• Heifer HQ 1
  • Heifer HQ 2
  • lobby
  • Heifer HQ 4
  • Heifer HQ 5
  • Heifer HQ 3
  • across tracks
  • entrance close up
  • bridge
  • tree

Heifer International Headquarters

Little Rock, AR

“In all of my travels around the world, the important decisions were made where people sat in a circle, facing each other as equals…” – Dan West, founder Heifer International

A National AIA Honor Award winning project, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects designed every inch of Heifer International’s Headquarters to speak about their mission. A world hunger organization, Heifer’s impact in communities starts with the delivery of one animal to one family, known as “passing on the gift”. Like a drop of water generates ripples that flow outward from the impact point, the gift of an animal creates “concentric rings of influence” radiating through a village, allowing sustainable methods taught to the original family to be passed on to others as the animal’s offspring are gifted. Our goal was to design a sustainable headquarters that would exemplify Heifer’s mission, express their sustainable attributes for educational purposes, and allow all employees to work as equals. Heifer would be able to practice what it preaches.

Completed in 2006 for $188.00 per sf, the building’s gentle curve emanates from the overall multi-phase master plan, conceived as a series of concentric rings expanding outward from a central commons that represents the “impact point” of a gift. This commons begins the public educational experience, leading to the Murphy Keller Education Center, which PSW also designed. The reclaimed site, among the largest brownfield recoveries in Arkansas, was once an industrial railroad switching yard whose tracks bisected the property. Using as industrial crusher, existing masonry structures were crushed into a gravel material for use on the site. Bricks were reclaimed for site paving, and 97% of the materials were recycled. The savings in reclaimed usable material paid for the entire site demolition.

Polk Stanley Wilcox’s design of the ringed site physically and metaphorically expresses the ripple effect of passing of the gift, which is also reflected in the Headquarters’ layered planning. Crafted to maximize sunlight and rainwater while conserving energy and avoiding pollutants, the headquarters targeted a 55% energy saving over conventional buildings and received a LEED Platinum rating.

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2009 Urban Land Institute Award of Excellence

2008 National AIA Institute Honor Award

2008 University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture Alumni Design Award

2007 American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design

2007 Gulf States Region AIA Honor Award

2007 National AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top 10 Green Projects Award

2007 National Winner award in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) $15 million to $75 million

2007 American Society of Landscape Architects, Arkansas Chapter Honor Award

2006 Arkansas AIA Honor Award

2006 Arkansas AIA Member Award

2006 ASID South Central Region Interior Design Award

2006 Phoenix Award for Excellence in Brownfield Redevelopment, Region 6


Green Business Quarterly – July/August 2010

Green Source – February 2011; July 2008; January 2007

High Performance Buildings – Winter 2008

Eco-Structure – May 2008

Architect – March 2008; June 2007

National Geographic – Spring 2008

Commercial Building Products – March 2008

Environmental Design & Construction – September 2007

North American Design – Fall 2008

Metal Architecture – August 2007

Glass – August 2007

Modern Steel Construction – May 2007

Building Construction & Design – March 2005

Architectural Record – June 2003 pp. 185-188, 190, 192

Architecture Week (www.architectureweek.com)


Green Architecture Now!

Sustainable Construction

Emerald Architecture: Case Studies in Green Building

Green Roofs in Sustainable Landscape Design

Green Buildings Through Integrated Design

Green BIM: Successful Sustainable Design with Building Information Modeling

Becoming an Architect

Smarter Architecture