The Owner of this project wanted an impressive building that could be used for global outreach and education. The Owner also wanted a building that was not only sustainable, but one that would be a '100 year building.' The Owner decided to use an existing, historic structure. While a very green choice, the process of creating a building for high-end, 21st century uses from an early 20th century building was a challenge. By selecting this existing building the Owner was preserving an important piece of cultural history for the community.

While the building's use was not changing drastically, it was enough to create many design challenges. Making it a very 'green' building also added to the challenges that the design team faced. A prime example was taking a room with multiple columns to create a large, obstruction free space. This was carefully done by removing and rebuilding the ceiling above with a new structure - all while preserving the decorative moldings in the rooms above.

Finding stone that would match the existing building also presented a challenge. To solve the problem, an abandoned bridge abutment built from the same stone was found and reused on this project.