ZGF spreads green influence globally
By Sean Meyers, Contributing writer
Portland's 12 West building, ZGF Architects' headquarters, is one of many that pushes the boundaries of sustainability.
Editor's note: ZGF Architects LLP was a finalist in the Sustainable Business Oregon Innovation Awards for advocacy. Read about other award winners here.
The men and women of ZGF Architects LLP travel the world each year to spread a gospel of environmental responsibility in building design, but their hymnals don’t fit in the overhead bin.
The Portland-based firm believes its most powerful environmental message is the buildings it leaves behind.
It’s an impressive wake. With 460 architects in five offices, 69-year-old ZGF Architects has designed more than 1,000 structures, at least 70 of which have received LEED certifications. The company designed one of the first two Platinum LEED buildings in the U.S.
“ZGF’s culture is the Oregon culture. A third of our architects are graduates of the University of Oregon. We share the state’s general regard for society as a whole and in its communal aspects,” said Jan Willemse a partner with the firm.
He joined ZGF 18 years ago, “because I admired the thoughtful way they put buildings together.”
ZGF’s projects include the Department of Homeland Security’s new headquarters in Washington D.C., U.S. embassies in Turkey and Bulgaria, the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City and a remodel of the Amazon.com building in Seattle.
In Portland, ZGF designed the Oregon Convention Center, KOIN Center, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Umpqua Bank Plaza.
One of ZGF’s most interesting recent projects is Twelve West, a 23-story mixed-use Pearl District structure that serves as the firm’s new headquarters. The building won the 2010 Architectural Institute of America’s Top 10 Green Building Projects award.
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