Design of Department of Water and Power Building aims for complete user satisfaction
The Pasadena Foothill chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the recently completed Department of Water and Power Building in Pasadena for a Merit Award for design. Costing $10m the civic project “is about sensitivity to historical, ecological and human contexts” said David L. Goodale, Design Principal at Gonzales Goodale Architects. “Everything about this building is meant to add productivity and pleasure to the lives of the men and women who keep Pasadena running smoothly.”
Clad in perforated metal panels, the two storey building has been carefully inserted into the surrounding urban fabric. The facade deliberately echoes the volume and vertical rhythms of the historical 1930s brick and concrete building opposite, whilst retaining a distinct architectural identity of its own. The building is topped by two green demonstration areas on its roof ‘to serve as learning examples for future similar endeavours in city-owned buildings’ and the entire site is framed by oak trees which provide shade for employees to rest in during break times.
Green design and construction practices have been employed throughout the project, with recycled and locally sourced materials utilised wherever possible and construction waste either diverted or recycled. A water-thrifty evaporating cooling system ‘rains’ onto the facade, lowering the temperature on the west-facing wall and space has been afforded for bicycle racks, internal showers, and preferred parking for carpools and hybrid vehicles. Features such as panoramic views, operable windows, enhanced air-change ventilation and full day lighting have been incorporated to enhance user satisfaction.