Search results for "gensler"

Placeholder Alt Text

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sasaki fountain at Citicorp Center may be demolished
One of Hideo Sasaki's few remaining works in New York is set to be demolished as the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved changes to the exterior of 601 Lexington Avenue, formerly known as the Citicorp Center. The building, designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates in 1973, features a stepped public plaza by Sasaki Associates. As it dips into 601 Lexington Avenue, the plaza, built in exchange for a taller tower, reveals a fountain and entrances to the subway. Amid a dense urban setting, many consider the cascading design a welcome sight. Its corner location encourages passers-by to look up in tandem with steps towards the building's open vertices made possible by Stubbins's unusual column arrangement. Dubbed “super” columns, the four skyscraper supports rise above 100 feet and cover 24 square feet each. The resultant cantilevers articulate space in a way not commonly found in Manhattan and in the space, one is seldom aware of being situated below the 915-foot-tall structure, once described by critic Ada Louise Huxtable as a “singularly suave blockbuster that comes down to the street with innovative drama." This feature has prevailed for almost 40 years and subsequently, the sunken space works in an established harmony with the skyscraper. At the time of Stubbins’s death in 2006, critic Paul Goldberger called the Citicorp Center “probably the most important skyscraper built in New York in the 1970s because of its elegant and memorable shape, but also because of its engagement with the city at the base.” Tuesday's review included building entrances along 52nd and 53rd streets, as well as skylights and rooftop mechanical equipment. The Sasaki plaza, designed by principal emeritus Stuart Dawson, was included in the landmark designation, but DOB permits to alter the plaza were approved prior to the designation, and so the plaza changes were not under review by the LPC. In a March 23 email, a LPC spokesperson clarified that the permits are unrelated to the designation report's statement of regulatory intent (page 14) that states that the City Planning Commission is responsible for approving all changes to the plaza. The plaza design depicted in Gensler's renderings was not being considered at the hearing that day, a situation infuriated some preservationists who came out to speak the meeting. The renderings Gensler presented depicted the plaza without the fountain that was initially intended, in the words of the architect, to "mask much of the street noise and add to the feeling that the passerby is free from the congestion of the street." In a statement to The Architect's Newspaper (AN) Dawson commented on the situation:
I was and am incredibly proud of the work we did on the sidewalks, plaza, cascading fountain, and interior atrium of the Citicorp Center. The response from the public was immediate and strong: they loved it. As the fate of this work is up in the air I cannot help but to return to the original idea that carried through all aspects of the project: the idea of connection. At the time, we asked why not carry the fountain and broad steps all the way from street level; to chapel and atrium entrance level; to the subway level? While it required difficult permitting and multiple bureaucratic maneuvers, it seemed well worth the effort—and it was. It was a first! And today, as I learn that the plaza we designed is in danger of demolition I ask that we consider connection once more. I would like to see the plaza live on, connecting one era of design into the next. Once again, it may take some persistent maneuvering but I believe it will once more be worth it.

Christabel Gough of the advocacy group Society for the Architecture of the City told AN that the Sasaki project has "fallen between the cracks of arcane inter-agency procedures and is not protected. Boston Properties would earn the gratitude of so many New Yorkers by abandoning the demolition plan revealed today." 

According to the LPC, the changes put forward by Gensler and Boston Properties were approved by the City Planning Commission prior to 601 Lexington Avenue’s designation as a landmark in December 2016 and that permits to alter the plaza had already been filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB). Despite an extensive search, at press time AN was unable to locate the permits on the DOB's website.

At the hearing, preservationists and commissioners raised questions about the missing foundation. "The HDC wishes to express its regret at reports that the water feature may be removed from the space, which seems like an unfortunate loss," said Barbara Zay, of advocacy group the Historic Districts Council. "We would suggest that the LPC retain a seat at the table in discussions for the fate of courtyard by working closely with the owner, and perhaps the MTA, to find an alternative or return this decorative feature which provides an element of civility and whimsy to the space.” Echoing Zay, Commissioner Michael Goldblum expressed regret about the turn of events. "It’s a shame that the plaza will be changed and the fountain lost," he said, adding that the fountain was a "key element of how the public experience this complex." Fellow commissioner John Gustafsson clarified that no decision on the plaza could be made. "We’re not expressing an opinion here because we can’t," he said. The only changes on the agenda then, were to that of the facade, particularly on 53rd Street. Here, a recessed entrance would be eradicated, but the LPC voiced weariness ahead of this decision.

AN asked representatives from Gensler and Boston Properties at the hearing about why they are eliminating the plaza. Both declined to comment.

In her closing statement, chair Meenakshi Srinivasan noted that "the Citicorp Building has a long history of changes... We recognized that these spaces will continue to change." She concluded that the proposed modifications were consistent with the building's history, and retained the spirit of the original design intent, particularly with the building's zoning history in mind. Prior to granting its approval, the LPC suggested that the proposed changes to the recessed entranceway be reconsidered. But questions remain as to why a plaza so integral to the landmark is beyond the LPC's oversight in the first place. AN will keep readers updated on this story as it develops. Update 3/22/17: This article originally stated that Sasaki's plaza was not included in the building's December 2016 landmark designation. It was in fact included in the designation. The post was also updated to include clarifying information about the plaza's jurisdiction and additional background on the statement of regulatory intent. The text was updated to reflect that Sasaki Associates principal emeritus Stuart Dawson designed the fountain.
Placeholder Alt Text

Episode III

New details emerge for L.A.'s Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The board of directors for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) recently chose Los Angeles as the latest—and potentially final—site for its troubled museum proposal.

The decision marks the third attempt by the LMNA museum board to find a location for the nearly $1 billion museum—resulting in multiple design schemes by MAD Architects. The LMNA will house a growing and expansive collection of graphic art, including works by Zaha Hadid, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among others.

MAD Architects’ initial designs for a site north of San Francisco were rebuffed in 2015 after community outcry. The LMNA team made a try for a site in Chicago in 2016, only to eventually scrap the plans in the face of fierce opposition to the project’s proposed location on the Chicago’s lakefront by a local community group. Most recently, LMNA’s board made parallel pitches for two sites in California: one on San Francisco’s Treasure Island and another in L.A.’s Exposition Park.

L.A. won out this round, gaining another cultural amenity for a site already home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, California African American Museum, California Science Center, and the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County. The new museum, if built, will also be located along the city’s Expo Line light rail line, and will help—along with a forthcoming Gensler-designed Los Angeles Football Club soccer stadium—extend a leg of transit-oriented development from a growing entertainment and hotel district in the South Park neighborhood nearby to one of L.A.’s core working class neighborhoods.

In announcing its decision, the Lucas Foundation’s board of directors extolled the virtues of the urban park and its surrounding neighborhood, saying in a statement: “While each location offers many unique and wonderful attributes, South Los Angeles’s Promise Zone best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging, and educating a broad and diverse visitorship.”

In an effort to preserve the park’s green spaces, the selected scheme will include public open space on its rooftop. Renderings for the proposal show the curvaceous museum located in a leafy, park setting topped with tufts of greenery. The museum also appears to gingerly touch the ground by coming down in a series of large, discrete piers.

It’s still unclear what sorts of developmental hurdles the museum will need to surpass prior to construction, but the project clearly has a fan in L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who after learning of the decision, remarked to the Los Angeles Times, “It’s a natural place to have this museum in the creative capital of the world and in the geographic center of the city. It’s a banner day for L.A.”

Placeholder Alt Text

601 Lexington Ave.

New York's angled icon, the Citicorp Center, in line for a 200,000 square foot renovation
601 Lexington Avenue, widely known by its former title as the Citicorp Center, may be the subject of a revamp totaling 200,000 square feet, courtesy the New York office of global architecture firm Gensler. The recently landmarked building (designated in December) could see a new exterior plaza and array of terraces added if the design is approved by the Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC) next week. Further changes include an atrium located inside (and thus exempt from LPC endorsement) that will house a coterie of retail outlets and dining facilities. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper, a spokesperson for Gensler clarified that the plaza is indeed "being redesigned" as renderings suggest. 601 Lexington Avenue was designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates in 1977 and completed the following year. The resultant angular apex created a silhouette that has become an icon of the Manhattan skyline and was a feature that led the building's landmark designation last year. It's at the other end of the building, at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street, however, where the changes will be made. Critic Paul Goldberger was complimentary of the existing ground-level features at the time of Stubbins's death in 2006: “[It is] probably the most important skyscraper built in New York in the 1970s because of its elegant and memorable shape, but also because of its engagement with the city at the base," he said. According to Gensler, the building's owners, Boston Properties is "focused not on increasing rents, but on increasing the value of the entire neighborhood by making a distinctive plaza and atrium space." The firm continued: "To this end, the new outdoor plaza and terraces make room for more dining and retail options, while enlivening the staid office component. The resulting 200,000-square-foot redevelopment transforms an internally focused space into a bustling urban oasis for Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood." 601 Lexington (c) Gensler_4 Changes date back to as recently as 2010 when a new office lobby was installed. Twenty years ago, the existing atrium and open-air concourse were renovated. The LPC hearing for the changes will be on Tuesday, March 21.
Placeholder Alt Text

Tackling Inequality

Curry Stone Design Prize announces March's round of Social Design Circle members
In honor of the Curry Stone Design Prize's tenth anniversary, the nonprofit is honoring 100 notable social designers with a spot in their Social Design Circle. Each month, the Prize focuses on a specific social issue, recognizing several firms whose work directly addresses that topic. January asked if designers should be outlaws and February challenged the existence of a right to housing. For the month of the March, the Curry Stone Prize asked the question: Can design challenge inequality? Eight groups are highlighted this month, including architecture firms, product designers, nonprofits, and more. These firms each address issues of inequality in unique ways, promoting community, leadership, and inclusiveness. Members of some of the teams will be featured on a weekly podcast, Social Design Insights, hosted by Eric Cesal, special projects director for the Curry Stone Design Prize, and Emiliano Gandolfi, director of the Curry Stone Design Prize. A new episode is released each Thursday, focusing on that month’s design challenge. “We seek to increase the impact of these creative and constructive individuals by supporting them during their efforts to develop visionary approaches to achieve change,” said the Curry Stone Foundation (which supports the Prize) on its website. Read on to learn more about the eight firms honored this month. Active Social Architecture Al Borde D-Rev Detroit Collaborative Design Center El Equipo Mazzanti Isla Urbana Project H   Public Architecture To find out more about past honorees you can visit the Curry Stone Design Prize’s website here. Save Save
Placeholder Alt Text

Future Forum SF

AIASF's next Housing Forum envisions San Francisco in 2100
The American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF) chapter will hold a housing forum on March 24th titled Envisioning San Francisco in 2100 that will focus on housing innovation for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forum will be moderated by architectural historian and Columbia University GSAPP Professor of Architecture Gwendolyn Wright and will work as a follow-up to a smaller convocation Wright presided over last fall. The forum will feature a keynote speech by Bay Area architect David Baker. Baker’s firm, David Baker Architects, works extensively across the Bay Area to promote and build innovative housing projects aimed at a variety of populations. Baker’s speech will be followed by a panel discussion and break-out sessions focused on issues relating to the use of public space, housing typologies, and housing finance and design with a special emphasis on what San Francisco’s housing stock might look like toward the beginning of the next century. Panelists for the debate portion of the event will include:
Adrianne Steichen, AIA, principal, PYATOK Alexa Arena, development manager, Lend Lease Allison Arieff, editorial director, SPUR + contributing writer, The New York Times Cynthia Parker, CEO, Bridge Housing Johanna Hoffman, landscape architect, Urban Fabrick Jonelle Simunich, foresight specialist, Arup Foresight + Research + Innovation Jeff Till, design principal, Studio Till Kearstin Dischinger, policy planner, citywide, San Francisco Planning Dept. Rachel Flynn, AIA, vice president of planning, FivePoint Lennar Housing, former planning director, City of Oakland Riki Nishimura, AIA, director of urban strategies, Gensler Sonja Trauss, principal, SFBARF
For more information on the event, see the AIASF website.
Placeholder Alt Text

Honored

2017 AIANY Design Awards winners announced!
Last night at the Center for Architecture, AIA New York announced the recipients of its 2017 Design Awards. The top winners seemed to be Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with the former earning two Architecture Merit Awards (for the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Kim and Tritton Residence Halls), and the latter receiving an Architecture Honor Award and Best in Competition Award (for the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center), as well as an Project Honor (for the exhibition Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design at the Jewish Museum). The jury remarked at the international scope of the 378 project entries, which ranged from Iowa to Germany to Korea, though were all designed by New York–based firms. 23 of the 35 winning projects are sited in New York City. Last year, 31 awards were conferred to a wide range of projects, including Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed (Dattner Architects in association with WXY), The Broad Museum (Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler), and Carmel Place (nARCHITECTS), just to name a few. The winning projects will be on view at the Center for Architecture from April 21 to May 6, with an opening reception on the 21st from 6 to 8pm. An Honors and Awards Luncheon will also be held April 21 at Cipriani Wall Street The announcement included a panel discussion from the jury (composed of educators, practitioners, and academics from outside New York), which included:
  • Barbara Bestor, AIA, Bestor Architecture
  • Hagy Belzberg, FAIA, OAA, Belzberg Architects
  • Tatiana Bilbao, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO
  • Elizabeth P. Gray, FAIA, Gray Organschi Architecture
  • Anne Fougeron, FAIA, Fougeron Architecture
  • V. Mitch McEwen, McEwen Studio
  • Peter Waldman, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
The idea of architecture functioning within a wider social context was an overarching theme of the winners, according to the jury. At the start of the discussion, Waldman described how many of the winning projects were "vehicles for those who function in it... and citizenship." Bestor echoed his statement, saying how "all [had] different visions to create community in their context." Fougeron added these winning projects were "very mission-driven [citing the Diane L. Max Health Center: Planned Parenthood Queens]... architecture that enlightens and enhances program [citing the The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center], you learn from these buildings how people occupy them."

BEST IN COMPETITION

Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Executive Architect: Gensler Landscape Architect: SCAPE Project: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University Location: New York, NY ARCHITECTURE HONORS Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Executive Architect: Gensler Landscape Architect: SCAPE Project: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University Location: New York, NY Architect: Gluckman Tang Architects Landscape Architect: LaGuardia Design Group Project: De Maria Pavilion Location: Bridgehampton, NY Architect: Steven Holl Architects Associate Architect: BNIM Project: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building Location: Iowa City, IA MERITS Architect: 1100 Architect Project: Main: East Side Lofts Location: Frankfurt, Germany Architect: Andrew Berman Architect Project: SculptureCenter Location: Long Island City, NY Architect: Deborah Berke Partners Architect-of-Record: RATIO Landscape Architect: DAVID RUBIN Land Collective Project: Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, IN Preservation Architect: John G. Waite Associates, Architects Landscape Architect: OLIN Project: Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia Location: Charlottesville, VA Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture Landscape Architect: Richard Burck Associates Project: Tozzer Anthropology Building, Harvard University Location: Cambridge, MA Architect: nARCHITECTS Project: A/D/O Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Project: Public Safety Answering Center II Location: Bronx, NY Architect: stpmj Architecture Project: Shear House (Environment Sensitive Typology) Location: Kyung Buk (Yecheon), Korea

Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Associate Architect – Core and Shell: AGD Design Associate Architect – Interiors: Associated Architects Landscape Architect: ADI Limited Project: Asia Society Hong Kong Center Location: Hong Kong, China

Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Project: Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford College Location: Haverford, PA Architect: WORK Architecture Company Restoration Architect: CTS Group Architecture/Planning Project: Stealth Building Location: New York, NY INTERIORS HONOR Architect: A+I Project: Squarespace Global Headquarters Location: New York, NY Architect: Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture Project: Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Stephen Yablon Architecture Project: Diane L. Max Health Center: Planned Parenthood Queens Location: Long Island City, NY MERIT Restoration Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle Architectural Conservator: Cultural Heritage Conservation Landscape Architects: Vogt Landscape Architects with Future Green Studio Project: The Met Breuer Restoration Location: New York, NY Architects: BFDO Architects and 4|MATIV Architect-of-Record: Marvel Architects Project: Maple Street School Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: LEVENBETTS Project: Brooklyn Heights Interim Library Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Marvel Architects Concept Design and Interior Design: Macro-Sea Project: New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: SPAN Architecture Project: Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House Installation Location: New York, NY Architect: STUDIOS Architecture Project: One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Location: New York, NY PROJECTS HONOR Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Project: Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, The Jewish Museum Location: New York, NY Architect: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism Project: Penn Palimpsest Location: New York, NY Architect: Studio Joseph Media Designer: Local Projects Graphic Designer: Pentagram Project: New York at Its Core, Museum of the City of New York Location: New York, NY MERIT Architect: Andrew Berman Architect Project: Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries Design Study Location: New York, NY Architect: APTUM ARCHITECTURE Project: Isla Rhizolith | Rhizolith Island Location: Isla Grande, Cartagena, Colombia Architect: Efficiency Lab for Architecture Project: The Lima Art Museum New Contemporary Art Wing Location: Lima, Peru Architect: J. Mayer H. und Partner, Architekten Project: XXX Times Square with Love Location: New York, NY Architect: StudioKCA Project: NASA Orbit Pavilion Location: San Marino, CA URBAN DESIGN MERIT Architect: DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture Project: The Gowanus Canal Sponge Park Pilot Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Landscape Architect: OLIN Project: New York City Housing Authority Red Hook Houses – Sandy Resiliency & Renewal Program Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects Project: Buckhead Park Over GA400 Location: Atlanta, GA Architect: Studio V Architecture Landscape Architect: Ken Smith Workshop Project: Maker Park Location: Brooklyn, NY
Placeholder Alt Text

LAXpansion

Corgan and Gensler adding new international concourse at LAX
Architecture firms Corgan and Gensler, along with operator Los Angeles World Airports, broke ground yesterday on a new, 12 gate, $1.6 billion concourse expansion aimed at boosting the super-jumbo airplane handling capabilities at Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The project, known at the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will connect to the existing and recently-expanded TBIT via a pair of underground tunnels, complete with three sets of moving sidewalks. One of the tunnels will be used by passengers exclusively while the second will be utilized by the airport for operational services. Once traveling through the tunnel, passengers will emerge inside the new terminal, where the new gates—two of which are specially designed to accommodate the next generation Airbus 380 super jumbo and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jets—await. The expansion will include 50,000 square feet of gateway space, including 44,000 square feet of “L.A.-centric dining and shopping options,” according to a press release issued by Gensler. The new concourse will also feature 60,000 square feet of airline lounges, two nursing rooms, a service animal relief area, and children’s play areas that will be integrated into the spaces surrounding the boarding gates. In addition to the leisure and waiting areas described above, the expansion includes the 85,000-square-foot Baggage Optimization Project that will add a new baggage handling facility to the airport. The new facility will include an 11,000-square-foot tunnel to along the north side of the structure as well as a 45,000 square foot tunnel along the eastern edge that will connect to the airport’s baggage conveyance systems. The new concourse is designed to mimic the wave-inspired geometries of TBIT and features a linear collection of curved roof structures studded with clerestory lights. The spaces within the new concourse are designed to maximize daylighting as well as ease of movement through the waiting and leisure areas, with a special emphasis on maintaining sightlines between these spaces and the departure gates. GKKWorks will act as associate architect on the project. The project is expected to be operational by 2019 and fully completed by 2020.
Placeholder Alt Text

1300 Figueroa

Renderings revealed for Gensler's tenth tower along L.A.'s new hotel and entertainment district
Paperwork was filed this week with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning by developer Trical Construction, Inc. to replace the existing City Lights on Fig complex in Downtown Los Angeles with a Gensler-designed, 53-story glass hotel tower. The project, if completed, would add yet another monolith to the entertainment district’s growing contribution to the city’s skyline. Urbanize L.A. reports that the existing project, a 100-unit, five-story tall apartment complex, was built by the developer in 2004 and is being cleared, in part, to help achieve the city’s goal of increasing hotel supply around the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) and L.A. Live complex. The City is seeking to locate 8,000 hotel rooms within proximity to the LACC complex. A study from 2015 indicates that 3,172 hotel rooms exist in the area, with approximately 2,000 new ones on the way. The Trical Construction project would increase that number by over 50 percent, adding 1,024 rooms, and will be operated as two separate hotels. The developer has not announced which hotelier will run either of the two proposed establishments. Renderings for the proposed complex indicate that the new tower will make use of recently loosened restrictions that will no longer require tall buildings in the city to be capped by flat-topped helicopter evacuation pads. As a result, Gensler’s tower is designed to have a pointed, faceted top. The renderings depict a rectangular tower clad in riveted glass curtain walls. It's a relatively subdued design considering Gensler’s other, recently-revealed tower for the area, which is made up of stacked geometric shapes and punctured by a roughly 20-story hole. The newest project will comprise the 19th such tower for the growing entertainment district, ten of which are designed by Gensler. Renderings also depict large, ground level electronic signage in keeping with many of the other recently-proposed projects. The proposed tower, located in a new Sign District surrounding the LACC and L.A. Live areas, will bring a mix of commercial electric signage as well as art-focused installations to the pedestrian areas in the neighborhood.
Placeholder Alt Text

Facades+AM

Check out Gensler's perforated and fritted glass facade for this building in Tysons, VA
In central Tysons, VA, Gensler's Washington D.C. office has designed a mixed-use building that will house a fitness center, conference spaces, and offices. The latter will sit atop a nine-story, perforated metal-skinned podium that hosts a parking garage. The tactful metal facade bridges the two glass skins above and below it, mediating transparency in the process. At street level, glass fenestration encloses 25,000-square-feet of retail, amid other amenities—a bonus for shoppers stepping off the Greensboro Metro station which is a mere 50 yards away. Duncan Lyons, a senior associate at Gensler's D.C. office, said the building's design is “unique” for a mixed-use project and is “dynamic, yet flexible enough to attract a variety of tenants.” Floor plates will range from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet and the project offers public and private green terracing, shaped as triangles along the building’s stepped back and angled massing. The corresponding volumes are partially defined by skin, too, with various types of glazing being used either side of the parking garage’s metal facade. Above the garage, fritted glass panels—comprising 13 levels—are segmented into two volumes. Both facades employ a pattern of tall vertical piers and openings which link the levels together visually, while, according to Lyons, “providing a different material combination and view experience at each zone of the building.” Meanwhile, below the garage, a glass skin wraps around the corner edges facing onto the street. Due to the topography of the site, the glazing follows steps that run down the northside, westwards, and onto an entrance to the Greensboro Metro Station. This journey allows pedestrians to see more of the building’s street level interior as they go down, with entrances to this double-height space at both the top and bottom of the steps. “Within each zone, amenity spaces, collaboration areas, and extended terraces provide numerous interior and exterior experiences,” said Lyons. “It all adds up to a rich mixture; brings life, character, and vitality to the building; and makes the project a singular attractor,” he continued. “[The] design experience supports the continued growth of transit-oriented development and true place-making at Tysons Corner in the most responsive, distinctive, and adaptable way.” Duncan Lyons will be a co-chair for the Facades+AM conference in D.C. this March 9. He and Jeff Barber—design leader and principal and Gensler—will be speaking about this project in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to am.facadesplus.com.
Placeholder Alt Text

South-By-South-Art

SXSW announces inaugural art program installations
Austin, Texas–based South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has announced five art installations to be exhibited in its inaugural SXSW Art Program in 2017. This year’s festivities will take place March 10 through March 19 in Austin. The installations will include work by both established and emerging artists, including Raum Industries, Refik Anadol, and Circus Family. In a press release announcing the featured artists, Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer at SXSW said, "Art and Design [have] always been central to the SXSW ethos, and we have quickly become a recognized platform for visual artists to showcase art installations and connect with filmmakers, musicians, and technologists. The Art Program is the first time we have formalized the program and sought leading artists to design specific installations that we know will resonate with SXSW audiences." The 2017 slate of featured artists was selected as part of a collaboration between the SXSW Art Team and an external advisory board made up at least partially by art curators. See below for the 2017 SXSW art program’s selected artists.
  • Hyphen-Labs (Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, and Nitzan Bartov) will showcase their NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism NSAF Not Safe as Fuck art piece. The work is described in a press release as “a transmedia exploration told through a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present using a roster of products thematically rooted in security, protection, and visibility.” The group is helmed by four women of color who, through their artwork, seek to use virtual reality to insert viewers into a “‘neurocosmetology lab’ where black women are the pioneers of brain optimization.”
  • Los Angeles-based installation artist Refik Anadol will showcase an artwork called Infinity that consists of an immersive environment that translates the viewer’s perception of reality into a “three-dimensional space of visualization.” Anadol’s work also includes large-scale LED installations, including the artist’s Convergence installation for the Gensler-designed Metropolis project currently under construction in Downtown Los Angeles. 
  • Artists Raum Industries will exhibit their interactive light exhibition Optic Obscura at SXSW this year. That artwork translates inputs from a user interface into a gridded surface made up of hundreds of optical fibers. The resulting pixelated image is used to illuminate the installation and its surroundings. 
  • Artists Circus Family’s work TRIPH creates an immersive “light experience” that is generated by the physical proximity of viewers. Sensors on the artwork translate nearby movement into sound and colors of varying intensities. 
  • Akinori Goto strikes a similar chord through their toki - series #02 work, an installation that depicts time in relation to the movement of a dancer. The dancer’s rhythms are projected onto a 3-D printed mesh sculpture.
Placeholder Alt Text

Holly-Art

The London-based Hospital Club to open Los Angeles outpost in 2018
Los Angeles will soon be home to the first American outpost of the London-based Hospital Club, a private social club aimed at arts-focused creative professionals. The new venture, designed by HKS architects, would establish a hotspot for artists and creative entrepreneurs in Los Angeles’s Hollywood neighborhood by taking over the existing Redbury Hotel at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. That building, located across from the historic Capitol Records building, will be renovated to contain a slew of performance and shared office and studio spaces, as well as hotel rooms. The new complex, dubbed h. Club LA, will house facilities for film screenings, musical performances, exhibitions, among other types of cultural programs. It will also provide up to 36 bedrooms for use by the public. Hotel guests will become temporary members during their stay and will have access to the member facilities. The club will also offer a slate of member-accessible amenities, like a rooftop patio and restaurant, co-working spaces, gym, and music studio. In recent years, Hollywood has exploded with a large crop of housing, office, and mixed-use developments, including an office tower currently under construction by Gensler called the Icon. Los Angeles-based LARGE Architecture is also working on a midcentury modern style-inspired mixed-use residential tower in the neighborhood. The area also hosts a growing contingent of technology-related companies including headquarters facilities for Netflix, CNN, and Live Nation. With its Hollywood outpost, Hospital Club owners are betting the growing creative industries in the area will be a boon to business. Sue Walter, chief executive of Hospital Club told the Los Angeles Times, “Big names are moving into the area. I have been astonished by the level of development. It’s like it’s on the cusp of something exciting that is about to explode and we want to be part of that.” The club, which offers half-price memberships to individuals who are under the age of 30, is scheduled to open in 2018.
Placeholder Alt Text

Hodge Podge Tower

Gensler reveals renderings for 52-story tower in Los Angeles
It’s finally happened—the furious rush of development along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles stretching from the still-under-construction Wilshire Grand Tower has finally reached Interstate-10. The highway is Downtown L.A.’s informal southern boundary, separating the increasingly tony central city from starkly less affluent neighborhoods located directly to the south. Over the last year, as the Wilshire Grand Tower has gone up and the city’s transit system immediately below has expanded, a large collection of proposals for a new district of high-rise, residential towers has been gradually unveiled beside the L.A. Live and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes. The latest proposal, first reported by Los Angeles Downtown News, marks the 18th new tower proposed for the stretch, with at least 17 other new high-rise housing towers currently awaiting approval or actively under construction. Gensler has a hand in several of the projects, including the Metropolis (four towers), 1020 South Figueroa (three towers), and Fig+Pico (two towers) projects. SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development (three towers), while CallisonRTKL is working on the Oceanwide Plaza (three towers) development, and Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are partway through construction on the twin Circa towers. Gensler’s latest contribution to the district—1660 South Figueroa—will take over an existing car dealership lot and will contain more than 300 residential units, as well as a 250-key hotel and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor office and retail space. Broken down further, the tower is expected to contain 202 market-rate condominiums and 134 apartment units, including 23 condominiums and nine apartments reserved for low-income households. The project also calls for 499 parking stalls dispersed across nine levels of parking, five of which would be located underground. In contrast to many of the other projects mentioned above, most of which are articulated as generic, glass-clad mixed-use towers composed predominantly of vertically-extruded floorplates located atop ornamented retail and parking podia, 1660 South Figueroa is articulated as a hodge-podge of typological tower forms. The tower’s tripartite vertical organization exists as a long and narrow, 19-story housing block at its base that features balconies and large-scale punched openings at its upper reaches. That mass is topped by a pair of 20-story glassy condo towers, one canted slightly off-axis, creating a narrow and tall donut hole at the center of the building. Above that? A six-level mass itself topped by a diminutive, multi-story mid-rise mass. Throughout, the agglomerated mass of towers features grassy accretions, vegetated expanses of building mass punctured by horizontal, punched openings. Details for the project are forthcoming; groundbreaking, construction timeline and budget for the project have not been released.