Gensler Gives Back and Donates $5 Million to Buck Institute
I knew Architect Arthur Gensler Jr. was a nice guy. I could tell this by the way his company Gensler designed Terminal 2 at the San Francisco International Airport, which opened earlier this year. I was there about four months ago and I found the terminal to be very people-friendly, comfortable, hi-tech and futuristic, while obtaining LEED Gold standards.
And although Gensler isn’t the big cheese at the company anymore, having sold his stock a few years back, I could tell this airport job was part of his legacy. So when I heard that last week he and his wife Drue donated $5 million to the Buck Institute on aging, I knew I was right about him. He doesn’t just strive for healthy buildings; he obviously cares about living structures too.
Based in Novato, CA, the Buck Institute is an independent research organization devoted to Geroscience – the study of the connection of normal aging and chronic disease. The Buck is dedicated to extending “healthspan,” the healthy years of human life and does so utilizing a unique interdisciplinary approach involving laboratories studying the mechanisms of aging and those focused on specific diseases.
Gensler, who has served a total of 11 years as a Buck Trustee, says he considers it an honor to support scientists who are trying to improve peoples health. His wife Drue is President of the Gensler Family Foundation and was an early supporter of the Institute, serving on the first Advisory Committee.
As Chair of the Buck’s Construction Committee, Gensler’s experience and expertise has helped shape both the operations and the esthetics of the Institute. He was instrumental in the creation of the open laboratory plans which have been incorporated into the Institute’s scientific expansion. He was actively involved in the planning and construction of the Institute’s new Regenerative Medicine Research Center which opened last April, and he also helped champion the new geothermal heat exchange program, which allows the Institute to cut $436,000 per year from its energy bills.
In addition to his service as Chair of the Construction Committee, Gensler has also served on the Board’s Executive and Marketing Committees.
The $5 million gift, which is the organization’s largest single individual donation, will be honored by naming the Institute’s administrative facility the “Arthur and Drue Gensler Building."
“Art Gensler’s hands-on commitment to the Institute can be seen throughout our buildings and in our labs,” said Brian Kennedy PhD, Buck Institute CEO and President in a recent press release. “His support, coupled with his towering presence in the world of architecture and construction, has been instrumental in opening doors to those who have helped the Institute grow and thrive.”
Since founding M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, Inc, - more popularly known as Gensler – in 1965, Gensler has changed the architectural world with iconic projects across the globe, while helping his company become one of the largest international architectural design firms around, with 42 locations across the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Today the firm has 3,500 employees and has been involved in such projects as the Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Korea, Shanghai Towers (the second tallest building in the world) and Terminal 2 at SFO Airport.
The Buck Institute is the U.S.’s first and foremost independent research organization devoted to Geroscience – the study of the connection of normal aging and chronic disease. Based in Novato, California, the Buck is dedicated to extending “healthspan,” the healthy years of human life and does so utilizing a unique interdisciplinary approach involving laboratories studying the mechanisms of aging and those focused on specific diseases. For more information: www.thebuck.org.