Redesigning archaic U.S. federal buildings has its perks. It keeps historic, 1960s real estate from being demolished and recycles them into environmentally sound structures; it can also have a big eco impact since there are somewhere around 9,600 federal government buildings across the country. And in this case, it can even award a young, emerging designer $10,000 for the best design.
Metropolis Magazine recently opened its Next Generation competition, in which designers are asked to "get zero" and create a zero environmental footprint structural plan for an eight-story General Services Administration building, which once housed the IRS, US Bankruptcy Court and U.S. Attorneys. Contestants are encouraged to include use of renewable energy like wind, solar and geothermal. The months-long competition, sponsored by Herman Miller, aims to bring the building's features and otherwise aging interior, up to 21st-century's eco standards and "propose elements that will transform the existing building, bringing it to the highest possible level of performance in a memorable, beautiful, and original way."
Midcentury architecture that combines historic décor and modern, self-sufficient sustainability? Let's see the set of Don Draper's office do better.
Some of the building's details:
• Gross square feet: 1,172,746
• Usable square feet: 759,606
• Site: 4.4 acres
• Erected in Downtown Los Angeles in 1965
• Architects, three L.A. firms: Welton Becket, Albert C. Martin, and Paul R. Williams
Deadline to submit is January 11, 2011. For more information, contact NextGen2011@metropolismag.com. Check out last year's Next Generation winners who designed a wind turbine that fit within existing electrical towers.