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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mar 7 2012

Architectural Record: Centers for Social Change

As part of the March issue’s Building for Social Change special section, I wrote about new office designs for several nonprofits—from the World Wildlife Fund to the National Resources Defense Council—plus one striking new proposal for a disaster prevention and training center in Istanbul (winner of the 2011 ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award).

In Seattle, SkB Architects designed a new office space for the global health organization PATH. They approached the three-floor design like urban planners, paying special attention to often overlooked necessities like office-supply areas and kitchens. Instead of squeezing these high-traffic spaces into out-of-the-way corners, SkB gave them a convivial, almost domestic allure—think indirect lighting and family-style furnishings—and put them in central, public areas to encourage employee interaction in a very calculated (yet completely natural-seeming!) way. Like expert dinner-party hosts, the folks at SkB are helping PATH build camaraderie with a well-thought-out series of congregation-worthy spots. How they keep people from abandoning their workstations and annexing the kitchens is anybody’s guess.

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