Five metal facades by Richärd Kennedy Architects: Your Next Employer?

Following last week’s visit to New York-based 1100 Architect, we are moving our Meet Your Next Employer series to Phoenix, AZ this week to explore the work of Richärd Kennedy Architects.

Founded in 1996, the firm has amassed a portfolio “predicated on the idea that sustainable design permeates every level of the work, from site to landscape, building envelope, building systems, interior spaces, and furnishings.” Among the firm’s accolades to date are the American Institute of Architects “National Honor Award” for Architecture and an “Emerging Voice” by the Architectural League of New York.

Over on Archinect Jobs, the firm is currently hiring for several positions. For candidates interested in applying for a position, or anybody interested in learning more about the studio’s work, we have rounded up five projects with metal facades by Richärd Kennedy Architects that demonstrate their design approach.

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Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II). Photo credits: Bill Timmerman, Liam Fredrick, Marion Brenner

Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II), University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

The University of Arizona’s Environmental and Natural Resources II building mirrors the form of a southwest desert slot canyon, incorporating a central courtyard surrounded by shaded communal terraces. The “canyon” serves as the building’s exterior lobby, accessible by large classrooms, a 575-seat auditorium, and a cyber café on the ground level, while upper-level courtyards are semi-enclosed by a facade of vertical metal fins.

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Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II). Photo credits: Bill Timmerman, Liam Fredrick, Marion Brenner
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Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II). Photo credits: Bill Timmerman, Liam Fredrick, Marion Brenner

By maximizing the number of outdoor areas, the design minimizes energy cooling requirements while also increasing natural light levels deep into the plan. Meanwhile, the scheme’s water conservation strategy sees native plants sustained using non-potable water sourced from rain and cooling system condensate via a 55,000-gallon underground reservoir.

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Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II). Photo credits: Bill Timmerman, Liam Fredrick, Marion Brenner
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Environmental and Natural Resources II (ENR II). Photo credits: Bill Timmerman, Liam Fredrick, Marion Brenner

South Mountain Community College Library, Phoenix, AZ

The 51,000-square-foot South Mountain Community College Library seeks to merge the functionalities of a college campus library with the accessibility of a public library. Among the facilities within the center are public-use computing areas, a 200-seat auditorium, collaborative study spaces, a cyber café, multi-media hubs, and specialized zones for children and teens.

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South Mountain Community College Library. Photo credit: Timmerman & Boisclair
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South Mountain Community College Library. Photo credit: Timmerman & Boisclair

Drawing inspiration from the intricate design of an integrated circuit, the library’s layout provides “insulation between disparate functions and promoting interaction and connection between like functions and spaces.” Paying homage to the region’s history, the structure integrates indoor and outdoor spaces, with a weathered copper exterior designed for natural ventilation coupled with high-performance triple-insulated clerestories.

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South Mountain Community College Library. Photo credit: Timmerman & Boisclair

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South Mountain Community College Library. Photo credit: Timmerman & Boisclair

Cruzen-Murray Academic Library, College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID

The College of Idaho’s Cruzen-Murray Academic Library sees an insulated glass curtain wall complemented by perforated metal shade fins. The fins are strategically placed to maximize natural light levels during optimal periods, combined with a geothermal heat pump system to reduce energy running costs.

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Cruzen-Murray Academic Library. Photo credit: Gabe Border Photography
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Cruzen-Murray Academic Library. Photo credit: Gabe Border Photography

Inside, the layout has been designed with adaptable floor plans to cater to evolving technological and pedagogical needs. Classrooms are equipped with touchscreen technology, wireless capabilities, and versatile furniture setups, supporting diverse learning atmospheres. Elsewhere, special zones have been carved out to facilitate interdisciplinary faculty interactions.

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Cruzen-Murray Academic Library. Photo credit: Gabe Border Photography
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Cruzen-Murray Academic Library. Photo credit: Gabe Border Photography

Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

Part of the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab sees the refurbishment of an existing 15,000-square-foot facility alongside a 47,000-square-foot expansion. Externally, the scheme is defined by a copper alloy facade with a reddish-bronze hue, reminiscent of the campus’ iconic brickwork. Functioning as a breathable rainscreen, the facade offers protection from natural elements while requiring minimal upkeep. Meanwhile, the building’s glazed northern façade is inspired by the Fresnel lens, minimizing solar glare while maximizing views.

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Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman
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Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman

Inside, the layout caters to both light-sensitive “blind” research functions and “seeing” spaces such as offices with high natural light levels. The core of the facility contains communal spaces to foster collaboration, while three vertical light shafts break through the building and terminate in a series of two-story interaction spaces.

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Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman
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Meinel Optical Sciences Research Lab. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman

Arabian Library, Scottsdale, AZ

The 21,200-square-foot Arabian Library merges the appeal of contemporary bookstores with the traditional essence of libraries. Holding a 120,000-volume collection, the public library also features a coffee bar, bookstore, children’s program room, computer training center, multipurpose rooms, and a space specifically for teenagers.

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Arabian Library. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman
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Arabian Library. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman

the scheme draws inspiration from Arizona’s iconic desert slot canyons, in particular the interplay between the canyon’s towering stone walls and the expansive sky overhead. Weathered steel walls, reminiscent of the region’s characteristic terracotta red stone, ascend and lean overhead as one enters the building, culminating in a roof laden with gravel and stone. Inside, meanwhile, the library sees a blend of narrow slivers and wide openings, reflecting the carving of the canyon’s landscape by water streams over time.

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Arabian Library. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman

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Arabian Library. Photo credit: Bill Timmerman

Meet Your Next Employer is one of a number of ongoing weekly series showcasing the opportunities available on our industry-leading job board. Our Job Highlights series looks at intriguing and topical employment opportunities currently available on Archinect Jobs, while our weekly roundups curate job opportunities by location, career level, and job description.

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