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Cu In My Dreams

SHoP Architects makes waves in D.C. with patinated copper and a trio of skybridges
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Located in the heart of staid Washington, D.C., SHoP Architects' 14-story Midtown Center establishes a prominent presence with a contorting copper-and-glass facade and a trio of sky bridges. Opened in September 2018, the one-million-square-foot project stands on the site of the former headquarters of The Washington Post.
  • Facade Manufacturer Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Tivitec, Soheil Mosun
  • Architects SHoP Architects
  • Facade Installer Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Clark Construction
  • Facade Consultants Curtainwall Design Consulting, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Location Washington D.C.
  • Date of Completion September 2018
  • System Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope WT-01 and WT-03
  • Products Pre-patinated copper components, Guardian Climaguard Premium 2T and AGC Stopray Vision 50T, Ipawhite Low-Iron Glass
Built according to a U-shaped layout, the street-facing elevations are defined by sawtooth protrusions on the curtain wall. The projections ripple across the elevation, originating from two corners of the facade and softening toward the center. Each of these three-dimensional units that hang off of the structure’s rectangular mass share a standard width of 5 feet and a height of up to 10 feet. While the use of a traditional material such as copper facilitates a stylistic link between Midtown Center and its historic surroundings, the metallic surface is also performative. The copper accretions are oriented toward the direction of the sun, reducing internal glare and solar heat. Each panel is clipped to the facade system with formed stainless steel angles and pop rivets. The three sky bridges that crisscross above the courtyard echo the use of copper as an exterior detail; approximately 350 vertical fins, two inches wide and five inches deep, line the skyways. Although the fins function as a brise-soleil for the suspended corridors, their primary effect is visual. A rich turquoise rhythm reflects off of the courtyard’s glass modules while ribs create a matrix of shadows below. The fins themselves are bolted to a substructure rail that is held three inches off of the glass by horizontal mullions running across the top and bottom of the sky bridges. To clad the bulk of the enclosure system, SHoP Architects turned to Spanish glass-fabricator Tvitec. For the 4,500 facade panels, the fabricator used Ipawhite low-iron glass subjected to multiple thermal coatings to ensure visibility while meeting thermal control standards. At the ground level, SHoP Architects collaborated with SCAPE to design the publicly accessible 15,000-square-foot courtyard. According to SHoP Founding Principal Gregg Pasquarelli, the design team "took inspiration from Washington's original master plan to create a building that allows the public to angle strategically across the site." Diagonal paths cut through the building, past sunken granite fountains and plots of landscaping.
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Hand-Held Engineering

SHoP Architects created an iPhone app to construct the Botswana Innovation Hub

New York’s SHoP Architects has created proprietary technology that is making it easier for them to organize materials during construction. During the construction of the Barclays Center from 2008 to 2012, the firm developed a novel iPhone interface capable of scanning facade components during fabrication, assembly, transport, and installation to keep an up-to-date digital catalog of the status of construction. Now, the firm is applying this comprehensive platform to the construction of its Innovation Hub located in Gaborone, Botswana, where on-site contractors can effortlessly scan recently installed items while checking in on the overall progress of the project.

The Botswana Innovation Hub is an ambitious project. The 310,000-square-foot facility is set to be the country’s first LEED-certified building, and environmental performance is significantly impacted by the structure’s complex assembly. SHoP designed an “Energy Blanket” roofscape, which incorporates large overhangs to shade interior spaces and collect rainwater for re-use. Photovoltaic panels are placed across the roofscape to further boost environmental performance.

The project’s complexity is further heightened by the incorporation of an undulating facade that projects off and indents the structural system. SHoP’s mobile interface plays an essential role in the project’s logistics and construction. The application labels each element—i.e AA2000—and the number of identical units. Each unit type is assigned to a specific construction crew that tracks the units in a database throughout assembly.

The interface has come a long way since its inception a decade ago. Initially a stitching together of off-the-shelf software applications commonly used by architects and contractors (Autodesk, NavisWorks, Filemaker), SHoP Architects has rewritten the code in-house, which allows for more seamless and scalable linking and visualization of 3-D models to live data. Why is this significant? SHoP can now take a holistic portfolio approach to track projects from earlier phases. In the next year, SHoP Architects hopes to implement its mobile interface across all of its projects.

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Undulating Fins

SHoP Architects adds aluminum luster to Nassau Coliseum
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Brought to you with support from ->
  • Facade Manufacturer Alucobond; Sobotec Ltd.
  • Architects SHoP, Gensler
  • Facade Installer Crown Corr; Hunt Construction Group (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants SHoP Architects
  • Location Uniondale, NY
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Aluminum screen
  • Products Alucobond® PLUS naturAL Brushed
Originally opened in 1972, the old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on New York's Long Island was given a facelift and interior renovation by SHoP and Gensler respectively in 2015.  SHoP’s team relied on the concrete massing of the 1970s structure to shape a new facade composed of over 4,700 brushed aluminum fins that wrap the building in broad sweeping curves. The project, which benefitted from a rigorous digitally-conceived workflow, delivered the new undulating facade geometry by precisely varying each of the fins in profile and dimension. Two primary fin shapes are designed from one sheet of aluminum composite material (ACM), minimizing waste while highlighting SHoP’s commitment to a design process that is tightly integrated with fabrication and assembly processes. John Cerone, associate principal at SHoP, told AN that one of the successes of the project is the new facade's reflective effects that pick up on colors of the surrounding landscape. This is especially evident during sporting events where crowds wearing the home team’s colors reflect onto the facade. The project in many ways mirrors SHoP's success with Barclays Center over five years ago—same client, same building type, similar design process. When asked what, in this project, arose as a surprise or a challenge to the design team working on Nassau, Cerone candidly said, "Nothing!" He elaborated, "As we continue these projects, it's a continuous iteration: We recycle process. I don't think this industry does enough of that." "Don't ignore fabrication constraints and input from contractors," Cerone said. The fins are planar and negotiate a ruled digital surface, which was informed by early feedback from fabricators and contractors. "An intelligence builds from doing other projects like this. While the componentry and hardware differ, the actual process of how you structure the model and develop methods of automation improves with experience." The architects cite simple definitions which they adopted and advanced from prior projects which help to automate the generation of parts for geometrically complex assemblies. "This to us was a proof. It's a great testament to not being surprised by the process," Cerone said. The design process for SHoP was initiated with a laser scan of the existing arena, resulting in a highly detailed topographic mesh surface that became the base geometry for forthcoming design and fabrication models. The framework of the new skin was designed as a long-span space frame, springing off massive existing concrete piers that were, in the words of Cerone, impressively over-structured. The resulting structural subframe was assembled on the plaza level of the stadium and craned into place. Only 32 “mega-panels” were required. "Facades are the closest you can get to manufacturing in architecture," Cerone said, "but we are looking towards using this process throughout the building. How can it inform the superstructure and the interior? We are working to scale this process up."
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Jealous, St. Paul?

SHoP Architects set to design Minneapolis’s riverfront performing arts center
Minneapolis will be getting an elevated amphitheater on the banks of the Mississippi River courtesy of New York’s SHoP Architects. The firm was chosen by Minneapolis music institution First Avenue Productions to design the new Upper Harbor Terminal Community Performing Arts Center (CPAC); a combination park-performing arts center-event venue. CPAC will create a new 2.3-acre public park on the waterfront on city-owned land that will double as a performing arts space. SHoP’s “Gantry,” a multi-story metal seating structure, will float most of the venue’s 6,000 seats above ground level and free the park up for public use when not scheduled for events. The stage, segmented into its own separate building, can also be enclosed during inclement weather for smaller performances. The Gantry leaves its structural elements exposed, and the catwalk-like design is a callback to the waterfront’s industrial past—a past that, from renderings, will be heavily referenced in the new park’s design. CPAC will seat up to 10,000 visitors, with room for 4,000 standing attendees, and 10 private boxes. “Minneapolis and First Avenue have a long history of creative transformation, and a rich legacy of music and culture,” said founding partner of SHoP Architects Gregg Pasquarelli. “We are thrilled to be working together to expand upon this tradition. In designing the UHT CPAC, we were inspired by what makes First Avenue one of the country’s most intimate and special music venues, focusing on the idea of creating an inclusive venue where everyone feels like a VIP, while also allowing for a larger, open park and green space open year-round for the North Minneapolis and surrounding communities to enjoy.” The renderings released last Wednesday were the public’s first look at plans for the north Minneapolis site, of which CPAC is just a small part. If the plan is approved by the City Council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the 50-acre Upper Harbor development would bring residential and office buildings to the waterfront as well. Construction on the project’s first phase, including CPAC, could begin in 2020 depending on how fast the development clears the approvals process. In the meantime, developers United Properties, Thor Companies, and First Avenue will be soliciting public feedback on their current scheme.
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Setting Up SHoP

SHoP Architects tapped to transform Manhattan tower into haven for tech startups
New York firm SHoP Architects is hopping on the coworking train with a commission to design and renovate 335 Madison Avenue into the new home for Company, a vertical tech campus that combines working spaces and lifestyle facilities. Within the 350,000-square-foot space, Company will house “a curated community of top-tier companies that spans the innovation spectrum from venture-backed startups to large enterprises,” according to Company's description of the project. Company’s office building is located next to Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan. SHoP has recently unveiled a series of interior renderings that showcase the firm’s plan to renovate the atrium lobby and office floors of the building. They will also design supporting amenity spaces. The new spaces include “a bar, multiple dining venues, several event spaces, a two-story glass enclosed library, a wellness center and a gym, and a terrace.” The location will also create ample networking opportunities for the tenants of the building. The startup offices on the lower floors are furnished with “meeting rooms, phone rooms and breakout spaces optimized for productivity,” according to a statement from Company. Those offices range from 2,000 to 12,000 square feet. The enterprise offices will take up the upper floors of the 29-story building with open floor plans.
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SITE On

SHoP Architects’ SITE Santa Fe expansion is now open
Two years ago, SITE Santa Fe tapped SHoP Architects to expand and upgrade its home, a former beer warehouse turned museum in a rail yard. Now, images of the newly-opened museum expansion show how the low-slung building was transformed as a polished homage to its industrial surroundings. The contemporary art museum picked New York's SHoP for an addition to the home it has occupied since its founding in 1995. To access the new, 10,000-square-foot space, visitors pass under a metal prow and through an open forecourt to the main entrance. From there, the new program includes a bigger lobby, more outdoor space, 200-seat theater, a sculpture court, more space for education, and a new cafe and store. The extra room will enable the museum to host more exhibitions and reach a broader swath of visitors in Santa Fe, a city of 84,000, and the surrounding region. “We wanted the design to lend a quality of intimacy to the space but also open it up to the energy of the Railyard district,” SHoP Principal Christopher Sharples told CLADGlobal. “Together the new galleries, public gathering spaces, and the exterior entrance signal a mature sophistication throughout the space while also creating an iconic presence for the institution as it moves forward.”
The project broke ground in August 2016, and the museum opened early last month. In all, the expansion brings SITE Santa Fe's footprint to 36,000 interior and exterior square feet. Santa Fe, an artsy city already, is no stranger to adventurous architecture and design. In 2015, designers at Ouchhh, a Turkish studio, brought wild fractal projections to the Digital Dome of the Institute of American Indian Arts, the city's college and museum devoted to Native American art. Two years before that, WAMO Studio transformed a walk-in freezer into a new (dare we say "cool") office for its practice.
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Concrete Plans

Craft collaborations elevate Thakoon’s flagship Soho store by SHoP Architects

Like an architect, fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul carefully balances contemporary and historical influences. His eponymous brand has won him fans from Michelle Obama to Target, but when it came time to build a brick-and-mortar store, Panichgul and New York–based SHoP faced a more complex balancing act. They wanted to carefully devise an interior that would reflect its Soho surroundings and the Thakoon aesthetic, all while grabbing the attention of passersby and setting itself apart from competitors.

“Thakoon was really interested in making [the store] of its place, of New York, bringing in the grit of the city,” said Coren Sharples, principal at SHoP. Concrete with dark aggregate covers the floors, and the architects tapped Brooklyn-based Fernando Mastrangelo Studio to cast multiple concrete walls throughout the store. Mastrangelo reproduced the subtle gradients of his furniture on an architectural scale, pouring multiple layers of gray-hued concrete in a single casting. “This was crazy, it was done on site,” said Sharples. “This was formed up and poured. Really a little scary, but [Mastrangelo] was amazing.”

Wood was also an important part of Panichgul’s vision—the designer had prepared a mood board with several wood treatments that figured prominently in other fashion brands’ aesthetics. These ranged from light treatments with vernacular ornamentation (what he called “American Traditional”) to richly grained and darkly stained (“American Glam”). SHoP and Panichgul ultimately chose an unfinished white oak (“American Cool”), a look that left the wood in its raw, natural state. White oak surfaces sinuously undulate along the showroom’s walls even as they retain a dry, coarse texture. The architects and client also worked closely with Brooklyn-based furniture maker Vonnegut/Kraft on the store’s wood furniture: Connection details, leather seating, and each edge and taper went through multiple iterations before landing on a design that features simple woven-leather straps. Vonnegut/Kraft’s pieces stand in the main showroom and hug the curves of each dressing room.

Extra seating is provided by travertine blocks that were CNC-milled in Italy to 3-D models provided by SHoP. Panichgul tapped London-based designer Michael Anastassiades for the principal lighting features: simple orbs with brass detailing. Brass is also used for the store’s clothing rods and the towering sculptural display rack that stands prominently in the main showroom.

Taken all together, the materials find ways to somehow be both angular and curved, smooth and gritty, even as their neutral tones give the clothing center stage. “We wanted it to be infused with material sensibility and warmth, but at the same time, it’s always this line you walk because you don’t want to overpower or dictate,” said Sharples.

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WAVE/CAVE

SHoP Architects unveils new terra cotta installation for Milan Design Week
Yesterday, New York–based SHoP Architects unveiled a “sculptural terra cotta enclosure” designed for Interni Magazine’s Material Immaterial exhibition which will be on display during FuoriSalone 2017, in Milan. Called WAVE/CAVE, the structure was commissioned by Interni as a partnership among SHoP, ceramics manufacturer NBK Keramik, and aluminum products fabricator Metalsigma Tunesi to “explore the dual spirit of design.” Erected in the main courtyard of the Ca' Granda at the Università degli Studi di Milano, the enclosure is formed in three strata of aggregated terra cotta modules, each uniquely carved to create the undulating contours of the interior space. The 1,670 units were manufactured by the Germany-based NBK Keramik, which was able to produce 797 distinct profiles while using only one extrusion mold. Fluted on the outside and laced together on the interior with an ornamental web-like pattern, each block was left unglazed and when stacked they stand over seven meters tall. The enclosure functions more like a sculpture than an occupiable space, as one’s experience of the interior is largely viewed from the periphery or the second floor of the adjacent cloister. This was essential to the design concept that SHoP imagined for the assemblage; the firm stated that it is “open to the action of life around it but accessible only to the imagination and the gaze.” This is strategy is a reaction to the speed at which contemporary life is lived—a “deliberate counterpoint to the internal agitation and disrupted attention spans encouraged by contemporary media and technology.” Christopher Sharples, principal at SHoP, said:
We've always been interested in working with traditional materials.... Today's technologies allow us to draw out their material authenticity in new ways. The collaboration between SHoP, NBK Keramik, and Metalsigma Tunesi on WAVE/CAVE was an effort to demonstrate the poetic possibilities of terra cotta while suggesting new directions for its use in contemporary construction.
Lighting was designed by PHT Lighting Design Inc. and engineering by Arup. This project will be on display until April 15.
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Phase 2

$2 billion waterfront project in Washington, D.C., adds SHoP Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh, HWKN, and others
It’s awards season, even in the architecture world. This week developer Hoffman-Madison Waterfront (HMW) announced the 11 architects chosen for the second phase of the District of Columbia’s waterfront development, The Wharf. The Wharf is a $2 billion project that runs along nearly one mile of the Washington Channel’s Southwest neighborhood. At completion, The Wharf will bring more than three million square feet of mixed-use space to the D.C. area. Phase 1 of The Wharf project (about 1.9 million square feet of mixed-use development) is currently scheduled to open in October 2017, with Phase 2 breaking ground sometime in mid-2018. “We have selected a diverse group of locally, nationally, and internationally renowned designers, knowing they will bring their talent and expertise to The Wharf, building a waterfront neighborhood that is an integral part of the city,” said Shawn Seaman, AIA, principal and senior vice president of development of PN Hoffman. Washington, D.C.–based firm Perkins Eastman DC will continue to act as the master planners and master architects of The Wharf, allowing for continuity between Phase 1 and Phase 2. Firms (all New York City–based, unless otherwise noted) joining the team are as follows: SHoP Architects will design two office towers in Parcels 6 and 7 with related retail spaces in collaboration with WDG Architecture, who will act as the architect of record. ODA will design mixed-income multifamily apartments and related retail on Parcel 8 of the project, while Rafael Viñoly Architects will add luxury condominium residences in Parcel 9. Morris Adjmi Architects will be designing their first commercial building in Parcel 10, adding more office space to the development. Washington, D.C.–based STUDIOS Architecture has been chosen to design the multi-use marina services building. Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) will be designing the Wharf Marina, and S9 Architecture will be responsible for Wharf Marina Operations and the Cantina Marina Pier. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) will design M Street Landing, the outdoor space connecting the waterfront to the Arena Stage. Wolf | Josey Landscape Architects will continue their work from Phase 1 of the project, which included the detailing of The Wharf Promenade, The Channel rooftop, and other public space. The first phase of The Wharf will open on October 12, 2017. More information about The Wharf is available here.
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Flotsam & Jetsam

SHoP Architects announced as winners of the 2016 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award
New York-based SHoP Architects has been named as this year's winners of the Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award. Now in its third year, the award recognized SHoP for their "bold, evocative architecture, philanthropic initiatives, sustainable development, and innovative practices/entrepreneurship." As a result, the firm will get to see their installation, Flotsam & Jetsam built in the Miami Design District's Jungle Plaza. In their 20 year history, SHoP has had projects built across the U.S. but has found most success in New York City. Currently, a super tall mixed-use tower is going up in Brooklyn—the borough's first. "SHoP is a place where people come together without any prescribed idea about what the esthetics of a building or public space should be, then we take complex problems and solve them with both beauty and technical proficiency," SHoP Founding Principal Gregg Pasquarelli said in a press release. "Working with Design Miami has been a great experience and a perfect opportunity to explore the expressive possibilities of tomorrow's architecture." Using Chattanooga-based 3D printing and fabrication firm, Branch Technology, Flotsam & Jetsam looks to push the boundaries of the 3D-printed medium (especially in terms of scale). The installation—stylistically reminiscent of work by Marc Fornes & Theverymany—sees a series of arching bamboo legs join to form a canopy and seating area. The bamboo however, is no ordinary bamboo. SHoP chose Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to supply a biodegradable bamboo 3D print medium. This method of construction can produce forms on an unprecedented scale, and when built, SHoP's Flotsam & Jetsam will be the largest 3D-printed structure in the world. Located in the Jungle Plaza, the installation will play host to an outdoor cultural event space. Here, talks, performances, and cocktail events will take place. SHoP's work will also be launched with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) in Spring/Summer 2017 along with a community program for bringing "world-class" public sculpture to the city. SHoP will be presented with their award at the Design Miami/ press reception on Tuesday, November 29. “SHoP represents exactly what the Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award is meant to recognize: innovation, inspiration and an outstanding point-of-view,” said Rodman Primack, chief creative officer, Design Miami/. “For the first time, we will be installing the commission long-term in the Miami Design District and I cannot think of a better practice to conceive this installation. We are thrilled with the pavilion design and delighted to honor SHoP for the 12th edition of Design Miami.”
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Vet and Wild

SHoP Architects to design National Veterans Resource Complex at Syracuse University
Today, Syracuse University announced New York City-based SHoP Architects the winners of a six-month competition to design the new National Veterans Resource Complex (NVRC) on the school's campus. Programmatically, NVRC will include classroom spaces for veteran-focused programming, as well as a conference center and a roughly 1,000-seat auditorium, both of which can host community activities, lectures, and national events. Gallery spaces will exhibit the robust history of veteran support at the school. The NVRC will offer state-of-the-art vocational and educational programs designed to advance the economic success of the region’s and the nation’s veterans and military families, including research and programming connected to the veteran and military sectors. “The programmatic demands on this building, its historic symbolism for the University, and the gateway role it will play on the campus dictate a very high level of performance in its design—a building that is at once inviting to all and a specialized tool perfectly suited for the specific work that will take place there,” SHoP's William Sharples said in a statement. The NVRC is part of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council’s winning proposal titled Central New York: Rising from the Ground Up, which is part of Gov. Cuomo’s $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI). The facility will house the Syracuse University and Regional Student Veteran Resource Center, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “Vet-Success on Campus,” the National Center of Excellence for Veteran Business Ownership, Veteran Business Outreach Center and Accelerator, Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, and the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). The committee included Chancellor Kent Syverud, J. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor of veteran and military affairs, Andria Costello Staniec, associate provost for academic programs; Julia E. Czerniak, associate dean of the School of Architecture; Jared Grace, graduate student in the School of Architecture and Army ROTC cadet battalion commander, Breagin K. Riley, assistant professor of marketing in the Whitman School of Management, Peter Sala, vice president and chief campus facilities officer, and Michael A. Speaks, dean of the School of Architecture. The process was led by Martha Thorne, dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid. The NVRC is expected to be complete in the spring of 2019.