Sustainability and South Central Los Angeles don’t necessarily come up in the same conversation, but that is exactly the case with the construction and opening of the District 9 headquarters on historic Central Avenue, just south of downtown Los Angeles. South Central Los Angeles is an urban redevelopment zone that is embracing its historic jazz heritage and moving forward with an aggressive streetscape program. Former District 9 Councilwoman Jan Perry has been a proponent of implementing sustainability initiatives and is widely credited with implementing the Augustus Hawkins Wetland, which is the nation’s first human-made wetland in a highly urban area and is part of Augustus Hawkins Park.
The $10 million project provides forward-looking environmental features that enhance building performance, demonstrate urban development innovations to the public and form a context for expressing design compositions that echo the community’s jazz history. The architectural programming includes 10,000 square feet featuring two major interior functions: administrative field offices for both the council and various city departments serving the neighborhood and a community meeting room.
A landscaped entrance court occurs beneath eight raised photovoltaic arrays that move during the day to track the sun, shade the space below and signal a dynamic environmental message to the public. To further announce its environmental significance, the design establishes a grid of trees and paving pattern extending throughout the site to give a park-like feeling to the project. greenscreen® panels frame the front façade of the offices that pay tribute to the façade treatments of historic “taxpayer unit” developments along Central Avenue. Clerestory windows provide natural lighting to the interior while minimizing security concerns for building openings. The design also features a roof garden serving the environmental and social needs of the community. The project has achieved a USGBC LEED® Silver rating.
The use of greenscreen® in an urban setting provides attractive, cost-effective perimeter security due to its 2” x 2” grid. To provide design continuity and increased security, greenscreen® panels are infilled into the entry and parking lot gating. The design flexibility of greenscreen® allows for a variety of applications that provide design solutions for the challenges that are typical of an urban municipal-use building.
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