Gonzalez Goodale Architects and Morillo Construction recently put the finishing touches on the 31,400-sq-ft Department of Water and Power building in Pasadena.
The $10-million civic project, which houses operations, maintenance crews and supervisors along with a city Emergency Operations Center, garnered a Merit Award for design from the Pasadena Foothill chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Situated within Pasadena Water and Power’s corporate yard on 245 West Mountain Street, the new building reprises the volume and vertical rhythms of the historical 1930s brick and concrete warehouse across from it while maintaining a distinct contemporary architectural identity, the architects say. By incorporating several advanced sustainability features, the building is also designed with the well being of its occupants in mind.
“This project is about sensitivity to historical, ecological and human contexts,” says David L. Goodale, design principal at Pasadena-based Gonzalez Goodale. “It’s about the sustainability of human energy. Everything about this building is meant to add productivity and pleasure to the lives of the men and women who keep Pasadena running smoothly.”
The two buildings are bridged by a verdant space framed by oak trees. Rich, native landscaping by Los Angeles-based Yael Lir Landscape Architects obviates the need for irrigation while providing employees with a much-needed shade canopy during break times.
Goodale says that sunlight and heat were major considerations in the project's design. A number of strategies were employed to help manage the building’s temperature while still allowing an optimal amount of light inside the space. Screens of perforated metal clad the essentially box-shaped building. This feature creates visual interest and softens the building while dissipating both glare and heat, he says.
At the north wall, a two-story glass curtain wall, backed by a braced steel frame, admits glare-free sunlight deep into the building, creating a more productive workspace for the workers. Full daylighting of inhabited spaces, enhanced air-change ventilation, operable windows and panoramic views also promote satisfaction in the workplace. The water-thrifty evaporative cooling water feature “rains” from the façade of the new building, lowering the temperature on the west-facing wall. Highly reflective roofing further cools down the building.
The structure also hosts two demonstration green roof areas that showcase available options for potential use on future city-owned buildings. One area is planted with Mexican Feather Grass and the other with a few varieties of Sedum. Preferred parking for carpools and hybrid vehicles, ample bicycle racks and internal showers bring home Pasadena’s message of sustainability by encouraging alternative means of transportation.
Goodale says that during construction, the team was careful to use recycled and locally sourced materials and sustainably harvested wood products. A significant portion of the construction waste was also diverted or recycled.
Engineers on the project included Brandow & Johnston of Los Angeles (structural), TMAD Taylor & Gaines of Pasadena (MEP) and JMC2 of San Pedro (civil).
Gonzalez Goodale’s team included Armando L. Gonzalez, FAIA, principal in charge; David L. Goodale, AIA, LEED AP, design principal; Dennis Smith, AIA, project manager/architect; Gerda Buss, interiors; Alison Spicer, LEED AP, sustainability coordinator; and Hannah Trimbath, project assistant.