Holly Street Studio Architects’ Diane Jacob’s infusion of Arizona State University’s 30KSF student center at a historic United States federal building in downtown Phoenix recently won a Crescordia award for historic preservation. Caliente Construction handled construction of the project.
Since the center’s opening in early 2013, students, faculty and the community at large have used the space for a multitude of purposes.
Adaptive reuse of the large-scale, centrally located structure revolves around four key ideas: open up to provide scenic views out and light in; embrace history through the structures expressed and skylights; engage the city with the park and align with existing patterns; and address the student with flexible and dynamic spaces for multiple endeavors.
The building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized and tied to Phoenix’s NRG Energy Center, an energy-efficient and environmentally sound district energy and power plant serving major downtown structures. New clean-energy boilers eliminate electrical reheat systems, cutting building energy loads drastically and opening up additional usable square footage within the building.
The combination of a contemporary design within a well-worn masonry building begins a dialogue that is critical for environmental awareness in desert cities – creating greater awareness and inspiration for rethinking the way we inhabit our urban desert environment.