Building a Model of Good Citizenship

The new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) building in Orlando, designed by Leo A Daly, keeps a low profile but lets in abundant natural light.

‘‘This project gave us the opportunity to see what different green aspects worked best for a customer-service facility, such as the natural materials and daylighting,’’ says Jennifer Killeen of the USCIS. Abundant windows on the two-story structure flood the interior areas with natural light.

The development team proposed a site that was adjacent to a wetlands preserve but also near major roads, which satisfied USCIS’s requirements for an accessible-yet-secluded location. The building is separated from the edge of the site by 30 feet of paving that forms a runoff buffer zone to the protected wetland.

A bold clay masonry wall defines the entrance to the USCIS building, and is a reference to the Spanish Colonial architectural heritage of the Orlando area.

The butterfly roof, which shades the southern exposure, helps the structure read as two interconnected elements instead of one big building.

The USCIS entryway was designed to be open and welcoming.

In interior areas, Solatube modules augment natural light levels.

Inside the USCIS building in Orlando, natural light floods public spaces such as the visitor waiting room.

Public waiting areas are purposefully bright and airy.

The overall design of the building is meant to create a more approachable, less monolithic structure.

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