Two Sides to Sustainability & High-performance

City of Hope Administrative Office Building



High performance can be defined as “a building that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building attributes, including energy efficiency, durability, life-cycle performance, and occupant productivity”. The term high-performance design typically brings to mind images of a technologically advanced facade and state of the art, energy efficient building systems. Yet durability, life-cycle performance and occupant productivity are equally important attributes of a high-performance building. The new City of Hope Administrative Office Building, which will consolidate campus doctors and their staff, is designed with all these attributes in mind. Situated within a desert landscape, careful consideration is given to the materiality that would ground this project to this Southern California region environmentally and phenomenologically, while also providing a domestic sensibility to the workplace.

This case study will illustrate the evolution of the entire project, from its inception as a Net Zero building, to the current design which is targeting LEED v4 Gold certification. Integral to any successes this project may yield, is the multi-faceted, synchronous design process. A single 3D model serves as the environment in which parametric design evolves simple massing into fully optimized facade into contract documentation. The use of environmental analysis, graphical scripting, daylighting analysis, and real-time visualization temporally co-exist. This dynamic design process allows for rapid development, iteration and validation of high performance concepts as part of this fast track prototype project.

The final design applies aggressive and divergent facade strategies which respond to mitigate or enhance the natural environment. The programmatic and communal goals of the building planning equally influence the exterior appearance of the project and it is this push and pull that is continually informed by analytical process and experiential study. It is this duality that leads to the project’s two visual and functional identities, simultaneously echoing high performance and holistic sustainability.*1


Photo of Brian Fraumeni

Brian Fraumeni

Associate, Project Designer


Photo of Julia Ragragio Ruiz, LEED AP BD+C

Julia Ragragio Ruiz, LEED AP BD+C

Sustainability Strategist


Photo of Adam Moqrane

Adam Moqrane






City of Hope; Pedestrian View

City of Hope is one of the world’s leading research and treatment centers for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. A non-profit organization, it is also

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Part 1. Facade

Façade design exploration, modeling and documentation precedents

The concept development of the project design, specifically the digital model follows a very specific method which has been utilized and improved

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Part 1A. Concept Facades

Massing ideas surrounding program and façade surfaces.Massing ideas surrounding program and façade surfaces.

The design team’s holistic sustainability position states that the most sustainable building is the one

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There are a number of take-aways with regards to this project and its history worth memorializing. First and foremost, the commitment to NZE must be established. The design team and

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City of Hope, Gensler, tk1sc, Walter P. Moore, Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, Walters & Wolf, Plas-Tal, VNSM

Authors and Editors:

Brian Fraumeni, Julia Ragragio-Ruiz, Li Wen, Adam Moqrane

Rights and Permissions

All architectural images and photography courtesy of Gensler.


Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-058) Section 914. Building Standards.

City of Hope, “Specific Plan, Public Review Draft”, (2017): 1-2.

Gensler Research Institute, “Resilient Strategies Shaping the Future of Cities ”, (2018): 8