SOM

SOM

12/31/07

Awards, SOM in the Press

U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters Wins Award of Excellence

Photo © Eduard Hueber

Source: Architectural Record

With the U.S. Census Bureau having outgrown its aging 1942-vintage home in Suitland, Maryland, the General Services Administration commissioned Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to design a new, 2.5-million-square-foot headquarters on an adjacent, 80-acre wooded site [record, March 2007, page 130]. A series of accessible green roofs and gardens unfold from the center of the site out to the adjacent woodland preserve, integrating the expansive, low-rise structure into its wooded site.

An iconic sunshade fronting the woodland side of the building mimics the forest with gently curved planks of FSC-certified white oak. Draping the building in such a natural material, SOM explores the language of sustainable design and makes the large complex appear accessible.

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