PROLITERACY

Location:  Syracuse, NY

Completed:  May 2012

Program:  Offices

Construction Type:  Adaptive Re-use/Renovation

Sustainability:  LEED Certified

Awards:  2013 AIACNY Architecture Award of Excellence

The ProLiteracy office headquarters is one of several anchor tenants located in the adaptive re-use of the Case Supply warehouse, a previous manufacturing facility, which had sat abandoned for more than 20 years. Located on a prominent urban edge site, the existing warehouse visibly and literally separated the immediate and underserved neighborhood of the Near Westside from the primary area of downtown Syracuse due to its dominant scale.

Beginning with the master plan phase, the design process fostered a collaborative approach engaging not only the site developer and future tenants, but also administrators and faculty from Syracuse University as well as members from the local community.  During these series of work sessions, the design team was able to facilitate and identify an approach for urban development that reconnected the neighborhood with the downtown through a series of open and shared public spaces.  These spaces were strategically created to promote community collaboration and interaction, interior day lighting and porosity through the site by removing sections of the warehouse facility that were either structural compromised, or non-historical.  Although several different tenants occupy the facility, consistency of the complex as a larger whole is maintained through the use of color.  On the exterior all of the existing masonry was refinished with white paint, and highlights of color and texture were added to emphasize key elements for the occupying tenants such as signage and points of entry.

The 22,000 square foot ProLiteracy office space reconfigures the east end of the industrial warehouse into training rooms, computer lab, reading room, and open plan office space emphasizing a team based approach. The design is organized around a two-story “library wall” incorporating digital displays as well as printed material and cultural artifacts from the organization’s international presence.  This lobby and library wall serves as a symbolic and literal connection between the neighborhood of the Near Westside and the central district of the city.  The new facility functions not only as a facility for their international business and publishing operations, but also as a destination place for educational programs, clients, neighbors and visitors. The project received LEED certification in the Commercial Interiors program.