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  The Flinn Foundation, Page 46The Flinn Foundation
The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership, 1130 North Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phoenix, Arizona
Total Square Feet: 16,880
Construction Period: Mar 1999 to Dec 1999

Construction Team
General Contractor: Wespac Construction, Inc. - 9440 North 26th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85028
Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott, Inc. - 2702 North 44th Street, #200, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Sullivan Designs, Inc. - 7878 North 16th Street, #270, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Landscape Architect: Laskin And Associates, Inc. - 5112 North 40th Street, #202, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Cost Estimator: The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership - 1130 North Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The design of the Flinn Foundation's new headquarters is based upon the notion of Urban Philanthropy. Like a philanthropist, this building addresses the conditions that surround it, and gives itself over to the scale of the neighborhood and to the landscape of the central corridor.

Organizing elements of street-lawn-building-parking across were dispersed on the site rather than using conventional organization, which would turn it's back upon the Willow neighborhood. By choosing this strategy, the design creates smaller, scaled courtyards of lawn, building, and parking, producing a building with no back. This configuration results not in an object building, but a building that is inextricably woven into the landscape.

The experience of the building begins with a choreographed drive descending from Central Avenue to the entry of the building. This effectively removes the visitor from the urban condition of Central Avenue and places them into a more bucolic landscape. As one moves through the site, they are transferred from the monumental scale of Central Avenue to the more intimate scale of the Willow neighborhood. The Flinn Foundation can be perceived as pavilions set within a landscape that joins the Willow neighborhood to the Central Avenue corridor.

The building and the landscape are considered as one in this project. This is most evident in the relationship between the interior of the east and west ends of the building as they are connected to their respective courtyards. The courtyards effectively become part of the interior experience. 

The Flinn Foundation envisioned a quiet, retreat-like property that blended with the surroundings; with gardens and courtyards that would be conducive to thoughtful discussion at the building's meeting facilities - despite the property fronting the busy thoroughfare of Central Avenue.

The site was challenging - a long, narrow rectangle 165-feet of north-south frontage along the central corridor and over 550-feet of east-west length. The site was sandwiched between a sleek, marble-facade, 30-story office tower to the north; a 2-story modern art museum to the east; a historic residential neighborhood to the west; and a modest, 2-floor brick commercial office building to the south.

This was masterfully accomplished by plotting the building onto the center of the rectangular property, set back from Central Avenue, and having visiting vehicles descend into a parking lot that is below grade, hidden from passersby.

Natural colors and patterned, stone-like masonry combined with the floating, uplifted roofline and extensive use of glass create a pavilion-like structure woven into a landscape of sunken gardens and courtyards.

Instead of obtrusive pole lights, 48-inch box trees were planted and equipped with uplighting to illuminate the tree canopies which created a soft level of light on the ground below. Accent lighting is placed at specific moments around the site such as the water fountain, main entrance and sculpture created by Arizona-artist John Waddell.

The Flinn Foundation office building met the needs of the client, contributed to the surrounding neighborhood, promoted creative and efficient design, while it gave the general contractor an opportunity to construct a unique building on time and within budget.

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