The Forest Service called for a building that would be appropriate to its environmental context and well serve agency functions. Hence, the architectural form and materials reflect goals of image, longevity, energy efficiency, structural performance, and livability. Moreover, the remoteness of the site makes durability and functionality especially high priorities͘ The building’s concrete walls of rammed earth hues evoke natural desert colors͘ In addition to its prominent role in the building’s visual expression, the concrete provides large thermal mass as well as a substantial component of the building’s structure͘ iry yet long-spanning, inverted king-post trusses provide column-free spaces; the laminated natural wood of the structure and acoustical ceiling finishes contribute to the project’s welcoming environment͘
Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2018
Third Award | Category: Institutional Building
Architects: Marcy Wong
Studio Name: Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
Team Members: Marcy Wong, Donn Logan, Tai-Ran Tseng
Country: United States
The project’s massing is designed to complement its desert setting͘ long, low-slung horizontal building form reinforces the expansiveness of the Southern California landscape; native, drought-tolerant plantings around the building and throughout the site enhance the composition of structures and landscape. A shaded arcade along the south side of the building is a transition zone connecting the building’s open interior to the exterior landscape͘ Natural variations of the earth-colored concrete give it a distinctive hue and texture at home among the mottled reds and browns of the surrounding desert. Locally procured boulders serve as natural security bollards protecting the building facade.
Sustainability is a formative and fundamental aspect of the project͘ The client’s goals of LEED Gold Certification and energy performance of besting Title 24 baseline standards are achieved while enhancing comfort, habitability, and functionality͘ The building designer team’s energy strategies include: thin film photo-voltaics on the roof, an insulated envelope with thermally massive concrete walls, cool roof, high performance glass, and a geothermal system to precondition water temperature for the building’s heat pump. Recycled, environmentally beneficial and local materials are used throughout the project, including a near-by quarry’s landscaping boulders and “green” cement, the latter of which produces less CO2 during production, utilized in forming the walls. Trellises and landscaping throughout the site as well as lightcolored and permeable paving reduce the heat island effect.
narrow 40’ wide floor-plate, with fenestration along both major elevations, provides optimal, abundant yet controlled day-lighting and crossventilation throughout the building. Deep roof overhangs shelter the interior from harsh direct sunlight, while operable windows along the north and south walls provide natural air circulation through the largely open office areas. Most spaces in the building have two sources of natural light, and the open, light-filled central office area creates a comfortable, livable workspace for agency personnel.