Annenberg Urban Ecology Center
The Annenberg Urban Ecology Center incorporated programmatic aspects of the initial project but given the new site’s unique ecological sensitivity within the Ballona Preserve including the adjacent, controversial Ballona Wetland’s restoration effort, Annenberg’s visionary Executive Director, Leonard Aube, saw an opportunity to integrate Wallis’ Annenberg’s goals for domestic animals into a larger urban paradigm embracing the ecology of all living organisms within the LA metropolitan area and the central chord that would weave all these urban components together was water.
Thus, our design for this facility focused on allowing the building itself to reflect the program’s sustainable urban ecology principals through development of;
– A Net Zero Energy System comprised of passive energy design principals including natural ventilation, solar mass and high efficiency solar and fuel cell power sources.
– A Net Zero Habitat Loss Building Design through the introduction of extensive green roofs and by raising portions of the building above the ground so as to let the natural habitat run below.
– Water Conservation Systems and Programs including rainwater harvesting, waste water recycling and the use of low water usage appliances and cleaning systems.
– An Indoor/Outdoor Environment that promoted both energy efficiency and good health (fresh air) while reflecting the unique nature of the Los Angeles climate.
– Use of Natural Building Materials – The main building materials included architectural concrete and wood. Concrete assists the building’s solar mass capability and minimizes long term maintenance while wood accents from sustainable forests serve as sun screens while providing a sense of warmth and welcome.
– Habitat Sensitivity – Mirroring the Center’s interior exhibit’s focus on native wildlife and habitat, the building’s exterior design features green roofs designed to help serve as “pollinators” for local wildlife such as butterflies while incorporating state of the art techniques to protect birds in flight such as the use of bird safety glass and related design features.