, street trees, custom lighting, and a café. Both the stone-paved surfaces and glass canopy incorporate innovative stormwater techniques to capture runoff on-site.

The existing garage beneath placed a number of constraints on the project. The site’s eleven-foot grade change coupled with a need to maintain six inches of undisturbed gravel over the uneven garage lid (to ensure the integrity of existing waterproofing) required innovative solutions to incorporate sub-surface utilities and accommodate the maximum ADA-allowed cross slope of two percent.

At Director Park all stormwater is filtered on-site using natural vegetation to cleanse and reduce the amount of solids entering the river. This process also slows the rate at which the run-off is allowed into the city's stormwater system. Beginning with the canopy, the low point of the structure supports a continuous stainless steel gutter perforated by a series of cables that act as rain chains directing water to a flow-through planter. Also, the café is topped with an ecoroof consisting of sedums, grasses and sage plants to cleanse run-off before directing it to the storm sewer. In addition, the plaza and the streets use the natural slope of the site to direct run-off to street planters and tree wells for filtration.

To encourage alternative modes of transportation and endorse the bike-friendly attitude of Portland, more than 20 bike racks are spread throughout the site. Director Park is also adjacent to a MAX Light Rail stop, making travel to and from Director Park simple for Portland residents and visitors.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Health Care, Childrens Hospital, Clinical Research
ZGF, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and Anderson Mikos Architects Ltd. Planned and designed the 1,255,000 SF Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. At 23 stories, the building is one of the tallest children’s hospital in the world. In 2004, ZGF assisted in preparing a vision for the future of the Hospital, which focused on the current physical environment, an evaluation of existing facilities, a comparison to peer institutions, steps involved in creating a Master Plan, and a timeline for realization and implementation. In 2005, the scope grew to include a review of a potential new building program and assessment of site alternatives. In 2006, design of the new building began. The new Lurie Children’s, a Pebble Project® partner, is located on a 1.8-acre site at the Northwestern University Medical School Campus just north of the downtown business center of Chicago. A key driver for the relocation was to be closer to its academic partner, Feinberg School of Medicine, for a stronger collaboration with researchers and clinicians. The new building, which is connected by bridges to the Prentice Women’s Hospital, integrates inpatient care; diagnostic and treatment space; clinical support; and logistical, medical office, and clinical operations. The initial planning calls for 288 beds in Phase I, including 22 observation beds and eight clinical research beds. It has the capacity to expand to 313 inpatient beds. The project is LEED Gold®.
Cedarceek, Missouri, USA
Higher Education, Interpretive Center, Mixed Use
Immersed in the landscape of the Ozark Mountains, the Missouri State University Ozarks Education Center is designed to serve as a gateway for learning and observation of the surrounding state conservation areas and ecological resources. The community facility, at 4,310 sf, provides one central location to accommodate larger groups of students and researchers to take part in ecology research and education through a unique experiential lens. The MSU Ozarks Education Center reflects the natural elements of the surrounding topography and was guided by the concept of designing with a light touch, both physically and sustainably on the natural environment.

The MSU Ozarks Education Center provides sleeping quarters, a dining center, residential kitchen, classroom space, and room for programs to help support the pursuit of education and research for MSU faculty and students, other universities, high school students, and non-profit organizations. A focal point of connection is the facility’s dogtrot which serves as a point of entry for the main building and a threshold for visitors to begin a day of ecological study at the MSU Ozarks Education Center. The dogtrot divides the main building into community space and residential space. Designed on an east/west orientation to accommodate the site, the main building connects visitors to the natural environment by way of the dogtrot, opening up the heart of the facility to views of sunrise and sunset. A roof oculus located within the dogtrot space also orients visitors to the surrounding site, creating connections to both sky and earth, and allowing water to come into the space. The dogtrot is equipped with large barn doors for passive cooling that can be closed down as needed to protect against harsh weather conditions. Three individual cabins are located down the site’s slope from the main building. Nestled into the trees, these cabins also focus on the multi-sensory experience of natural elements, such as light, air, and water. Large apertures of glass offer immersive views of the surrounding forest and passive cooling strategies are implemented through operable windows.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Research Laboratory
'This is bigger than just a building – it’s a whole philosophy'. These words are an entirely apt description of the ambition for the project and what has been achieved through a deep collaboration between the client and design teams.

The project demonstrates an unwavering focus on sustainability and challenges every aspect of the design and construction process.

The result is a building that not only achieves BREEAM outstanding and LEED platinum awards, but perhaps more importantly signals how such an approach can directly inform architectural design and greatly enhance the user experience.

The distinctive volumetric form has its origin in the need for a highly-serviced laboratory space, but one which can be naturally ventilated.

The resulting curved roof then combines the most advantageous angle for photovoltaic panels and incorporates a series of large openings driving natural light deep in to the plan form - both principles further reducing energy consumption.

The undulating roof form is therefore a direct expression of sustainable design drivers. The already hard-working roof goes on to embrace biodiversity by incorporating a green landscape and assisting rainwater attenuation.

Internally the volume reveals itself as an unexpected and unique laboratory environment where the building processes and services are given full expression and allow a clear appreciation of the design approach.

Carbon reduction is also the primary consideration in the selection of construction materials and the use of timber technologies is given full visual expression in a similar way to the building form and services.

Both the timber frame and wall panelling are on view without extraneous finishing materials, again reinforcing the commitment to sustainable and accountable design decisions.

The philosophy connecting building operation and aesthetic is also clearly expressed in the opening up of the laboratory environment, with clear views between spaces to aid collaboration and understanding of the processes within.

Externally the laboratory volumes are clad in a combination of Western Red Cedar and single fired terracotta panels - both natural materials chosen for their low embodied energy. Overhangs and deeply set windows are further design cues chosen to control the internal environment, adding to the distinctive aesthetic, yet remaining true to the philosophy of the project.

The awards jury were impressed with the commitment shown by the project team to challenging traditional notions of the building typology and bringing forward new thinking about the role and possibilities for a sustainable design approach.
Wallingford, Connecticut, USA
Higher Education, Classroom, Laboratory, Dormitory
Some schools build environmentally responsible buildings; some schools teach environmental responsibility. At Choate Rosemary Hall, the Kohler Environmental Center, a laboratory for living, brings these two objectives together. The new LEED Platinum 31,325-square-foot academic and residential facility, designed to achieve net-zero energy usage, accommodates cohorts of up to 20 students for a total-immersion environmental living experience. As students live at the center and take their classes and meals there, the building offers them control of their own environment; feedback from the building's monitoring systems enables them to teach themselves important lessons about how to live sustainably and responsibly.

The Kohler Environmental Center is approached by a footpath over a wooded wetland ravine, leading to a central, south-facing courtyard. A cloister lining the courtyard links the Kohler Center's program functions—14 dormitory rooms, faculty apartments, common spaces, classrooms, laboratories, and a state-of-the-art research greenhouse. The building's materials reflect its rustic nature—native stone walls, stained cedar trim, and fiber cement plank siding.

Set in the midst of 268 acres of meadows, agricultural fields, second-growth forest, and wetlands, the Kohler Center allows students to learn from the site's exceptional biodiversity and range of habitats. Another goal of the Center is to teach environmental stewardship through sustainable design. 100% of the building's annual energy needs is provided by a 294-kilowatt photovoltaic array, roof-mounted thermal solar panels, and waste cooking oil. A highly-efficient building envelope, developed daylight harvesting strategy, and careful solar orientation optimizes building performance, while monitoring systems encourage students to compete with each other to minimize their own energy consumption.
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Research, Health Care
Located alongside the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, this project reinforces South Australia as a major center for medical research. The state-of-the-art facility accommodates approximately 700 researchers from around the world while the iconic architecture is meant to symbolize, inspire and promote the building’s function.

A uniquely shaped site and the need to create an entry adjacent to the hospital led to an elevated diamond-shaped plan that allows the parklands to extend below. The lifted building and integrated landscape act to liberate the ground plane, inviting greater activation and porosity throughout the site. Developed out of the basic program of the floor plates, the sculpted envelope reflects the functional symmetry of the space. A transparent façade showcases the two atriums within the building: the west atrium expresses the entry and bridge links between the laboratories and the east one articulates the active workplace environment.

The building’s form is accentuated by the triangulated diagrid façade that functions environmentally as well as aesthetically. Inspired by a pinecone, the skin simulates a living organism with sunshades that adapt and respond to the sun’s orientation to mitigate daylight, heat load, glare and wind noise, while enhancing views and natural lighting and reducing energy use. This external treatment was selected early on to optimize the building’s conflicting requirements of large spans, curved envelope and the stringent vibration conditions needed for sensitive laboratory equipment. To meet the various environmental, programmatic and formal stipulations for this initiative, technical experts utilized parametric modeling tools RHINO and Grasshopper.

The key driver of the building design is to foster collaboration between researchers. This is achieved by atria and bridges, visual connection between floors and the interconnecting spiral stair. The facility provides nine fully flexible wet and dry laboratory modules. Each module—comprising open lab space with benches, lab support rooms and write-up space—are connected by the lobby and bridge via the atria and arranged adjacently to encourage interaction and transparency.

This is the first LEED Gold laboratory building in Australia, attained by moves such as the passive design of the floor plates and the use of a diagrid façade, both of which optimize natural light and minimize energy use. Other sustainable initiatives include collection and recycling of water, reduction in energy loads and intelligent mechanical systems that draw air in from the cooler lower levels. Providing a resource to both the public and its users, the facility showcases sustainable urban design strategies and successfully interact with the city’s public transport, cycling and walking networks.
Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
Library, Outdoor Plaza
A community library and multi-purpose facility centered around a new urban park, creating a gateway to Marrickville.

After an invited design competition commissioned for a new library on the old Marrickville Hospital site, Marrickville Council selected BVN architects’ concept design. The winning design caters Marrickville’s diverse community while remaining sympathetic to the heritage listed (1871-1991) original hospital building.

The new library extended beyond the traditional perception of a public library, catering for Marrickville’s diverse community while remaining sympathetic to the heritage buildings.

A publicly accessible garden sits below the surrounding road levels provides an oasis from the noise of Marrickville and Livingstone Roads. A café and community facilities Pavilion open out to the sunken lawn, bringing activity and life to the western and southern corner of the site and enabling multiple community activities and public events – from Tai Chi to film screenings.

Places for activity and retreat are woven throughout the building. A large auditorium stair is the centrepiece of the library interior for library users to sit, read, or socialise. Around it a void that spans three storeys provides perimeter seating and views across the space. The upper floors of the building host the library’s collections and a variety of reading and study spaces including bookable meeting/study rooms.

The library interiors create a bright, welcoming atmosphere for users to meet, work, learn or socialise. An abundance of natural light penetrates the space though ceiling skylights and oversized windows that look out to the library lawn and Marrickville neighbourhood. Fresh air circulates through large bi-fold doors in the new building and original French doors that open out to external balconies in the old building. Timber finished stairs, joinery, acoustic panels and furnishing details provide a warm and calming background for the many activities the library plays host to.

A distinctive floating canopy roof originates from the pitched roof of the old hospital building and folds out over the new library building towards the garden lawn. The old hospital building has been retained and restored to form the library collection and office spaces, along with outdoor reading areas along the veranda now known as the Lilydale Balconies. New library floors connect to the old hospital building via a suspended glazed walkway on level one. Many of the original hospital features including tiling, floorboards, terrazzo flooring, brick, window frames, and ceiling beams remain.

It is uncompromising with regards to sustainability with recycled elements wherever possible and design features that reduce energy consumption.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Library, Outdoor Plaza
Green Square Library and Plaza is an urban living room located at the heart of Australia’s largest urban renewal area and includes a 3,000 sqm library and an 8,000sqm plaza. The commission was won through an anonymous global design competition with the scheme unanimously selected by the jury, which included Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt.

The competition brief called for two distinct components — a public plaza and a library. Our unique design response fuses these elements together by placing the library largely underground and maximising the public open space at ground level. This arrangement allows the community to gather outdoors and enjoy the pleasant Sydney climate, whilst providing a light-filled, community haven below with 42 large skylights delivering light to the space below and where visitors can retreat from the noise of the city.

Key volumes protrude from the underground library puncturing the public realm at plaza level bringing light, air and access to the space below. The legible geometries of a triangle, circle, square and trapezium are placed strategically as a field of social instruments within the plaza. The design is intentionally informal and programmatically sustainable, providing a shared territory for multiple uses — suitable for the evolving role of the library and an expanding population. The building includes brightly coloured meeting rooms, a computer lab, a music room for practice and performance, double height reading room, children’s area and outdoor amphitheatre for events.

The library and plaza achieve a 5-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Its sustainability features include a central wastewater system and a low energy displacement ventilation system within the library bookshelves. In response to its location within the water table, the underground library utilises a 3 layer waterproofing system.

Green Square Town Centre will become home to 60,000 people over the next 15 years. Green Square Library and Plaza responds to this challenge — a bold and generous space that will be actively shaped and remade by an evolving community. A space that works day and night. This design makes space and preserves the plaza for community expression.
Austin, Texas, USA
Office, Adaptive Reuse
UPCycle transforms the former Balcones Recycling Center into a unique creative office building in the historic community of East Austin, Texas. Rather than building anew, the client prioritized adaptive reuse to help preserve and improve the neighborhood character and honor existing resources. The main design question was, how do you maintain the look and feel of the building's industrial past but make it suitable for office use and recognizable as a place for people?

The word upcycle embodies the design approach for this project.

What was an opaque, uninviting warehouse is now a light-filled creative office building. What was once a mere metal shed is now a comfortable and efficient space that encourages interaction and connection between the tenants and the surrounding neighborhood.

The design of the building and spaces is tailored to the creative tech community that values flexibility, openness, culture, and collaboration. The design was successful in attracting the digital division of HEB (a regional grocer) and Favor (an online food delivery service) as their new headquarters. This project has created a new model for HEB's real estate portfolio and represents a change in culture for the corporate firm.

The existing building, which had sat idle for many years, was partly covered in graffiti and had been used for various graffiti art exhibitions. During the renovation, the team found and hired these and other local artists to create an interior aesthetic consistent with the character of East Austin. The vibrant colors of the art that adorn the existing structure enliven the former industrial space and celebrate the past.

The team's approach to materials, daylight, social space, and efficient systems resulted in a place that is rooted in the past but looks forward into the future.

Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA
Heeding this advice, the team began to conceptualize the design for the Marine Education Center (MEC) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The MEC is the education and outreach arm of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. In 2005, the previous center was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. A second storm impacted the site during schematic design, and a third, Hurricane Nate, hit during construction. It was clear—the new facility would need to be resilient, sustainable, and durable.

The center exemplifies sustainable coastal building techniques in harmony with the marine environment. The education facility includes outdoor classrooms, laboratories, administration offices, assembly spaces, exhibition areas, and a pedestrian suspension bridge where researchers have an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the ecologically critical bayou and tidal wetlands of Mississippi.

The team consulted with biologists and coastal ecologists to assess flora and fauna in three pre-determined zones, ultimately choosing the building zone with the least sensitive ecosystem, access to open water, and suitable building elevation to protect the buildings in the event of a natural disaster. The buildings were sited within the existing tree canopy, allowing the trees to serve as a natural wind buffer. Considering natural disasters and durability, the design focused on using and maintaining the land to serve as the first line of defense.

The team worked with the Resilient Design Institute to select low-impact materials for the health of occupants and to avoid ocean contamination in the event of a natural disaster. White oak was used primarily on the interiors for millwork and accent paneling, and southern yellow pine was chosen for primary structures. Given the center’s prevalence as a local Mississippi commodity, any future repairs can be quickly and easily accommodated.

San Francisco, California, USA
Headquarters, Office Building
Salesforce Tower is the tallest building in San Francisco, joining the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Building as one of the skyline’s defining elements. Pelli Clarke Pelli won an international competition in 2007 to design the tower and the Salesforce Transit Center at its base. Together, the two buildings represent a novel approach to public-​private collaboration and sustainability in an urban setting.

The competition was sponsored by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, a public entity created by the City of San Francisco to develop the new transit center. To help fund that building, part of the site was offered for sale to teams of developers and architects in an invited competition. Pelli Clarke Pelli and its development partner submitted a design that focuses on sustainability, neighborhood development, and financial feasibility.

Standing 326 meters (1,070 feet) tall, the tower has the simple, timeless form of the obelisk, giving the 61-​story tower a slender, tapering silhouette. The walls are composed of clear glass with pearlescent metal accents. These horizontal and vertical accents gradually taper in depth to accentuate the curved glass corners. The walls rise past the top floor to form a transparent crown that appears to dissolve into the sky. Carved into the tower top is a vertical facet that will be lit at night.

At its base, Salesforce Tower connects directly to the transit center, which will house 11 Bay Area transit systems. On top of the Transit Center and linked directly to the tower is a 5.4-acre public park, which will offer recreational, educational, and nature activities. The park has two roles: the future anchor of the neighborhood and a key element of the project’s sustainable design strategy.

Each floor of the tower will have integrated metal sunshades, calibrated to maximize light and views while reducing solar gain. High performance, low-​emissivity glass will also help to reduce the building’s cooling load. Cooling may be provided in part by heat-​exchanging coils wrapped around the tower’s foundations. The tower and transit center also include comprehensive water recycling systems. In addition, high efficiency air-​handlers will take in fresh air on every floor.
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
Higher Education
Bringing together the previously dispersed Departments of Architecture, Building Construction Technology, and Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, the John W. Olver Design Building fosters multidisciplinary collaboration and expressively integrates construction, landscape architecture, and building technology. It exemplifies the University of Massachusetts’ commitment to sustainable and innovative design with its LEED Gold certification and demonstration of emerging wood construction technologies.

An integrated approach to sustainability maximizes the impact of passive design, while incorporating strategic engineering solutions to minimize energy use. Addressing not only operational energy use, but also reducing the embodied energy of the building itself, the Olver building features an innovative use of engineered timber structure. The largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the United States, the Olver building demonstrates the sustainability, economy, and beauty of mass timber as a building material and renewable resource.

The Olver building occupies a pivotal site on the Amherst campus and brings the community into "the commons" where students and faculty gather for organized and informal activity. The well-lit space offers visual connection to studios and maker spaces, embracing the university's collaborative goals. The surrounding landscape and roof garden restore a visibly functioning ecosystem, creating an outdoor classroom for detailing, site engineering, plant ecology, soil science, and stormwater management.

For students using the spaces, the building itself is both a learning environment and a teaching tool, demonstrating the simplicity, power, and beauty of design that expressively integrates structure, landscape, and architecture.
Austin, Texas, USA
Public Library, Dining, Bookstore, Art Gallery
Located in downtown Austin, Texas, and overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, the new Austin Central Library is a building shaped by light and designed to respond to the context of its place. Before design began, the project team set aspirational sustainability and design metrics for the project. Two primary sustainability goals for the library were determined: It would be the most daylit library in the country, and it would serve as a water conservation model for buildings in the region.

The heart of the building is the six-story atrium, which provides daylight for more than 80 percent of regularly occupied spaces. The client envisioned an iconic, civic hub where locals could connect with their community by pursuing a variety of interests. The facility is based on flexible, blended spaces, including indoor collections and reading rooms, outdoor reading porches, maker spaces, outdoor dining, a technology center, café, bookstore, 350-seat event center, art gallery, demonstration kitchen, and 200-car parking garage. Integrated artworks, interspersed throughout the library, enhance this technology-focused environment by showcasing local and national artists. The unique rooftop pollinator garden and reading porches draw visitors to connect with nature. The library is a technology-rich innovation hub that promotes scholarly inquiry and cultural intelligence. Serving as the new western portal to downtown, the library establishes a major civic presence and community gathering space in the heart of Austin.

A 373,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system, reused from existing infrastructure, provides water for landscape irrigation, restroom plumbing fixtures, and the landscaped rooftop pollinator garden. The Austin Central Library is the first city of Austin public project to achieve LEED Platinum certification. It is a model for sustainable resource use and library efficiency while promoting visceral connections to collections, history, culture, and place.

Newport Beach, California, USA
Education, Preschool
In 2008, LPA designed the 8,535-square-foot Environmental Nature Center (ENC), which focuses on providing quality education through hands-on experience with nature. Through simple and cost-effective design strategies, the center was certified as the first LEED Platinum building in Orange County, California, and has operated at net zero since it opened, serving the community as an educational tool for sustainability.

In 2019, the 10,380-square-foot preschool was added, supporting the ENC’s mission to deliver quality, nature-based education for children ages 2 ½ to 5. Developed in conjunctions with educators, the community, and ENC leaders, the preschool complements the existing facility while seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces, providing children with an intuitive understanding of nature and the natural world.

Developed through a holistic design approach, using the firm’s integrated team of architects, engineers, landscape architects, and interior designers, the projects create over four acres of dedicated open space within a suburban community. Taking advantage of the coastal climate, the buildings are oriented to allow for natural ventilation, significantly reducing initial and long-term costs. Neither building uses a mechanical cooling system. Low-energy ceiling fans and the building form enhance air movement when needed. Radiant floor heating provides low-energy, mild heating as required. Active and passive sustainable approaches were key in minimizing the energy demand for the preschool. The south-facing roof of the preschool accommodates a 32 kW array of photovoltaic panels, which are designed to provide 105 percent of the net energy for the preschool’s electrical needs.

ENC Nature Preschool is pursuing LEED NC Platinum certification and the Living Building Challenge’s Petal Certification, which will make it one of the first projects in the region to achieve this level of sustainability and healthy environments. With a focus on passive, efficient design, the ENC campus is serving as a living laboratory and educational tool for smart green design and conservation.
New York, New York, USA
Office, Renovation, Interior, Atrium, Public Assembly
The historic Ford Foundation headquarters, completed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates in 1968, was hailed as a modernist architectural icon. The new overhaul, a landmark in modernist preservation, transforms a 50-year-old building into a 21st century workplace and public amenity.

The redesign maintains and enhances the building’s original character while significantly improving functionality, transparency, and accessibility. Many spaces, finishes, and furnishings were redesigned to be seamless with what already existed. The LEED Platinum renewal also modernizes the structure with New York City safety code and New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission requirements.

In 2018, after a two-year renovation, the landmark building reopened as the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. More than a headquarters, the center is a vibrant, accessible hub for champions of social justice. The design approach reflects the foundation’s core values of transparency, collaboration, inclusion, and empowerment. Previously, private offices lined the atrium perimeter, giving a select group the most privileged views. Today, the few remaining private offices and enclosed spaces line the outer edge of the building, making the atrium visually accessible to everyone and providing a clear view from 42nd to 43rd streets. With the Ford Foundation’s desire to include like-minded tenants and also increase convening space, the design team developed a more efficient floorplan for the workplace, thus allowing over 50 percent of the building to be dedicated to both public and grantee programs.

The reborn building restores a significant landmark while creating a high-performance interior embodying the foundation’s mission "to promote the inherent dignity of all people.”The historic Ford Foundation headquarters, completed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates in 1968, was hailed as a modernist architectural icon. The new overhaul, a landmark in modernist preservation, transforms a 50-year-old building into a 21st century workplace and public amenity.

The redesign maintains and enhances the building’s original character while significantly improving functionality, transparency, and accessibility. Many spaces, finishes, and furnishings were redesigned to be seamless with what already existed. The LEED Platinum renewal also modernizes the structure with New York City safety code and New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission requirements.

In 2018, after a two-year renovation, the landmark building reopened as the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. More than a headquarters, the center is a vibrant, accessible hub for champions of social justice. The design approach reflects the foundation’s core values of transparency, collaboration, inclusion, and empowerment. Previously, private offices lined the atrium perimeter, giving a select group the most privileged views. Today, the few remaining private offices and enclosed spaces line the outer edge of the building, making the atrium visually accessible to everyone and providing a clear view from 42nd to 43rd streets. With the Ford Foundation’s desire to include like-minded tenants and also increase convening space, the design team developed a more efficient floorplan for the workplace, thus allowing over 50 percent of the building to be dedicated to both public and grantee programs.

The reborn building restores a significant landmark while creating a high-performance interior embodying the foundation’s mission "to promote the inherent dignity of all people.”
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Addition, Renovation, Historic Structure, Higher Education
The renovation and expansion of One Spadina Crescent for the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (DFALD) embodies a holistic approach to sustainable design. The project focused on the context of the city and dynamic use patterns over time as opposed to focusing exclusively on static accreditation frameworks. The project strove to distinguish itself in utilization efficiency, energy/water/material efficiency, properly insulated building fabric, indoor environmental quality, landscape, and urbanity. Most important, the project anticipated the dynamic nature of design education and technology through its flexibility and resilience. The project objectives were twofold: (1) rehabilitate the landscape, historic Knox College architecture, and urban significance of Spadina Crescent (2) demonstrate DFALD’s objective of overt sustainability through the deployment of materials and systems to accommodate a program for studio space, workshops, classrooms, offices, a library, a cafe, a gallery, an auditorium, a Living Lab, a Fab Lab, a public amphitheater, and an event terrace. Design strategies were multifaceted to address environmental, economic, and social values. One example of this is the new, dynamic ceiling on the third floor of the new addition. Using the cantilevered structural logic of the Firth of Forth Bridge, the ceiling of the studio is shaped to integrate daylighting, hydrological control, and structural optimization, creating a desirable space that engages the senses while simultaneously saving energy and water and serving as a pedagogical tool. For years, many initiatives have attempted to preserve, reuse, and repurpose One Spadina Crescent. This project has revived the site and offers a north face for the first time in its history. The preservation of the north addition will have value in how it establishes a dialogue with the urban and campus context and serves as a critical piece of infrastructure for the city of Toronto.