When the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency chose to create a new facility, they decided to explore options in downtown Harrisburg, PA. A center city location would not only afford close proximity to state agencies with which they frequently interact, but the agency’s presence in the city would reinforce its important role in fostering community and economic development in the Commonwealth. Eventually, PHFA would select a vacant parcel, the last available site in the historic, downtown riverfront park district. The location offers spectacular views of the Susquehanna River and is located a short walking distance from restaurants, shops, and public transportation.
While the building design reflects and compliments the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood, the structure possesses a signature that gives it an unique identity. The 8-story, 163,000 square foot structure consists of a steel frame with precast skin. Self-contained parking facilities, consisting of 160 parking spaces, are located on the first through third floors. In addition, a unique “sky bridge” connects the Second Street Parking Garage with the building, permitting pedestrian access thereto. Murray Associates provided complete architectural and interior design services. Furnishings throughout were custom-made, and reflect the client’s desire to create an inviting environment in which to work and transact business.
The interior of the building was designed to provide comfortable working conditions and to maximize productivity. With open plan layout and modular workstations, the floor layouts are easily and quickly reconfigured as required. The fourth floor features a lunch room with a large open balcony facing the river. The aerobics and weight workout rooms in the lower level include showers and changing areas. The entire building, including the parking levels are designated as smoke-free areas.
Early in the planning phases, PHFA decided to produce a high performance building, sensitive to environmental issues and energy use. In doing so, the building achieved a LEED “Gold” certification in September 2005 based on the U.S. Green Building Council LEED 2.1 criteria. Some of the features of the high performance design are listed on the reverse side.