Contract - April 2010 - (Page 48)

design informing masses the True to its mission, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association commissions a new headquarters building that sets a positive example for urban development By Jennifer Thiele Busch Photography by Iwan Baan It’s not always easy to engage citizens in a civil and intelligent discussion about public policy, but the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) is doing its part to encourage informed public dialogue about urban development in the City by the Bay. Helping it achieve its mission is a new LEED-certified headquarters by Pfau Long Architecture, that demonstrates first-hand how good design plays an important role in the future of our cities. SPUR, a broad-based “think tank” organization that promotes good planning and good government for both citizens and city officials through research, analysis, public education, and advocacy, was existing in overcrowded conditions in a nondescript building in an isolated location in San Francisco when its board of directors voted in 1999 to relocate the organization to a new home that would improve SPUR’s visibility and access to the public. The decision percolated for a few years, until Diane Filippi was hired as urban center director and charged with making it happen. “They really felt they had to make a choice about the future,” Filippi says. “The move was a metaphor for the organization to expand its mission.” Peter Winkelstein, a retired principal and colleague of Filippi’s at San Francisco-based Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris (now Perkins+Will) assumed the chair of a 70-person building committee, which ultimately selected Pfau Long Architecture as the designer for the new headquarters. “Peter Pfau understood SPUR and used a metaphor about a little building among tall buildings,” says Filippi. “We are a little organization that is pretty powerful.” When a feasibility study determined that the existing building on the new site would not be able to meet SPUR’s needs, the organization opted for demolition and new construction and gave Pfau Long broad control over the design. Nevertheless, the building committee supplied a list of descriptive terms by way of communicating www.contractdesign.com 48 contract april 2010 http://www.contractdesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - April 2010

Contract - April 2010
Contents
Editor's Note
Industry
Resources: The Green Scene
Focus: Land of Opportunity
Green: Post-Occupancy Green
Practice: Legal Green
Lean & Green
Environmental Extraordinaire
Above the Legal Limit
Informing the Masses
Luxury in the Raw
Designers Rate: Green Products
Process: Science in the Age of the Invisible
Sources
Ad Index
Perspectives

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