May 07, 2013

Federal Government Embraces Sustainable Building

Pages from Vision+Voice featuring an interview with Kieran and Timberlake.

A fourth volume of Vision+Voice, compiled by the federal government's Design Excellence Program, features interviews with architects working to fulfill the environmental sustainability mandate for federal building projects.

Chapter 3 focuses on “Achievement Through Integrated Design” and includes our work for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. Partners Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake discuss such issues as using non-toxic materials, the role of research in our practice, client engagement, and their use of the term “holistic.” 
An excerpt from Stephen Kieran's comments on designing a new screening facility and entrance for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), a historic building that stands next to the White House, is below. 

“Over the last two-plus decades, security concerns have dominated some of our architectural responses to government buildings here in the U.S. and all over the world.  
There have been two end results. One is, and I'll use the term perhaps dangerously, security blight has been retrofitted onto buildings that deserve better. The consequence is that it becomes a very important part of the urban realm, particularly in a place like Washington, DC, where there are so many public buildings that have undergone security modifications. It's a different city now than it was a quarter of a century ago. So the design problem on the EEOB was a chance to address the security concern in a way that it could be thought through—in an integrated way, over time. 
To us it's a huge issue, because it starts to change the way we perceive our government. It's a very profound and difficult design problem of our time, and we thought there was just an unbelievable opportunity with the EEOB to take it on, and to address how to retain the extraordinary quality of that extraordinary building.”

Continue to Vision+Voice Volume 4: Voices of Sustainable Building.