The portions of the building facing the public roadways represent the web, with its chaos and vulnerabilities: the braced, irregular, glazed facade is built at the minimum allowed setback on the South and East edges of the site, and it contains the office spaces with the executive penthouse on the top floor. Glare is reduced using darkened glass, while on the south there are also louvers. The green roof helps cooling the building during the hot periods of the year.
On the west side, a massive, double walled mechanical concrete "Spine" functions has a figurative protection for the courtyard and the rest of the site, occupied by other existing buildings of the same company. The "Spine" holds most of the mechanical and service elements of the building, and on the West side its dark color and uniform large surface absorbs the sun radiations and prevents the office spaces from overheating. Additional heat exchange can be achieved by running water systems within the large concrete mass.
Two separate blocks are cladded in solar panels and provide opportunity for separate elements of the program: on the South, the Executive Briefing Center, while on the North the underground Service yard, and the Amenity area.
The Solar Orchard lays in the inner court, and provides additional renewable power production, while its pool provides freshness and moisture to the communal amenity space.
This project provides 95% of all electrical power required by the 3 buildings on the site, totaling 120,000 SF. The geometry of the site requred us to design 6 different solar panel supporting structures, including an elegant solar tree. The solar tree utilizes the double HIT Sanyo panel which outputs 10 to 15% more power thanks to the ambient lighting captured on the back of the panel.
The following animation shows how the solar trees can be shipped flat, planted on site, and unfolded to receive the array of solar panels.
A few years back, Chong Partners designed the community center for an indian Nation, in northern California. The Tribal Council Chambers were added to the north of the site, adjacent to the school building. The relationship with the gathering hall building, the ellipse in the center of the existing composition, has been a major design factor for the council chambers. After we proposed a few massing studies, the client selected a "regular", hortogonal design which fits the contextual buildings and does not compete with the existing elliptical hall. Solar panels, hydronic slabs, and motorized operable glazing and shades, are all part of the sustainable features which make this a zero energy building. The building was designed and documented mostly in Revit. I have been the Project Architect from schematic design through 50% CDs.
I was hired by VBN Architects to model and render this building, desinged by Peter Pfau. For a few weeks, therefore, I have been working closely with the architect and the project team and developed the Revit model of the building. These are the final images rendered in 3D Studio MAX, together with some photograph of the built building, by Juli Abbott.
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