ML: Platinum Mercy Corps Action Center Set to Open in Battery Park City’s Riverhouse

The $5.4 million, 4000-square-foot facility will implore visitors to take action in the global fight against poverty and hunger, and aim for a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC.

We wrote about the Mercy Corps Action Center to End World Hunger earlier this year; the $5.4 million, 4000-square-foot interactive education facility is set to open this Thursday, October 16 (which is World Food Day) within community space at the Sheldrake Organization’s Riverhouse condominiums. Designed by Edwin Schlossberg’s ESI Design, the Center is seeking a LEED Platinum rating from USGBC.

The Center’s mission is to both educate and inspire visitors to take action against poverty and hunger. Four “training towers” provide case studies from different countries- conflict in Afghanistan, government in Indonesia, global warming in Niger, and land use in Guatemala. Benches made from wood reclaimed from houses destroyed during Hurricane Katrina lace the Center’s interiors, while a Tina Fey-hosted video provides an overview of the Center’s offerings. Visitors are encouraged to take action that requires either one minute (emailing themselves information about how to get involved) or one day (hosting a dinner fundraiser).

The Riverhouse condos themselves are also pursuing a LEED Platinum rating; as you’ll recall, the exterior of the building was executed by Polshek Partnership Architects, with layouts and space planning from Ismael Leyva Architects, and interior finishes and common areas, including the lobby, designed by David Rockwell’s Rockwell Group.

The Battery Park City Authority proposed the Action Center to complement the Irish Hunger Memorial, which sits in the plaza directly south of the Riverhouse and adjacent to the Mercantile Exchange. Riverhouse’s community space will also include poetry library The Poets House and a New York Public Library branch. Social responsibility is a critical component of sustainable architecture, and, as we also noted previously, we’re happy to see the two intersecting in a number of ways through the Action Center & Riverhouse projects.

Mercy Corps is based in Portland, Oregon and provides international relief and development funding; the organization earned a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nomination. The Action Center is located at 6 River Terrace, on the ground floor of the Riverhouse.

ML is short for our weekly Monday LEEDoff™ column, which typically profiles a different LEED project generally in (but not limited to) the New York City area. You can access an archive of profiled projects via this link.

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