Located in Montgomery, Alabama, this center is known for its years of courtroom accomplishments, legal victories against white supremacist groups, monitoring of hate activity across the country, national tolerance education, and the Civil Rights Memorial. The Center was founded in 1971 by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two southern lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality.
The work of the Southern Poverty Law Center is essential to this country in achieving equality for all. The design for their new headquarters building strives to educate the visitor/participant about the issues surrounding the Civil Rights movement. However, this task cannot be achieved by architecture alone. It must be a combination of the physical environment and the efforts of the people within.
The design team is proud to be involved with such an organization.
The building design works to further the cause of Civil Rights through a variety of design issues. As an icon for the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the building will act as a reminder that abuses of civil rights still are many and widespread. In addition, the building is part of a larger site context that includes the Civil Rights Memorial and the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first began his sermons on equality.
The siting of the building takes advantage of these features by pushing back from the memorial to create a public plaza. This creates a precinct for the memorial and the new headquarters building. The building raises up from its concrete base to provide unobstructed views of Dr. King’s church from the memorial.
The interior layout of the building is designed to promote interaction. The building organizes into two components. The “support core” contains all support services and hard-wall spaces. The “office block” is a column-free, open office environment with its primary view oriented to the north. This open office block will foster a new era of interaction among the lawyers, whose work space has until now been isolated by hard-wall offices.
The open office area gets floor-to-ceiling glass facing north. By contrast, the south facade is more solid, giving only specific views of the memorial. The experience of seeing the memorial becomes a special event for the staff member who works in the building throughout the day.
Supporting the theme of interaction, the double-height library/work spaces create an opportunity for team interaction. They face to the south, giving them a specific and directed view of the Civil Rights Memorial. These spaces are also visible to the visitors of the memorial, creating a visual connection between the civil rights activist of the past and those currently working for the cause.
The new headquarters is a six-story, 62,000 square foot facility with underground parking for approximately 120 cars. The building consists of a concrete and steel structural frame, with stone and metal cladding.
The Pennsylvania Ballet’s Board of Trustees generated a strategic plan designed to heighten the organization’s national profile. The plan included establishing a school for classical ballet and expanding the organization’s presence in the community through outreach and education. Migrating to a new home on the Avenue of the Arts has become a key component in implementing this plan.
The Pennsylvania Ballet’s current residence—and its home of the past 20 years—on South Broad Street is inadequate to meet the needs of the growing ballet company, as well as the needs of The Rock School, a significant organization with which it shares its facility. The proposed site for the Pennsylvania Ballet to call its new home is approximately 76,000 square feet divided among four buildings and holds 70+ feet of frontage along North Broad Street in Center City. This area is already home to several longstanding cultural and historic institutions, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and the Masonic Temple. Additionally, there is currently a proposed expansion of the Convention Center which will undoubtedly expand the cultural capital of this site.
The new complex, along The Avenue of The Arts, will allow the Ballet’s multiple departments to exist under one roof. This facility will establish a tangible identity for the Pennsylvania Ballet on the city’s major arts corridor, cementing the Ballet as an important part of the region’s cultural landscape and a major presence on Broad Street.
It’s new entrance will be set back from Broad Street and will be accessed by passing through a dynamic garden space. The garden space will have a series of landscaped benches where staff, dancers, and others involved with the Ballet can sit and relax. The space will be wrapped by a site wall giving a sense of privacy to the garden and creating a stronger street presence for the complex.
At the northwest corner of the site, the current White Building will be renovated for the Ballet’s executive departments and will feature a mix of open office space planning and closed offices for department heads. Each office floor will feature a shared conference room and shared filing space.
The Shed and Garage buildings are located at the east of the site. Both buildings will be renovated and used for rehearsal studios and related program. The renovations will maintain the character of the former buildings by exposing existing brick walls and re-using existing window openings. A new roof will be built over the shed that will allow daylight into the rehearsal studios.
Connecting the White Building and the Shed Garage Renovation is a new construction that contains a reception area, dancer locker rooms, and a 3500 sf rehearsal studio. The rehearsal studio’s size will finally allow the Ballet to replicate the stage of The Academy of Music in preparation for performances. The rehearsal studio will feature a glazed wall where people can observe dancers in rehearsal. A large skylight in the reception area will flood the area with daylight.
The renovated shed building and Studio Building will feature a green roof system that will aid in controlling the temperature of the spaces, as well as provide an attractive roofscape to surrounding buildings.
Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CcTC) is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive mental health services to Philadelphia’s neediest children and their families. CcTC staff is currently spread out between two facilities, the primary location at 1823 Callowhill St. and a rented space at 417 N 8th St. The goal of this project is to consolidate the two disparate locations into the 1823 Callowhill facility by renovating the existing building and providing a 15,000 square foot addition.
The new building will allow all of CcTC’s departments to exist under one roof. This will ultimately support the enhancement of current programs while allocating additional areas to accommodate their current “homeless” staff. The open-space design promotes collaboration among staff members within the workplace and encourages a group approach to service delivery. This environment will ensure that clients have the benefit of a full team of clinicians and professionals working cohesively.
A sense of openness is encouraged throughout the entire project. Windows to be provided in staff areas will overlook the playground, which will allow staff to focus attentions on the children at play and remind staff members of the missions/goals of the program. The renovations to the building entrance will provide a warm, personal and welcoming environment in place of the existing impersonal, locked/buzzer entrance. The completed renovation and addition to the CcTC facility will increase the efficiency of the center and enable the staff to effectively pursue the mission of providing high quality services to all of their clients.
The building’s massing acts to elevate the existing context by creating a form that is consistent with the remaining urban fabric of “freestanding” row homes. The two bar shapes (chapel and dormitory) represent row home forms and create a safe interior gathering space and recreation area. The two forms are connected at each level by translucent bridges that subtly reveal silhouettes of the members as they move toward the chapel. This revealing of the circulation seeks to connect the exterior to the activities of the interior.
The building will stand as a positive element of the community and have a prominent presence at street level, as well as a recognizable facade from the Ben Franklin Bridge. The new center will be a four-story, 20,000-square-foot facility that will have a 45-bed residential capacity, a chapel for worship and group meetings, and an exterior recreational area.
Conceived of as a place as opposed to a building, the café creates a quiet respite for visitors to reflect on their visit to Independence Mall and absorb the vastness of both the monuments and history that make up Philadelphia. Located just across from Independence Mall Visitor’s Center, the central location acts as a catalyst for activity midway through the mall sequence.
The café structure provides food-service support for the upper terrace and allows for a variety of menu and drink options. Building on the National Park Service’s long history of open picnic/dining facilities, the café is a minimal, open-air structure that provides moderate protection from the elements. The east and west facades of the structure are comprised of movable glass walls that can be fully open or closed depending on weather conditions. This flexibility enables the café to extend its usable seasons for visitors.
In phase 2 of the project, a hyperbolic paraboloid tent structure will provide shade and moderate protection from the elements, which further defines the site as a space for café visitors. This more intimate setting will provide an area for outdoor educational programming.
The program for this 1,200-bed residence building and 91,000 square foot retail building was designed to address the continuing renewal along the North Board Street Corridor. Adjacent to Temple University, this revitalized city block has become an active commercial and residential center that extends beyond the campus.
The project is comprised of two buildings, each organized to serve a different function. The commercial building occupies the active Broad Street edge, while the residential building sits toward the western boundary that’s adjacent to existing residential stock in the community. At the northwest corner, there are eight existing buildings, which were spared from demolition and provide a wonderful juxtaposition between old and new.
Two access strategies were implemented to connect the residence building to the neighborhood. The first access strategy is a diagonal pedestrian walk running northeast into the heart of Temple’s campus. The second is a drop-off parking lot and access point from the southwest. This diagonal circulation creates a unique opportunity for student-oriented commercial connection in the base of the residence building.
The residential building’s interior is borne of a need for the utmost in flexibility. Given the building’s program as a private dormitory, rooms needed to be able to be rented as students desired. A four-bedroom unit serves as the standard arrangement throughout the plan and all units are derivative of it. This system offers each floor an unlimited number of unit arrangements. Given that each bedroom has its own bathroom, units are able to be divided by 1, 2, 3 or 4 room leases according to demand at the time. This allows the building to adapt to students needs and wants over time.
Two significant conceptual explorations gave form to the design for this church— “re-pitching the tent” and the four devotions of St. Aloysius.
“Repitching the tent”, expressed in the delicate soaring roof lines, evokes the concept of simple worship. The roof is drawn from Old Testament references to pitching of the tent as a place for worship, and New Testament revival references to re-pitching the tent. The metaphor of a tent yields a building rich in concept and formal expression.
The Four Devotions of St. Aloysius – Blessed Sacrament, Passion of Our Lord, Love of Our Lady, and Choir of Angels – sit adjacent to the large concrete buttresses that anchor the roof.
The entry sequence exploits the social implications of gathering for worship. The relationship to parking dictates a singular approach through a series of increasingly intimate spaces that prepare congregants for worship in communion with their fellow parishioners. An intimate courtyard is formed between the gathering space and the daily chapel, which allows viewers to visually connect with the sanctuary prior to entering the building. Passing through the gathering space, which connects the new church to the existing, one passes the Baptismal Font while entering the sanctuary. The Baptismal is located axially opposite the altar and the Adoration Chapel. This relationship connects the congregation to both the Baptismal and the Blessed Sacrament upon entering and departing the sanctuary.
Radiant underfloor heating was employed to create a comfortable environment within the large open space of the sanctuary. In addition, extended overhangs around the building reduce the cooling load by reduction of heat build-up due to solar heat gain. Large infiltration basins and cisterns adjacent to the structure capture and filter the storm-water from the building’s roof.