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  • Arizona Contractor & Community

Building Team Creates Mindful Spiritual Foundation Headquarters

Douglas Towne

There are projects that end up being memorable in hindsight and those that feel extraordinary from the start. For Brianna Moore, there was an undeniable gravitational pull from the get-go to be part of the group putting together TSG Foundation's new headquarters, currently under construction in Scottsdale.

“The project started development in 2018, during my first year as a design engineer," says Moore, a mechanical engineer at DHE Engineering in Phoenix. “Nate Jones, DHE's Principal, described the project as a building that would be part of the earth, and introduced us to the living building principles. I immediately asked to be put on the team.”

A unique building was needed for the TSG Foundation, a center for spiritual development dedicated to further the self-actualization teachings of Torkom Saraydarian. The Armenian immigrant taught a comprehensive spiritual education program of life enhancement beliefs until he passed away in Sedona in 1997. During his 80 years, Saraydarian wrote 170 books and composed numerous musical pieces after mastering the violin, piano, oud, cello, and guitar.

The TSG Foundation contracted with architectural firm Orcutt Winslow to design their 13,800 square-foot headquarters. The design will pursue Living Building Petal Certification with a focus on Energy Petal and Net Positive Energy. “The project approach is to be truly regenerative in how the building interacts with the surrounding site, which is a beautiful desert property in North Scottsdale,” says Ashley Mulhall, senior associate at Orcutt Winslow. “We are being mindful of preserving and restoring natural water flows, restoring desert habitat, and maintaining beautiful views with bird-friendly glass.”

According to Orcutt Winslow, the building will be infused with a sense of health and wellness that leverages the natural environment by creating meaningful and valuable connections to the outdoors on an 11-acre parcel. The structure will be axially rotated on the site to welcome southern winter sunlight, northern views of the Carefree Mountains, and opportunities for nighttime star viewing events. The exterior will consist of regional materials, including concrete, masonry, rammed earth, weathered zinc panels, and steel.

To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.

This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Sep/Oct 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 5.


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