Nearly all of NOAA’s global meteorological data arrives here for analysis by environmental scientists, who share the information with weather forecasters across the U.S.
HOK’s design minimizes the Center’s impact on the environment and connects people to nature. Reflecting the natural patterns that are the focus of NOAA’s work, the building is configured in a series of three curved wings and swirling forms that intersect in a five-story atrium.
Continuous horizontal bands of windows on the building’s north side allow for sweeping views into a woodland preserve. A curtain wall on the south elevation consists of sunscreens that reduce solar heat gain and light shelves that bounce daylight deep within interior spaces.
Green roofs cover two-thirds of the building. A four-story waterfall moves rainwater from the membrane roofs, past an outdoor dining terrace and to bioretention gardens. An underground cistern collects stormwater runoff to reuse for site irrigation. Creating a feeling that the building has risen out of a natural landscape, the site has a variety of native grasses, perennials, ferns and shrubs.
The interior atrium is a central gathering space that encourages interaction. In addition to labs and offices, the Center includes a 500-seat auditorium, conference center, cafeteria, library, media room, data center and forecasting areas.