Ford Calumet Ecology Center Competition  |  Chicago

  • Proposed LEED Platinum Certification

Set amongst acres of wetland, prairie, and woodland, this design for a 24,000 square foot ecology facility is a model of green architecture with the goal of obtaining a LEED Platinum rating. The building is sited along the east/west axis to provide solar exposure for maximum daylighting of the research and office spaces. Light monitors over the major interior walkways and north facing windows all contribute high quality daylighting.

Perhaps the most striking visual aspect of the design are the roof mounted photovoltaic panels and the wind turbine fields. One group of PVs are building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) mounted atop the aviary tower, which is rotated to face due south and tipped to the proper altitude, similar to how a flower reaches for the sun. Fronting the south of the building is a wind turbine sculpture garden made of vertically stacked tubular units set within reflecting pools. Positioned among flowing waves of prairie grass, the generator field is a dynamic sculptural garden. In full bloom, the wavy grasses will literally show the wind being captured by the turbines.


Local and low maintenance landscaping

Storm Water Retention via cisterns

Natural day lighting and ventilation

Building Integrated photovoltaics

Zero Physical Footprint

Wind turbine sculpture

Green Materials