Architype Dialogue presents
Marcy Wong & Donn Logan
What was the most difficult issue about working on an adaptive reuse project or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?
When a building is subject to the jurisdiction of numerous agencies – in this case local, state as well as federal – and in particular those agencies whose purview is to protect historic landmark authenticity, negotiating the line between preserving a feature whose function has long been defunct and introducing adaptation to the building envelope to accommodate a reuse, can be fraught with compromise.
Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?
Yes. We architects went beyond the traditional roles of planning, programming and design. For example, we participated in meetings between the National Park Service and the developer of the project, Orton Development, regarding where and how on the project site to locate the NPS history museum. Our perspective resulted in a recommendation that neither the developer nor NPS had considered, and both of them realized that the suggestion to site the center in the stand-alone Oil House building rather than the main building, solved many problems.
How is your building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?
The building generates much of its own clean energy from rooftop solar p.v. panels that are manufactured by one of the tenants, SunPower.
In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?
Both of us had been faculty at UC Berkeley, which is from where and how we know each other. However, recently and currently our awareness of current trends in academic curricula is based mostly on what we see happening on the east coast where our sons have been in school. (Penn, Princeton, Yale, Columbia) We discern a lot of focus on parametric design, fabrication, and exploration of digital methods which have interesting applications in practice.