The project provided a few unique challenges. First – Vision: The decision-making body put together by the Academy included several people from various departments – all with their unique needs and wants. The main vision for the project included the following criteria: • to create a place that enables our child health mission • to support the work of the staff and 66,000 members • to be more than an office building and the new home for the profession of pediatrics and through state-of-the-art surroundings and communications Second – Budget: The client is a not for profit organization that is dedicated to the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. As the academy is funded by membership dues, revenues from continuing medical education, as well as grants and contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies, the project goal was to create a pragmatic, flexible and dynamic environment without being ostentatious. We needed to make sure the project funds were spent most efficiently while still creating a beautiful new home for the rapidly growing academy. Third – Function: The new headquarters needed to support growth and members’ evolving needs. In addition to workspace for the Academy’s 455 professional staff, the building includes a conference center to host meetings for the physician members. Fourth – Sustainability: The Academy has an commitment to a healthier world therefore sustainability in design and material selection was a must.
People: We created a hands-on process so that the entire group could feel like a part of the design team. Programming data, models, renderings, and finish samples were brought to every meeting so members of the group could get a better idea of the direction we were taking them. Budget: Our team made decisions based on consideration for aesthetic and budget. We looked at the building as a whole and were very careful to create pleasing spaces without being over-the-top. Function: The interior plan was developed to distribute more than 80 meeting rooms and reflect the need for collaboration in all areas of the Academy’s work, with state-of-the-art audiovisual and connectivity technology to enable physicians to participate no matter where they are located. The building includes a member’s lounge, fully equipped lactation room for nursing mothers, fitness center, video studio with corresponding focus group space, outdoor meeting area, cafeteria and catering facility, and two-story atrium lobby. Sustainability: Environmentally friendly features of the building include the reflective roof, LED lighting, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and native plantings and bioswales. Careful consideration was used to maximize daylight through the space. Full-height glass at the exterior and open planning was utilized with gathering spaces towards the center of the plan to provide equal access to natural light for all. The unique multi-colored glass fins not only add a youthful aesthetic but also aid in preventing solar heat gain.