The Kresge Foundation headquarters integrates three design objectives: restore a landmarked 19th century farmhouse complex, create a great workplace, and develop a sustainable strategy for the entire complex. The challenge was to create a visually integrated whole from these three disparate objectives.
Awarded a LEED Platinum rating, the complex connects the natural and the manmade, and the past and the future in an environment which is a model workplace for the staff and a model of sustainable design for the non-profit organizations that apply for a Kresge “Green Buildings Initiative” challenge grant.
The building incorporates a number of sustainable strategies which are integrated into the whole, including a light harvesting system, energy saving system controls, certified wood floors and raised floor air distribution. In addition the earth is mined for energy using a network of 40 four hundred foot deep geothermal wells laid out in a grid in the parking area. Water moves through this closed loop system by three large heat pumps. In winter the system extracts heat from the water to warm the building, while in the summer excess heat is returned to the earth to cool the building.
The Kresge Foundation Headquarters building includes 19,551 SF of new construction. The existing farm structures, including the farmhouse, barn and sheds, which totaled some 6,562 SF, were extensively restored and made an integral part of the whole. The project has been featured in numerous publications and has received the AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Honor Award, Interior Architecture Honor Award and the Sustainable Design Honor Award. A recently completed post occupancy evaluation by the University of California Berkeley found an 89% user satisfaction rating, one of the highest ratings recorded by the institution.
Photography © Karant+Associates, Barbara Karant
Photography © Maconochie Photography, Justin Maconochie