660,000 GSF, 61310 M2, 37 acres, 15 hectares
Architecture, Engineering, Campus Planning, Interior Architecture, Programming
North American Copper in Architecture Award (NACIA) -- New Construction, Finalist -- Office, Best of the Best, Best High-Rise Office Building, 2008 Design Awards
This corporate campus for the University of Phoenix aimed to set a high bar for regional responsiveness. Transitioning organically into the surrounding desert scenery, the 37-acre site’s three new structures are designed to be more than merely sustainable: the plan echoes the natural history of the site itself.
The campus layout implies a riverbed, whose carved channels flow through the site—and even through the buildings themselves. Natural materials and colors—weathering copper, colored concrete and glass—echo the Sonoran Desert and complement existing smaller buildings. Among other sustainable features, the team oriented the buildings to maximize daylight on the south and minimize east and west façade solar exposure, a strategy that promotes durability and reduces operating energy costs.
Notably, the project's timing coincided with Hurricane Katrina, creating difficulties in obtaining crucial materials. But the development was delivered via construction management at-risk, shifting liability away from the client and encouraging stakeholders to generate innovative solutions.