THA Architectutre's new HQ building for Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a non-profit international disaster relief and economic development organisation serving under-developed societies worldwide to alleviate suffering and poverty. Their new global headquarters embodies their sustainable, community focused approach to global action.
The 85,000 sq ft headquarters also brings new life to an economically challenged neighbourhood in Portland, Oregon. It revitalises an existing historic building and makes an addition which is sensitive to the character and patterns of Portland’s Old Town.
Mercy Corps’ culture recognises that individuals gain strength through interaction and cooperation. The value of teamwork is reflected in the metaphors of the crucible and weaving apparent in both the interior and exterior of the building.
The interior plan is organised around a very dynamic open space, a light-filled crucible holding a multi-directional staircase which connects people in all quadrants of the building and creates opportunity for informal collaboration. On the exterior, a series of woven patterns of terra-cotta and glass symbolise the interactive nature of Mercy Corps’ work with people of the developing world.
Social equity is a core principle of Mercy Corps. The building’s plan gives the best views, daylight and fresh air to the most people by locating open offices at the perimeter of the existing building and on the eastern façade in the new building with views of the park, river and distant mountains.
Sustainability is central to Mercy Corps’ mission. Their new home is a model for how to build responsibly and achieved a LEED® Platinum certification. In addition to the sustainable and energy efficient features of the building, it is centrally located near bus lines, bike paths, and Portland’s famous Max line.
By inspiring collaboration, honouring context, and embracing innovation, this building embodies the core values of a progressive organisation addressing the most pressing problems facing the world today.