Fostering excellence

Leo A Daly uses design, scale and materials to create an environment that promotes thought leadership

by James 29 October 2010
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    Lockheed Martin is a Fortune 50 company engaged in highly advanced technology and research. When they approached Leo A Daly to design their new Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) they cited the following project goals: focus on the possibilities of the future; inspire leadership through a balance of intensive learning, team building, and introspection; create a project that reflects the company’s core values - 'doing what’s right', 'respecting others' and 'performing with excellence'.

    The project presented the challenge of capturing these objectives in the context of Lockheed’s existing 3-storey headquarters building which lies on a 26.5 acre site of green lawns and flowering trees in suburban Washington, DC, USA.The scale and massing of the existing headquarters building, a low edifice set in a park, inspired the concept of the new CLE as ‘pavilions in a park’. Grounded by Lockheed’s identity as a technological leader, and connected to one another with a focus on the future, the Team distilled the program into 3 linked components, or ‘pavilions’ which frame the fourth component, an outdoor room.

    The first of these is a lodging complex consisting of an 8-storey glass and steel curtain-wall clad ‘bar’ providing 200 guest rooms, central dining, and support for program participants.The second is a conference / classroom centre with a grand multi-purpose space. This grand space, framed in Sardinian white granite, is the heart of the composition, opening out to the natural landscape and waterscape via a portal of ultra transparent low-iron glass. This space creates a nexus of two realms, blurring the lines between landscape and building / inside and outside, creating a place for social interaction that opens to a setting of natural introspection.The third pavilion, an auditorium for assemblies up to 250, is expressed as a simple form clad in pre-finished metal reverent to the adjacent original headquarters building.

    Although diminutive in the landscape, this 300,000 sq ft project enjoys LEED Silver certification and is anchored with a 300-car underground garage and IT centre, all at a confidential cost in excess of $100 million USD.

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