Reese Rowland, project architect and a principal at Polk Stanley, said the four-story, 95,000-square foot headquarters building was conceived as a series of concentric rings that expand outward from a central commons that represents the "impact point" of the gift.
"Like a drop of water that generates ripples flowing outward from the impact point, the gift of an animal creates concentric rings of influence radiating through a village," Rowland
explained."This allows sustainable methods taught to the original recipient to be passed on to others as the animal's offspring are gifted."
In formulating the structural concept, Polk Stanley
- which received the 2008 AIA Institute
Honor Award for its work on the project - studied the lines of Heifer-inspired buildings around the world."The beauty of these structures," said Rowland
, "is in the simple elegance of constructing just what is needed.
Corrugated aluminum was chosen because the material requires little maintenance over the long haul, according to Rowland
, while projecting a look similar to other Heifer-inspired structures around the world.
The horizontal panels evoke memories of the slick 1950s era rail passenger cars that once moved gracefully through the area."While brick would have been a logical choice as well," Rowland
said, "the metal skin gives the building a very distinctive look when combined with the sun protective devices and heavy timber roof deck overhangs."Rowland
pointed to metal's design flexibility, allowing unique detailing at joints, as well as its recyclability and low life-cycle maintenance costs as contributing factors in the decision to specify a metal system.
Built on site of former switching yardThe site of the new headquarters building was once a railroad switching yard whose tracks bisected the property.Masonry structures that once stood on the site were crushed into gravel and used in constructing the new headquarters building.Bricks were also reclaimed for paving.In all, 97% of the reclaimed materials, including steel, were recycled.The savings in reclaimed material paid for the entire site demolition, according to Rowland
."Our goal," he
said, "was to use locally sourced materials, exceeding LEED requirements for distance to site and recycled content.
"The Heifer building steps back a bit, somewhat like a shy, humble friend, allowing all to use the park's amenities, Rowland
said."It's symbolic of what Heifer International stands for.