David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center Recognized for Sustainable Design, Architectural Excellence, and Community Impact

Monday, July 31, 2023

David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center Recognized for Sustainable Design, Architectural Excellence, and Community Impact

The David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center at Pocantico (DR Center) has earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition for sustainable design and operation. In addition, the DR Center has been honored with a Green GOOD DESIGN Sustainability Award for Green Architecture and the ASCE Lower Hudson Valley Branch Empire State Award, further highlighting its commitment to environmental stewardship and architectural excellence.

To create the DR Center, FXCollaborative Architects transformed John D. Rockefeller’s 1908 Beaux-Arts style Orangerie on the former Rockefeller family estate in Tarrytown—now operated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as The Pocantico Center—into a new home for the creative process. The open, two-hundred-foot-long interior was subdivided into a performance space, gallery, and artists’ studio separated by glazed sliding doors that provide views down the main axis and preserve the historic character of the building. The adaptive reuse project repurposed as much of the building as possible while seamlessly incorporating sustainable features, including an extensive solar panel array that will enable the facility to achieve net-zero annual energy consumption; all-electric MEP systems; 100 percent LED lighting; operable, Forest Stewardship Council-certified windows; robust air filtration; and rain gardens that capture 100 percent of the site run-off.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to assess building and construction impacts on environmental and human health. LEED Platinum certification is awarded to buildings with outstanding performance across various sustainability categories, including energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, and materials selection. The DR Center earned the highest LEED score of any new construction in New York State and tied for third highest in the country.

The Green GOOD DESIGN Sustainability Award for Green Architecture, presented by the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies in collaboration with The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, recognizes the project’s achievement of both aesthetic and environmental considerations. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Lower Hudson Valley Branch Empire State Award celebrates the exceptional engineering expertise that contributes to the project’s societal benefit.

“These recognitions are a testament to the collective efforts of our partners and collaborators, showcasing the transformative power of sustainable design,” said Judy Clark, executive director of The Pocantico Center. “Designed to integrate art, nature, and sustainability, the DR Center showcases our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact and modeling how climate solutions can work in harmony with a wide breadth of projects and initiatives.”

Adding to its accomplishments, the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center has been named “Best New Arts Center” by Westchester Magazine’s acclaimed Best of Westchester awards. This recognition highlights the DR Center’s exceptional contribution to the arts and positive impact on the local community.

“The Rockefeller Brothers Fund takes great pride in the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center’s achievements,” said Geraldine Watson, RBF executive vice president for finance, operations, and Pocantico, who oversaw the project. “Through ongoing cultural programming at The Pocantico Center, as well as grantmaking and mission-aligned investing, the RBF is committed to advancing sustainability, fostering creativity, and creating a positive impact on our planet and communities.”

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