Morphosis – Federal Building, San Francisco
What is that? It’s an outer skin of passive/active technology to keep this building from needing any mechanical cooling systems above the fifth floor! There is a ‘Building Automated System’ that opens and closes the windows automatically to allow natural ventilation. There is also a complex network of solar screening to allow or disrupt the flow of natural sunlight into the building so the building does not overheat due to solar gain.
The client (government) fully embraced Morphosis’ proposals inside and out. The building is oriented around the solar and wind technologies on the outside, and on the inside… it’s oriented around allowing those same principles to be shared equally by members of the working floor. The private offices are pulled to the inside of the building, and an open floor plan around the perimeter of the building allows daylight to penetrate and air to circulate!
It’s always hard to get our heads around any dramatically different building. I’m not sure I’m in love with the exterior design, but the inside has some lovely moments, and I’m a sucker for SMART design, which this certainly is!