The new Livestrong Foundation HQ in Austin, Texas, boasts great credentials
I straddle the bridge of cognitive dissonance when considering significantly expensive buildings for non-profit organisations. So do others, it seems, in the blogosphere discussions of the new headquarters of the Livestrong Foundation (yes, that synonymous with world-famous cyclist Lance Armstrong). In this case, being the architecto-phile I am, I’m leaning toward the ‘Go for it’ side. Honestly, that’s mostly because of the project’s sustainability practices.
Armstrong’s foundation is already a name aligned with sustainability of the body, but its new headquarters in Austin, Texas, has also made headway in the world of sustainable design and building — and finance. The outfit leased corporate office space for 10 years already; it was, therefore, time to invest in its own fiscal future by making its own space. Texas-based Lake|Plato Architects and Bommarito Group helped achieve that vision by designing the project, transforming a 1950s warehouse in the urban revitalisation district of East Austin into a high contemporary building used by staff, researchers, and patients.
The highly contemporary interior space is illuminated by natural light. Some offices like open-concept boxes of wood, which was made by re-milling the building’s roof decking. Existent beams were reused for enhanced interior architecture aesthetics. The former building’s concrete was also reused as retaining walls, garden elements, and walkways. The reused or repurposed materials help to ground the otherwise steely appearance.
The headquarters also includes meeting rooms, dining facilities, an in-house gymnasium, and an open-air courtyard for its 88 employees. Expansion plans are already under consideration as the Livestrong itself grows. It is currently some 30,000 sq-ft under one building.
According to the Bommarito Group’s website, ‘This warehouse is being transformed to meet the entire corporate needs which include all offices and functions relating to an office and an expansion plan for a Patient Navigation Area. This space will first navigate in diagnoses but, more important, support a person through the heeling process once diagnosed with cancer.’
The project has earned many awards, including a listing among the AIA COTE (Committee on the Environment) Top Ten Green Projects this year. It is also a LEED Gold-certified building.