An atrium, viewed from above, features large plants, a rock garden fountain, and modern furniture arranged in a circle.

“How could a building be more like a tree?”

The starting point for this building’s design was simple and nontechnical, yet full of possibility. Of course, the path to achieving this vision was filled with complex challenges and constraints – technical and otherwise.

As this vision was transformed into an architectural plan, a kinship emerged with several of the natural laws expounded by Paul Hawken in The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability (Collins Business Essentials). The design of the AJLC mirrored these characteristics of the natural world:

  1. Nature runs off of current solar income;
  2. Nature depends on diversity, thrives on diversity, and perishes in the imbalance of uniformity. Biodiversity trumps homogeneity at every turn;
  3. waste equals food. Ecologically, all waste has value to other modes of production; and
  4. ecosystems utilize feedback to govern decision making.