San Francisco Federal Building – Brad Pitt narrates

1599 hqdefault 125x125 - San Francisco Federal Building - Brad Pitt narrates

Man: TO ONLY TALK ABOUT AESTHETICS IS ACTUALLY KIND OF INSULTING TO AN ARCHITECT BECAUSE THAT’S THE RESULT OF SOMETHING. IT’S WHAT IT FINALLY LOOKS LIKE. BUT THAT RESULT, LIKE THE LUNAR LANDING MODULE OR HELICOPTER, IS THE RESULT OF A SERIES OF PROCESSES OF THINKING THAT WENT INTO IT, THAT Allow IT TO BEHAVE A CERTAIN SORT OF WAY. WE’VE GONE FROM I LIKE OR DON’T LIKE THIS BUILDING, TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE BUILDING DOES AND TRACING THAT THROUGH TO A BROAD VALUE SYSTEM OR ETHIC OF WHERE WE HAVE TO BEHAVE AS A CULTURE TO FIT IN THE WORLD. Wife: WHAT WE’RE Create HERE IS Best available OF THIS TIME.

IT IS ABOUT THE FUTURE, IT IS ABOUT WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DELIVER FOR THE PUBLIC, FOR OUR CHILDREN, TO SEE Best available OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE. Mayne: IT’S ABOUT ASKING QUESTIONS AND IT’S ABOUT DEVELOPING, LITERALLY SMART BUILDINGS. SOME PEOPLE WILL LIKE IT AND SOME NOT. BUT IT’S MUCH LESS IMPORTANT THAN ACTUALLY ASKING WHAT THE BUILDING DOES OR DOESN’T DO. CAN RETHINKING A BUILDING’S DESIGN ACTUALLY MAKE PEOPLE WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY , MORE CREATIVELY, MORE DEMOCRATICALLY ? PERHAPS NOWHERE IS THAT RETHINKING MORE APPROPRIATE THAN IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT . THE NEW SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BUILDING COMMISSIONED BY THE U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, OR THE GSA , IS ANOTHER SIGN THAT THINGS ARE CHANGING . FOR A PERIOD OF TIME IN THE 1960 s AND’ 70 s, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS BUILDING A NOT VERY DISTINGUISHED STABLE OF PROJECTS TO HOUSE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT.

AND WHAT WAS HAPPENING IS 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, Is well OF THESE UNFORESEEN COSTS IN MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP AND REPLACEMENT. WE’VE HAD THE UNFORTUNATE ECONOMIC IMPETUS TO BUILD QUICKLY, CHEAPLY, AND TURN OVER. BIG WAREHOUSE-LIKE BUILDINGS THAT WERE BUILT ON THE CHEAP, THEY LACKED PERSONALITY, THEY LACKED SOUL. PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE TO WORK THERE, COMMUNITIES DIDN’T WELCOME THEM — THEY STILL DON’T — AND NOW, THERE’S AN ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITY TO RETHINK WHAT THOSE BUILDINGS CAN BE. AMERICANS ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH UNINSPIRING , WASTEFUL OFFICE BUILDINGS . MID-LEVEL EMPLOYEES JAMMED INTO FLUORESCENTLY LIT CUBICLES , SPEND MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR WAKING HOURS THERE . THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT , AS THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST EMPLOYER OF TWO MILLION PEOPLE , HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESHAPE THE WORKPLACE . ALL IT WOULD TAKE WAS LEADERSHIP TO RECOGNIZE THE POWER OF DESIGN INNOVATION . THE GSA IS ACTUALLY THE GOVERNMENT’S LANDLORD, AND THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABOUT 300 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF PRIMARILY OFFICE SPACE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.

SO THEY ARE PROBABLY THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST DEVELOPER, MANAGER, AND ENTREPRENEUR OF REAL ESTATE IN THE COUNTRY. THE GOAL WAS TO REACH OUT TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO FIND TOP-QUALITY DESIGN TALENT FOR NEW GSA BUILDINGS . THE SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BUILDING IS ONE OF THREE PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE GSA AND CUTTING-EDGE L.A.-BASED ARCHITECT THOM MAYNE . OUR PERCEPTION HERE — WE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST PEOPLE IMAGINABLE TO BE THOUGHT ABOUT AS DOING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WORK. THIS — THE COURTHOUSE, THE NOAA PROJECT — FOR ME, IT’S BEEN A REALLY INTERESTING KIND OF RIDE AND IT’S BEEN FINALLY IMMENSELY FULFILLING AS WE NOW COMPLETE THE THIRD OF OUR THREE BUILDINGS. WE WERE USED TO LOTS OF MEDIOCRE PROJECTS. SO WHAT WE REALLY WANTED TO DO WITH DESIGN EXCELLENCE WAS FOCUS ON THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE ABOUT THE BUILDING. WHO WOULD BE THE ARCHITECT THAT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CREATIVITY, New innovations, THE IMAGE, THE FUNCTIONALITY — EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT ABOUT A Build, THE THINGS THAT LAST FOREVER? IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT ONE OF THE MESSAGES MUST BE THAT BUILDINGS MUST CONTINUE TO REPRESENT THE HIGHEST IDEALS OF WHAT WE BELIEVE IN AS A SOCIETY AND AS A CIVILIZATION.

I Envision, IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, WE’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN BRINGING IN NEW TALENT AND WE’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN SHOWING WHAT AMERICANS, IN TERMS OF DESIGN AND INNOVATION, CAN SHOW IN OUR BUILDINGS. IT HAS TAKEN A BACKWATER, WHICH IS WHAT GSA WAS THIRTY YEARS AGO IN THE ARCHITECTURAL FIEL, AND IT HAS PROPELLED THAT WHOLE DIALOGUE INTO A VERY SPIRITED DISCUSSION AS TO WHAT ARCHITECTURE IS ABOUT OR SHOULD BE ABOUT, AND WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ARCHITECTURE IN THIS COUNTRY. THOM MAYNE, THE 2005 PRITZKER-PRIZE-WINNING , COUNTERCULTURIST, ICONOCLASTIC ARCHITECT , FOUNDED THE DESIGN FIRM MORPHOSIS IN THE EARLY 1970 s . HIS BUILDINGS ARE KNOWN FOR REFLECTING Is not simply THEIR TIMES , BUT ALSO THE CONFLICTS, CONTRADICTIONS , AND ASPIRATIONS THAT DEFINE THEM . Mayne: WE DON’T PRODUCE THING YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE, WE PRODUCE THINGS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, THAT’S ALL WE DO. WE PRODUCE PROTOTYPES, ESSENTIALLY BECAUSE ALL WE’RE INTERESTED IN IS PRODUCING BUILDINGS THAT RESPOND TO A PARTICULAR SITUATION AND A PARTICULAR PROGRAM, A PARTICULAR SITE. A SET OF PROGRAMMATIC CIRCUMSTANCES NOW, IN THIS TIME OF HISTORY. IN THE U.S.

ALONE , MAYNE’S WORK SPANS FROM CALIFORNIA TO MARYLAND , FROM HIGH SCHOOLS TO COURTHOUSES . EACH UNIQUE PROJECT REFLECTS A BOLD UNORTHODOX APPROACH WITH ONE UNIFYING ELEMENT — AN UNCOMPROMISING DESIRE TO MARRY FORM WITH FUNCTION . HE’S ALWAYS SET HIMSELF APART AS THE — NOT THE BAD BOY, BUT THE ARTIST, LET’S SAY, WHO WAS SOMEWHAT APART FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT. BUT DOING A FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING, AND A FEDERAL COURTHOUSE AND A NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC HEADQUARTERS IN MARYLAND, YOU’RE NOT DEALING WITH THE OUTER FRINGES HERE, YOU’RE DEALING WITH MAINSTREAM, MAJOR WORK. SO, HERE’S AN INDIVIDUAL WHO’S EXTREMELY SERIOUS, AND SO HE’S GOT IDEAS ABOUT POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY, BUT HE’S AN ARCHITECT, SO HE WORKS THOSE OUT IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD.

Man: I Envision THE INTERESTING Thing ABOUT THOM IS THAT THE WAY HE TALKS ABOUT HIS BUILDINGS IS THAT THEY REPRESENT FREEDOM AND OPENNESS AND A KIND OF OPTIMISTIC SPIRIT ABOUT WHAT ARCHITECTURE CAN DO, AND I Envision MOST PEOPLE, INCLUDING ME, SEE THEM AS MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE, AND THEY HAVE A KIND OF BROODING QUALITY, OFTEN, AND SO, YEAH, I Necessitate, IT WOULD TAKE A PSYCHOLOGIST TO SORT OF UNTANGLE ALL THE CONTRADICTIONS IN THE WORK, BUT THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT REALLY FASCINATING. EVEN THOUGH I’VE BEEN, PROBABLY, MORE CRITICAL OF HIS WORK THAN MOST CRITICS, I ALSO Envision HE’S ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING ARCHITECTS BECAUSE OF ALL THOSE CONTRADICTIONS. Mayne: I Envision ALL ARCHITECTS ARE THE SAME IN SOME WAY. I Envision WHEN I WAS A KID, I Appeared OUT THE WINDOW AND I JUST SAID, “THAT SUCKS.” I PROBABLY Told IT IN THOSE EXACT WORDS, ACTUALLY.

I CAN DO THAT BETTER, OR I Crave TO CHANGE SOMETHING. I ALSO GREW UP IN THE’ 60 s, AND THAT HAD TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON ME. THE WORLD WAS CHANGING HUGELY. Of course, THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION IN CULTURE AT EVERY LEVEL. CLEARLY, I’M A PRODUCT OF THAT. WE NEED ARCHITECTURE WHICH IS THOUGHTFUL AND RESPONSIVE TO THE NATURE OF THE SPECIFICS OF THE PLACE, BOTH IN HUMANISTIC AND URBAN TERMS, AS WELL AS IN CLIMATOLOGICAL TERMS. YOU TAKE THIS BUILDING THAT’S VERY GENERIC AND YOU START WITH ANOTHER SET OF QUESTIONS, AND THE FIRST QUESTIONS ARE CHALLENGING ITS GENERICNESS.

ARE THESE BUILDINGS — WHY ARE THEY GENERIC, AND IS THAT A NECESSITY AND DOES THAT REALLY — IS THAT USEFUL FOR THE NATURE OR THE CULTURE OF A WORKPLACE? AND AS WE STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS, IT JUST BECAME REALLY INTERESTING BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING, WELL, ACTUALLY, THE WORKPLACE IS A PROBLEM WE HAVEN’T REALLY LOOKED AT, AND WHY DON’T WE JUST KIND OF REFOCUS ON KIND OF WHAT IT Entails AS YOU SPEND YOUR 8, 9, 10 HOURS A DAY IN THIS PLACE, RIGHT? I Envision, IF WE’RE REALLY SUCCESSFUL, IT WOULDN’T EVEN BE ABOUT THE BUILDING, “It wouldve been” AS A REAL SUCCESS, AS REPLACING THE MODEL WITH A NEW MODEL. AND THAT WOULD BE A MUCH, MUCH MORE AMBITIOUS GOAL THAN JUST MAKING A BUILDING. SO, WE’RE STANDING ON THE 13 th FLOOR OF THE SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BUILDING. THIS IS A 600,000 -SQUARE-FOOT OFFICE Build THAT SITS RIGHT AT THE CORNER OF 7th AND MISSION, AND WE ARE IN THE TOWER PORTION OF THE BUILDING. THE PROJECT IS DEFINITELY SPECIFIC TO THE TEMPERATE CLIMATE IN SAN FRANCISCO. AS DESIGNERS, ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS WE BEGAN TO ASK IS, WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ON THIS SITE? WHAT ARE THE ORIENTATIONS WITH REGARD TO SUN? WHERE ARE THE MAJOR SOLAR GAINS GOING TO BE HAPPENING ON THE PROJECT? AND WHAT ARE THE WIND CONDITIONS? WE KNOW THAT SAN FRANCISCO, AS A PENINSULA, HAS REALLY GOOD PREVAILING WINDS.

SO, WE STARTED, By the start, TO CANVASS 50 YEARS’ WORTH OF WEATHER DATA IN ORDER TO OPTIMIZE SOME OF THE BASIC DESIGN MOVES AND TIE THEM TO THIS SITE. IN THE CASE OF THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT, WE WERE VERY INTERESTED IN THE IDEA OF WORKPLACE QUALITY, WHICH IS TO SAY, HOW DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY ENGAGE IN AN EXPERIENTIAL WAY, THEIR ENVIRONMENT AS THEY ARE WORKING. THIS IS LIKE DOING A SMALL CITY, IN A WAY. THERE’S 2,000 PEOPLE COMING TO WORK IN THE BUILDING EVERY SINGLE DAY, AND WHERE WE BEGAN AS DESIGNERS WAS TO TAKE A REALLY HARD LOOK AT WHAT THE EXPERIENCE WOULD BE OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO’S COMING TO SIT AT A WORKSTATION AND SPEND MAYBE THE NEXT 25 YEARS OF THEIR LIFE WORKING FOR A PARTICULAR FEDERAL AGENCY.

THE BUILDING’S SITING AND ORIENTATION MAXIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF SUNLIGHT THAT CAN FILTER IN , AND THE STRUCTURE’S UNUSUALLY NARROW FOOTPRIT HELPS THAT SUNLIGHT PENETRATE DEEP INTO THE BUILDING . Christ: THERE IS A SERIES OF VERY INEXPENSIVE SENSORS THAT ARE GOING TO BE MONITORING THE DAYLIGHT ENTERING THE SPACE, AND WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE NOT REQUIRED, THEY WILL BE DIMMED DOWN TO ZERO. THE ESTIMATES FOR LIGHTING IN OFFICE BUILDINGS, THEY RANGE BETWEEN 30% TO 40% OF THE TOTAL ENERGY USE. SO, IF WE CAN ABSOLUTELY OBVIATE THE NEED FOR THEM AND ALSO GET RID OF THE HEAT GAINS THAT THE LIGHTS MAY BE PUTTING INTO THE SPACE, WE’VE GONE A LONG, LONG WAY TOWARDS A SENSIBLE SOLUTION FOR THE BUILDING. ANYONE WHO’S WORKED INSIDE A MODERN OFFICE HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO THE OVER-CHILLED AIR OF SUMMER AND THE DRY, STUFFY HEAT OF WINTER — BOTH MAJOR USES OF ENERGY . THE SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BUILDING’S SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS FOR SOMETHING UNPRECEDENTED — NATURAL VENTILATION . IT ALSO GIVES THOSE WHO Operate THERE SOMETHING ELSE UNPRECEDENTED — CONTROL . THERE’S A GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFIT TO HAVING CONTROL OVER YOUR ENVIRONMENT.

WE’VE KNOWN THIS FOR A LONG Day, BUT IT’S A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE IN BIG OFFICE BUILDINGS. LOCAL BUILDING CODES ALL AROUND THE UNITED STATES TYPICALLY PROHIBIT THE USE OF OPERABLE WINDOWS IN COMMERCIAL OFFICE BUILDINGS, AND WHAT WE WERE ABLE TO DO WAS SHOW THE GSA’S FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEER THAT WE WERE MEETING A HIGHER OR EQUIVALENT LEVEL OF LIFE SAFETY IN THE BUILDING, EVEN THOUGH ALL THE WINDOWS OPEN. AND SO, WE’RE ON A MODEL WHICH IS CLOSER TO A EUROPEAN MODEL. Mayne: ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE ASKED OUR MECHANICAL ENGINEER — COULD WE Envision ABOUT TAKING THE AIR CONDITIONING OUT? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE? JUST ASK THE DUMBEST QUESTION. THEY GO, OH, ACTUALLY, UM, ACTUALLY, IT COULD BE — IT’S PLAUSIBLE. Christ: THE BUILDING RELIES ON THE DIURNAL SHIFT BETWEEN DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURE.

SO, IN A NUTSHELL, DURING THE WARM WEATHER IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE BUILDING AUTOMATION SYSTEM, IN THE EVENING, WILL OPEN THOSE VENT WINDOWS. THERE ARE SMALL MOTORS THAT ARE ATTACHED TO THEM AND ALLOW COOL NIGHT AIR TO ENTER THE BUILDING, WHICH IS MAYBE 20 TO 25 DEGREES COOLER THAN THE DAYTIME TEMPERATURE, AND BATHE ALL OF THESE CONCRETE CEILINGS IN COOL AIR. THERE ARE SENSORS WHICH ARE BURIED INSIDE THIS CONCRETE CEILING, AT WHICH TIME WE HAVE ABSORBED ENOUGH COOLING ENERGY INTO THE STRUCTURE THE WINDOWS WILL CLOSE AND SEAL THAT COOLING ENERGY IN.

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SO, PEOPLE COME TO WORK THE NEXT DAY, AND THE CONCEPTUAL BASIS OF THE BUILDING IS THAT WE WILL HAVE STORED ENOUGH COOLING ENERGY IN THE STRUCTURE ITSELF TO OFFSET THE HEAT GAINS OF The following. SO, AS PEOPLE COME TO WORK AND THE SUN COMES UP AND STARTS SHINING IN THE BUILDING AND THEY TURN THEIR Computer ON, THEY START MAKING COFFEE AND TURNING MICROWAVES ON TO WARM UP THEIR DANISH OR SOMETHING, YOU START TO ACCUMULATE A LOT OF HEAT GAIN DURING THE DAY. WELL, THE FOLLOWING EVENING, THE BUILDING WILL OPEN AND ALL THOSE GAINS WILL BE FLUSHED OUT AGAIN. WE CALL IT A NIGHT FLUSH. NOW SOMETHING THAT IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT IN THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE DESIGN AS WELL IS The facts of the case THAT WE HAVE A PERFORATED STAINLESS STEEL SCRIM ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BUILDING WHICH IS Shadowing THE GLASS AND REPELLING ABOUT 50% OF THE SOLAR GAIN, AND ON THE NORTH SIDE, WE HAVE A SERIES OF GLASS SUNSHADES THAT ARE FIXED AGAINST LOW SUN ANGLES IN THE SUMMERTIME.

SO, WE’VE DONE TWO SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS ON THE EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING TO HELP MODULATE THE HEAT GAINS BECAUSE THAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE IN DOING LOW-ENERGY COOLING. MAYNE’S TEAM USED DESIGN Is not simply TO SAVE ENERGY , BUT ALSO TO RESHAPE THE CULTURE OF THE WORKPLACE AND PROMOTE INTERACTION AND CONNECTION BETWEEN PEOPLE . WE REVERSED THE ORDER OF MANAGEMENT AND STAFF — WE PUT THE MANAGEMENT ON THE INSIDE AND THE STAFF ON THE OUTSIDE. THEY DON’T GET THE CORNER VIEW, THE LITTLE OFFICES THAT ARE ON THE EDGES, WHERE THEY CAN HIDE AWAY AND LOOK OUT THE WINDOW. THEY ARE ON THE INSIDE, WHERE THEY CONNECT AND HAVE INTERCONNECTION. ONE OF THE MORE UNIQUE INNOVATIONS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL BUILDING IS ITS SKIP-STOP EXPRESS ELEVATORS , WHICH STOP EVERY THIRD FLOOR AND ENCOURAGE WORKERS TO WALK EITHER UP OR DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS . WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, WHAT CONSTITUTES A HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT, WE TALKED ABOUT WALKING.

THERE’S ONE THIRD THE AMOUNT OF STOPS. YOU GET EFFICIENCY, AND YOU PRODUCE THESE SECOND KIND OF ORDER OF LOBBIES. IT’S PART OF A SOCIAL MODEL, AN INTERACTIVE MODEL, AND WE’RE GETTING INTERESTING RESPONSES BACK THAT THEY LIKE IT, THAT IT PROMOTES INTERCONNECTION. I Envision THIS IS A Build THAT’S GOING TO HAVE TO BE LEARNED, AND I Envision IT WILL BE LEARNED VERY QUICKLY BY THE PEOPLE WHO WORK WITHIN IT. IT’S NOT MEANT TO CALM US AS MUCH AS IT IS TO INSTRUCT US. IT’S SOMETHING, I Envision, TO MAKE US WAKE UP BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS EMPLOYED IN THIS BUILDING THAT WE’VE NOT REALLY SEEN TYPICALLY EMPLOYED, CERTAINLY IN FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION OR EVEN IN THE AVERAGE OFFICE Build. Ciprazo: THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT I’VE WORKED IN AND GROWN UP IN, IT HAS BEEN KIND OF NEGLECTED BY THE CITY.

SO, A BIG ISSUE, WHEN WE DO BUILD IN A CITY, IS TO LOOK AT A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE HAVE NEGLECTED. IF WE INVEST THE DOLLARS IN THAT AREA, THEN WE SEE THAT AS A GENESIS OF OTHER PEOPLE INVESTING IN THAT AREA. MAYNE AND HIS TEAM SOUGHT TO INTEGRATE THE NEW BUILDING INTO ITS NEIGHBORHOOD BY USING THE BUILDING’S AMENITIES TO CREATE LINKS BETWEEN THE PEOPLE WHO Operate THERE AND THE COMMUNITY . WE TOOK THE CAFE WHICH IS USUALLY INSIDE THESE AND PUT IT ON THE STREET, SO THEY COME OUT OF THE BUILDING, THEY JOIN THE WORLD.

THEY SIT IN THE PLAZA. THEY INTERACT WITH THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY, AND USE THAT ACTUALLY TO ACTIVATE THE COMMUNITY. Ciprazo: MY VISION WAS TO ACTUALLY BRING INTO THIS NEIGHBORHOOD A PLACE THAT HAD OPEN SPACE THAT PEOPLE COULD FEEL SAFE IN, WAS TO BRING FACILITIES FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT THEY COULD USE, LIKE, SAY, OUR CONFERENCE CENTER AFTER HOURS FOR, You are familiar with, COMMUNITY GROUPS TO HAVE PLAYS. TO Deliver THE CHILD CARE CENTER THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, SO THAT WE’RE NOT JUST AN ISOLATED FEDERAL COMPLEX IN THE MIDDLE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD. WE BECOME A PART OF THE FABRIC OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Mayne: I Envision, Is not simply DOES IT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY OF BEING A MODEL FOR OTHER GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS OF THIS TYPE — OR OTHER TYPES, EVEN, AS FAR AS THAT GOES — IT ACTUALLY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY OF RETHINKING OFFICE BUILDINGS IN GENERAL FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

BUT WE HAVE TO WAIT A WHILE TO SEE IF THAT’S TRUE OR NOT. I Pass YOU THE PRITZKER-AWARD-WINNING THOM MAYNE.[ APPLAUSE] SOMEBODY PUT LITTLE METAL PIECES IN ALL THE BENCHES, AND I Envision IT DOESN’T ALLOW KIDS TO SKATEBOARD. AND I’M GOING TO SAY NO. WE WANT CHILDREN. WE WANT YOUNG PEOPLE IN THIS CITY. WE Crave SKATEBOARDERS — THEY ACTIVATE THE CITY.

IT’S FANTASTIC. TIMOTHY LEARY ONCE SAID , “THINK FOR YOURSELF AND QUESTION AUTHORITY.” FOR THOM MAYNE AND HIS BUILDINGS , IT IS ABOUT QUESTIONING WHAT THE STATUS QUO IS , EVEN IN THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY . Mayne: SUSTAINABILITY — FINALLY, IT HAS TO START WITH AN INTELLIGENCE OF HOW WE USE ENERGY. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. AND IN TODAY’S WORLD, IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. TO THE EMBARRASSMENT OF OUR CULTURE, THE U.S.

USES JUST ABOUT TWICE THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY OF THE AVERAGE EUROPEAN. THEY SEE US AS GLUTTONS, AND THEY SHOULD. AND WE HAVE TO SOLVE THIS, AND THIS SEEMS TO BE AN ISSUE THAT PEOPLE ARE EXTREMELY INTERESTED IN TODAY, AND IT BECAME AN ABSOLUTE PRIORITY IN THIS BUILDING. Ciprazo: WHEN I Envision ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, I Envision ABOUT IT IN A LARGER VIEW. IT ISN’T ABOUT JUST ENERGY SAVINGS. IT ISN’T JUST ABOUT HOW MANY BTUs PER SQUARE FOOT WE’RE SAVING. SUSTAINABILITY IS ABOUT, HOW IS THIS BUILDING SUSTAINABLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD? HOW, IN 100 YEARS, IS IT STILL SUSTAINABLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD? Ivy: I Envision PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF THIS BUILDING WILL SHIFT RADICALLY AS THEY GET TO KNOW IT. IT’S GOING TO BECOME AN ICONIC STRUCTURE WITHIN THE CITY, AND, I Envision, PERHAPS, In different countries. IN THE State, WE’VE NOT HAD A MAJOR OFFICE Build THAT ATTEMPTS THIS LEVEL OF FULLY INTEGRATED ENERGY SAVINGS AND SUSTAINABILITY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE FABRIC OF THE BUILDING. I DO Envision IT REPRESENTS A REALLY SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD IN INTEGRATING SOME OF THESE IDEAS ABOUT SOCIAL INTERACTION AND ALSO ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY INSIDE THE BUILDING.

IT’S NOT PERFECT AS A GREEN BUILDING — THERE ARE LOTS OF INEFFICIENCIES ABOUT IT, STILL. I MEAN, THERE’S A LOT OF STEEL IN THAT BUILDING THAT’S USED IN A PRETTY ORNAMENTAL WAY TO DO THESE KINDS OF FOLDED PLANES THAT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AN IMPORTANT MOTIF IN HIS WORK, BUT THEY DON’T SERVE ANY PURPOSE. SO, I Envision IT’S TOUGH FOR SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN GREEN DESIGN TO LOOK AT THAT BUILDING AND REALLY SEE IT AS, You are familiar with, AS A MODEL OF SUSTAINABILITY OR EFFICIENCY.

IN THE END, You are familiar with, THE SUSTAINABILITY OF A BUILDING HAS A LOT MORE TO DO WITH THE FEELINGS OF THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT, I Envision, THAN WE SOMETIMES REALIZE. BECAUSE IF A BUILDING BECOMES SORT OF BELOVED AND IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK, WHETHER OR NOT IT’S EFFICIENT, You are familiar with, IN TERMS OF ITS MECHANICAL SYSTEMS, THEN IT’S GOING TO BE MORE LIKELY TO LAST. IT’S GOING TO BE MORE LIKELY TO BE PRESERVED AND NOT KNOCKED DOWN TO, You are familiar with, MAKE WAY FOR ANOTHER BUILDING, WHICH USES ENTIRELY NEW MATERIALS. SO I Envision THAT’S ONE WAY WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, TOO. IT’S NOT ALWAYS AN AESTHETIC ISSUE. SOMETIMES, IT’S A PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUE THAT MAKES A BUILDING VERY UNIQUE TO ITS COMMUNITY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT. PEOPLE WOULD WRITE AND THEY’D CALL AND THEY’D SAY, “IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A SAN FRANCISCO BUILDING.” AND, You are familiar with, THAT’S A REAL TOUGH ONE. SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO SAY WHAT DOES LOOK LIKE ANY CITY’S BUILDING.

TRUTHFULLY, JUST THE OVERALL EFFECT, IT FEELS PRETTY UNFINISHED. Man: I Necessitate, I Crave TO LIKE IT, BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND, LIKE, IT REPRESENTS, LIKE, REALLY MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND, You are familiar with, THE NEXT STEP IN BUILDING, AND THINGS LIKE THAT. BUT I HAVEN’T FALLEN IN LOVE WITH IT BY ANY MEANS. Woman: I Envision THAT IT’S WONDERFUL THAT HE USED NATURAL LIGHT. I REALLY DESPISE FLUORESCENT LIGHT, AND IT’S JUST A SUPER STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION REGARDING ARCHITECTURE AND The environmental issues. IT’S VERY CLEAR. IT’S NOT PARTICULARLY INVITING. YEAH, IT’S NOT INVITING, IT’S LIKE — WHEN YOU CAN’T SEE INTO ANY OF THE WINDOWS, THERE’S NO PHOTOGRAPHY FROM ANYWHERE AROUND. IT’S LIKE, WE’RE WATCHING YOU. THAT’S THE FEELING YOU GET. AND YOU CAN’T SEE US. You are familiar with, SO IT’S GREAT THAT IT’S GREEN, BUT I Envision IT’S OVER — You are familiar with, IT’S IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND IT’S LIKE, YEAH, WE’RE WATCHING YOU NOW.

YEAH, WE’RE HERE. I REALLY DON’T CARE IF SOMEBODY LIKES OR DOESN’T LIKE MY BUILDING — WE DON’T TALK ABOUT, LIKE, BEAUTY OR LOOKS OR — IT’S NOT A DISCUSSION HERE. WE TALK ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THE THING. AGAIN, GOING TO THE HELICOPTER. THEY’RE KIND OF ODD-LOOKING THINGS, AND THE MORE YOU LOOK AT THEM, THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT THEM, IT’S VERY POSSIBLE YOU’LL FIND THEM MORE INTERESTING THAN YOU DID THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW IT, INSTEAD OF Reasoning ABOUT IT’S UGLY OR BEAUTY. IT GETS IMMEDIATELY CONTAMINATED BY YOUR KNOWLEDGE, AND NOW, YOU’RE FINDING IT MAYBE NEITHER UGLY OR BEAUTY, BUT JUST INTERESTING. AND AGAIN, I’M MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN THAT. I WOULD BE VERY DISAPPOINTED IF IT’S NEUTRAL AND IT GOT NO RESPONSE. Ciprazo: LET’S PUSH THE ENVELOPE A LITTLE SO PEOPLE ARE OUT OF THEIR COMFORT LEVEL, BUT IT’S NOT FOR ANYTHING NEGATIVE. IT’S ABOUT CREATING SPACES THAT ARE BETTER FOR THEM. AND Formerly THEY’RE OUT, TAKING THAT RISK, AND THEN UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU’RE DOING, THEN THEY CAN EMBRACE IT. ONE OF THESE THINGS ABOUT ARCHITECTURE, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND CHANGE BEHAVIOR.

I Envision THE WORK WE’RE PRODUCING NOW, THE WORK WE’LL PRODUCE IN THE FUTURE, IT’S GOING TO AFFECT THE CULTURE OF THE WORKPLACE IN TERMS OF THE INHABITANT. I HAVE NO QUESTION THAT IT’S PART OF A THINNING DOWN OF THIS COUNTRY, WHICH HAS TO TAKE PLACE. WE’VE GOT PEOPLE THAT EAT TOO MUCH — ENERGY, IN THIS CASE — AND THEY HAVE TO BE RETRAINED. AND THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S IMPORTANT, AND THEY DO UNDERSTAND, REALLY, I Envision — RIGHT? AND IT’S IMPORTANT GLOBALLY, IN TERMS OF HOW WE BEHAVE IN A GLOBAL CULTURE, IN OUR ROLE IN THAT GLOBAL CULTURE.

AT THAT LEVEL, IT MAKES THE PROJECT MOST INTERESTING BECAUSE NOW, WE’RE MOVING FROM ARCHITECTURE TO HUGE MACRO IDEAS AND WE’RE STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A SINGLE BUILDING. AND AS THAT BUILDING ACCRETES TO MAKE LARGER THINGS LIKE CITIES, AND THEN THAT TURNS INTO A CULTURE OF A COUNTRY OR ET CETERA, IT CONNECTS NOW TO HUGE, HUGE ISSUES THAT ARE GLOBAL. FOR MORE Datum ABOUT E-SQUARED , VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT PBS.ORG . E-SQUARED IS AVAILABLE ON DVD . TO ORDER, CALL PBS HOME VIDEO AT 1-800-PLAY-PBS .

As found on Youtube

San Francisco Federal Building – Brad Pitt narrates
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