“Systematic approach to achieving a sensible urban ecology” – Holcim Awards Jury

The project is distinguished by the innovative effort to produce a building that reflects the environmental forces to which it responds. The systematic approach to achieving a sensible urban ecology is to be highly commended in that it actively pursues a sustainable, low energy design, yet is not functionally or aesthetically compromised.

Last updated: June 16, 2005 Cambridge, MA, USA

Unique to these efforts is the warped concrete roof that is shaped in such a way as to increase the velocity of cross winds at this level. Effectively ventilated throughout, cooling is facilitated by the wind towers that pull air upward through the building, thereby eliminating the need for costly conventional air conditioning.

Temperature control is further achieved through solar shading. Not only offering a strong aesthetic identity and refined public amenities to the local context, such measures are particularly valuable in promoting communal awareness of ecological issues at large.

While acknowledging the initially high “hard” cost of certain high-tech solutions, a commendable effort is made with life-cycle calculations to demonstrate the potential long-term benefits of such investments. A clear vision for community improvement is evidenced at both the planning and architectural levels of design.