Meyer Memorial Trust Headquarters
Project site: Brownfield
Building program type(s): Office – 10,001 to 100,000 sf
The Meyer Memorial Trust project argues that equity and sustainability are intrinsic to the idea of good design and should be celebrated in equal measure with architectural beauty. The client set this intention from the very start, working with the project team to foreground these issues and to establish rigorous equity and sustainability goals.
This project brings an equity lens to every aspect of the process: The site was selected to create positive transformation without spurring gentrification; the project team was led by Black women and had high levels of diverse business participation; all levels of the foundation’s staff participated in the design process; the design centers equity by ensuring that access to views, light, and amenities are evenly distributed; the project’s artwork and signage celebrate stories of diversity and include diverse languages; the building’s local materials were sourced based on a criteria that considered benefit to BIPOC businesses and rural economic development.
"This building is providing a gathering space of significant scale that is also inspiring in and of itself while observing other structural systems. This project provides positive transformation without gentrification, being a building of the community. The development through this engagement process has led to spatially detailed, well-executed spaces throughout the building." - Jury Comment
Understanding the link between social and climate justice, this project seeks to be a steward of the environment. The project began with an eco-charrette and a goal of meeting LEED v4 Platinum certification. The design converts a brownfield site into a garden campus that uses a native and adaptive plant palette and manages 100% of stormwater. The building form was developed to support the 53 kW solar photovoltaic array, and its high-performance systems reduce energy by as much as 50% and water by 35% over a code standard structure. Regional timber products are used throughout the project because wood is a renewable material that sequesters carbon. The client and project team worked with an ecological nonprofit to define criteria for sustainable material selection which included responsible forestry practices. Eighty-five percent of the wood used in the building is sustainable, with 49% being FSC-certified.