Category Integrated Buildings

Critical Technical Issues


Given the specific character of the brief and the unique requirements of a center for environmental studies, McDonough was faced with some interesting challenges. Programmatically, the Center was simple enough, but the cold, wet climate and the desire for direct connections of interior and exterior spaces were in conflict. Resolving issues like the use of extensive glass areas to break down indoor-to-outdoor separations would be difficult.


Collaboration and division of responsibilities also posed a challenge. When a multidisciplinary project team is meld­ed together to achieve an integrated design, the chain of decision making and assignment of specialty tasks is mud­dled. The only one who can clearly be responsible for the coherence of the project is the architect...

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Oberlin, Ohio William McDonough + Partners


Imagine entering a building through its waste treatment plant. Now forget everything you ever knew about waste treatment plants and imagine entering a building through something called its “Living Machine,” something that looks like a cross between a translucent water sculpture and a hydroponic garden. You have just entered the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies (CES).

The transition from sewage plants to Living Machines typifies the CES. The facility and the program it houses exemplify a step beyond stopgap industrial measures for saving the environment through conservation and recy­cling...

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The Emerald People’s Utility District (EPUD) Head­quarters, an office and warehouse complex, was built for a small public utility company in the cool and rainy climate of Eugene, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest United States. The design vigorously incorporates daylighting and pas­sive strategies for heating and cooling. The site arrange­ment was governed by ecological sensitivity to the surrounding wetlands and neighboring small industries. The complex is united by a desire to highlight the qualities of both the outdoor and indoor environments.

Eugene, Oregon

Equinox Design and WEGROUP Architects and Planners

Figure 11.18 South elevation of EPUD Headquarters. Note the elongated axis, the clerestory windows, and the deciduous shading. (Photograph cour­tesy of John Reynolds.)

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Technical Integration Highlights


Circulation space also serves requirements for public space.

Garage roof terraces separate the public plaza from circulation routes of the bank staff.

^ Removable wood slat ceilings are suspended below ductwork and services.


Rainwater filtration and daylighting systems are treat­ed as objects of art.

Interior landscaping, terrace gardens, and roofscapes break down the distinctions between inside and out. The rich arrangement of space tends to encourage people to use stairs rather than elevators.

Exposed raked-angle columns in the banking hall express the horizontal thrust of the angled tower walls and enhance the organic expression of space.


Small-area floor plates ensure that no one is more than 24 ft from an operable window and the daylight and natural ventil...

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Alberts & Van Huut


Organic functionalism is the key to this large banking complex in south Amsterdam. The building is intended to provide a friendly and healthy working environment full of light, water, sun, plants, and art. Not incidentally, Nederlansche Middenstandbank (NMB) was the world’s most energy-efficient building at the time of its comple­tion. The complex consumes less than one-tenth the ener­gy of its old headquarters and one-fifth that of another new bank in the same neighborhood. A few years after its completion, the new home had transformed the institu­tion’s image from stuffy to progressive and allegedly dou­bled its business...

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