Search results for "Solomon Cordwell Buenz"
Architects often aspire to make their buildings responsive to their users’ needs, but what really makes a building engaging remains an open question. The new nursing school on Loyola University’s Medical Center Campus in Maywood, Illinois, furthers that discussion with a facade cleverly integrated with mechanical and structural systems.
The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Center for Collaborative Learning in suburban Chicago finished half of its two-phase expansion in 2012. Beginning with Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s (SCB) 60,000-square-foot nursing school and mock hospital, the plan was to unite the campus’ nursing and medical programs. Previously miles apart, the two disciplines now co-mingle in a ground floor “information commons” and digital library that connects to nearby buildings.
Steve Hall / Hedrich Blessing
“The school of medicine is the heart of the health-science campus,” said SCB design principal Devon Patterson. Cross-pollination was an objective—the ground floor’s café and multipurpose rooms have become popular study spots. A large glass staircase situated far from the elevators is meant to facilitate chance meetings and interactions across disciplines.
But the Niehoff’s connectivity goes beyond linked spaces. Three unique facade/ structural systems enclose the building: External shades regulate daylight on the south-facing walls; the west side bears a precast core wall with an adjustable mechanical system to dissipate heat in the summer; the north side is clear glass, maximized for transparency. All three are triple glazed for higher insulation values.
Steve Hall / Hedrich Blessing (left) and Dave Burk / Hedrich Blessing (center, right)
The facades also tie in to solar chimneys that inject the building’s HVAC system with fresh air. Transparent shafts at the building’s southwest and southeast corners allow sunlight to heat rising air, reducing the building’s active heating load. Precast concrete slabs above each floor hold hot and cold water to ferry heat to and from the interior spaces.
Since the building is a teaching hospital and treats no patients (a mock hospital on the third floor features high-tech mannequins for medical training), its windows are operable—a unique feature for buildings of its kind on campus.
Niehoff’s radiant heating and cooling systems, its commitment to natural ventilation and high-efficiency glazing, and ample natural light (close to 90 percent of the building needs no artificial light during the day) helped the building earn a LEED Gold certification. For the nursing students and faculty who now call the Niehoff home, fresh air and sunlight are welcome additions to the campus.
“I think it really contributes to a positive environment inside the building,” Patterson said.
The battle to save the modernist and Prairie-style buildings at the old Michael Reese Hospital was one of the most heated in the closing years of the Daley administration. Preservationists lost most of the battle, and the 37-acre site has been largely cleared, most of its modern buildings—attributed to Walter Gropius and others—and landscape by Hideo Sasaki have been bulldozed. In January, the city of Chicago issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for development and design teams to rethink the vast site, which holds significant economic potential for the near South Side. In early March, 11 teams submitted proposals, including major players in development, planning, and architecture.
Located near McCormick Place and the Lake, and not far from the Loop, the site is prime for redevelopment—the city hopes—as lending increases and the economy gradually improves. The city purchased it for $91 million in hopes of building an Olympic Village there for the 2016 Games, a hope that was soon dashed when Rio de Janeiro won the competition to be host city. The economy was already beginning its rapid contraction, leaving the city with a costly purchase amid a weakening real estate climate.
At the start, the Daley administration pushed for a technology park on the site, a proposal the new RFP reinforces but does not require. The city expects that proximity to three universities, especially Illinois Institute of Technology, will bolster the possibility of a technology campus. The RFP calls for the creation of “high-quality, 21st century jobs,” sustainable development, and plans attracting and fostering new companies as well as encouraging redevelopment in the adjacent neighborhoods and a positive return on investment for the city.
Responding teams include U.S. Equities working with Cooper Robertson & Partners; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Forest City; Chicago Consultant Studio; CBRE with Arcadis; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Lakota Group; Jones Lang LaSalle; exp U.S. Services; and Higgins Development Partners. The selected team will be given two years to develop their proposal, though the winning team is expected to lay out phasing framework and additional development partners and financing by the end of 2012.
The year 2010 was no banner year for anything, but even with the sluggish economy some wonderful buildings opened, boasting innovative structural engineering, rich materials, and refined forms. Looking back at the year, we’ve selected some of the region’s best projects, all in Chicago or by Chicago-based architects, and asked them to share the names of the collaborators, sources, and consultants that made these projects stand out.
Below is a sample listing from AN's annual Midwest best of issue. Additional categories include General Contractor / Project Manager, Materials, Facade and Curtain Wall, Interiors, Sustainability, Lighting, and Consultants. If you would like to purchase a full print edition of this feature, please contact The Architect's Newspaper at 212-966-0630.
Civil / Environmental
dbHMS Design Build Engineering
303 West Erie, Chicago;
“In addition to being part of the initial design and planning team for the vertical expansion, Walsh Construction faced the very real challenge of building 300 East Randolph. The foresight in their planning and strength of their leadership were key to making this unprecedented project of building on top of a fully occupied tower a success.”
“As general contractors on Gary Comer College Prep, Norcon did a great job delivering a high quality product in a compressed construction schedule and under challenging site conditions.”
“Magnusson Klemencic Associates Engineers were great to work with on the Columbia College Media Production Center. For being a single story building, there are a lot of structural concerns, and some pretty substantial foundations on a tight urban site with fairly sandy Lake Front soils.”
“Elara Engineering was instrumental in realizing the complex mechanical concepts of the Klarchek Information Commons.”
After 21 years as mayor, Richard M. Daley has left an indelible mark on Chicago’s built environment. The Architect’s Newspaper asked 11 Chicago architects to reflect on Daley’s impact on the city’s architecture, planning, and landscape, and to ponder the challenges facing the next mayor.
Brininstool, Kerwin + Lynch
The legacy: “Daley brought Chicago back, in terms of concentration on public projects and the city’s physical aspects. And he helped lose the Al Capone association.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “We need to keep up the momentum for better design, and continue the focus on infrastructure and getting better building projects.”
Carol Ross Barney
Ross Barney Architects
The legacy: “I think Daley loved the city, and though it wasn’t always clear what he wanted, it was usually the right thing. The jury is still out on housing and the airport.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “I’d like to see government opened up. Some of the discussions would be fun to have.”
City Hall Photo Services Division
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
The legacy: “If I had to pick one thing that defines Daley’s legacy, it would be Millennium Park. It totally reoriented the city, and created something where there was nothing. Daley went out on a limb, took a risk, but it paid off.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “The real problem remains with the fiscal realities of today’s urban America. That’s what needs to be tackled.”
John Ronan Architects
The legacy: “Sustainability movements are common, but Chicago is different because of the top-down process. Instead of the usual grassroots beginning, Daley was the catalyst; it can be directly attributed to him.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “Daley had a vision for grand projects, ‘big thinking’ in the Burnham sense of the term. Now the expectation is that the next mayor will have a vision for the city.”
The legacy: “Daley worked to try to connect architecture to the urban environment, through things like education agendas and natural systems.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “I’m interested in the reversal of the river as an issue of ecological security, linking the ecology with the economy. Resolving that issue will impact all of our qualities of life here in Chicago.”
Dirk Denison Architects
The legacy: “Mayor Daley’s greatest achievement for the City of Chicago was raising the consciousness of ‘green,’ both in terms of design strategies and the physical urban landscape.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “Daley’s successor will have to change the current view of buildings to one that focuses on the long term, specifically, how they will exist and perform over time.”
Koo and Associates
The legacy: “Daley has made a phenomenal impact on the city, particularly the Loop. He revitalized the Loop with Millennium Park.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “Where does his successor even begin? It’s just a terrible time, especially for people trying to find affordable housing.”
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
The legacy: “Mayor Daley’s legacy in terms of the built environment is substantial and impressive. His attention to the importance of landscaping in the public realm has left Chicago a much more beautiful and livable city than it was before he took office.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “In addition to the need for carbon reduction, there is a continuous need for both city center and urban neighborhood renewal, including parks, schools, residential buildings, commercial centers, and transit system stations, which should be seen as the future of higher-density sub-zones within the neighborhood structure.”
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
The legacy: “Architects designing at the scale of a city are rare. Directing growth, investment, and energy at this scale is no small task. While most American cities have never had the benefit of one such individual, Chicago has been lucky to have had two: an architect and a mayor. We are fortunate to have been influenced and directed by the future-building efforts of Daniel Burnham a century ago, and by those of Richard M. Daley during the past 20 years. The mayor energized Chicago and brought it to its highest civic level.”
The legacy: “He’s been a true advocate for new, high-quality architecture and environmentally friendly public space within the city. He has made Chicago a role model for what quality of life in a major city should be. For those of us in the architecture community, I’d say his leaving is a major loss.”
The legacy: “Leaders who recognize the agency of design in municipal planning and policy produce great cities. In his 21 years as mayor, Richard M. Daley understood how to deploy design to negotiate all the stakeholders that develop the urban environment. For example, the Lakefront, Millennium Park, and Museum Campus stand out as noteworthy examples of how design could leverage public, private, and economic interests to transform the city’s civic spaces. His opportunism in implementing these projects and his sincere interest in cultivating strong links with the city’s architectural community will be his legacy.”
Next mayor’s challenge: “Like many cities, Chicago faces multiple urban challenges: maintaining and expanding infrastructure, addressing urban sprawl, and tackling ecological issues. The next administration can build on Daley’s legacy by foregrounding design as the principal means to engage these concerns. The city has multiple young design firms with great ideas for the future of Chicago. Local architecture schools are think tanks for both practical and visionary explorations. Both the academic and professional design communities are ready to engage the public and help transform the city. Are you listening, Rahm?”
The New Neighborhood: Magellan Development Group
The undulating balconies of Aqua are the newest landmark on the Chicago skyline, and the building has cemented Studio Gang’s reputation as one of the city’s leading high-design firms. It has also signaled the ambitions of the project’s developer, Magellan Development Group, as one of the most innovative and design-minded in Chicago.
As impressive as Aqua’s profile in the skyline may be, it is only one piece of the Lakeshore East development, the large mixed-use area just north of Millennium Park developed entirely by Magellan, which has helped infuse downtown with residents and activity. When it is complete, Lakeshore East will have approximately 5,000 units of housing—3,000 of which have been built—along with 1,500 hotel rooms, 2.2 million square feet of commercial space, and a 6-acre park. Built on 28 acres of a former golf course, Lakeshore East is one of the largest developments within a central business district anywhere in the United States. “This site was in front of all of our eyes,” said James Loewenberg, co-CEO of Magellan. “Timing and luck are the most important things. And the timing was right for Lakeshore East.”
skorburg & associates
Based on a masterplan by SOM and built around a park designed by the Office of James Burnett with Site Design Group, the project includes buildings designed by DeStefano + Partners, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Steinberg Architects, and Studio Gang, all within walking distance of the Loop and the lakefront. Aqua is only the latest amenity in this quickly evolving neighborhood. “Aqua is a one-of-a-kind building, and it’s definitely got a lot of cachet in the architecture community,” Loewenberg said. “From the beginning, we wanted buildings by different architects with different points of view. We think variety is a really good thing, as long as we maintain high quality.”
According to Loewenberg, the build-out of Lakeshore East is on schedule, with eight of the 13 major buildings completed. Though the most recent buildings are smaller scale, such as the Studio Gang–designed townhouses known as the Parkhomes at Aqua, the market is picking up again. “There has been a dramatic turnaround in the last 60 to 90 days,” he said. A new building, likely rentals, is in the works, designed by Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch (BKL), a firm in which Magellan is an investor. “The condo market is still fractured, but rentals have improved dramatically here,” he said. A condominium building by Arquitectonica is on hold until more financing can be secured. “It will come back,” Loewenberg said of the project.
Loewenberg believes that the location of Lakeshore East has made it a durable investment even during the downturn: Aqua is 85 percent sold, and the other buildings are performing just as well. And, the developer adds, Lakeshore East’s prospects look strong to banks. “There’s a lot of lending interest out there,” he said.
Even as the firm works to complete Lakeshore East, Magellan is looking for new opportunities in the Chicago area and beyond. Through working on a proposal for the athletes’ village for Chicago’s Olympic bid, Loewenberg formed a relationship with Thomas Kerwin, who was then working for SOM. When Kerwin decided to join David Brininstool and Brad Lynch in starting a new firm, Loewenberg sensed there was an opportunity for further collaborations. An architect by training and a principal of Loewenberg Architects—also affiliated with Magellan—Loewenberg believes the company’s relationship with BKL will allow it to pursue development opportunities abroad (Kerwin has extensive experience on large-scale projects in Asia from his time at SOM). “It’s a part of the natural evolution of things. They’ll go after a project on their own, and we’ll pursue things together when it’s appropriate,” he said.
Back at home, Magellan is working on a proposal for a grocery store, retail center, and parking garage to be built on a surface lot in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Smaller projects like these are part of Magellan’s pragmatic strategy. The company has a strong relationship with the owners of Roundy’s Supermarkets, and realized that the site, close to transit lines and a compact residential neighborhood, was ideal for a grocery tenant. The company is waiting for approval for tax increment financing funds from the city. “We’re always looking for opportunities,” he said.
Loewenberg credits the company’s success to following the market, along with a large measure of good luck. At Lakeshore East, good planning, innovative design, and an incredible central location might also have played a role. “My love has always been designing and developing highrises,” he said. “I knew that was a niche we could fill.”
padgett & company
Selling High Design: CMK Companies
With 1,977 units and $1.1 billion in construction under their belt, CMK Companies can hardly be called an emerging development firm. Founded in 1995 with a few single- and multi-family projects, the company quickly gained the confidence of lenders, allowing them to move up to larger projects. A commitment to contemporary design runs through all their work, which quickly and steadily began to attract buyers.
“Our projects have a more modern feeling, with clean lines that stand apart in the marketplace,” CMK founder and president Colin Kihnke said. “A lot of buyers can tell it’s one of our projects just looking at the building. You enter the unit and you can sense it.”
Scott Osterhaus, principal of Osterhaus McCarthy, who worked on a number of smaller and mid-scale projects for CMK in the late 1990s as well as more recently, said Kihnke was a good client from the start. “He was looking for something that was interesting and more modern than was the norm in the speculative market. He’s always been a bit of an architecture buff,” Osterhaus said. He believes Kihnke not only connected with buyers but also helped to push residential design forward in the city.
Ralph Johnson, design director of Perkins + Will in Chicago, agrees. “For a long time the city was pushing really retro stuff. That was what you needed to get approved. Colin really worked to resist that,” he said. “It’s been a breath of fresh air for Chicago. He’s done a lot to bring modern residential architecture back, and he’s put himself on the line to sell it.”
Johnson first worked with CMK on the Contemporaine, a highly sculptural, 28-unit condominium building in River North. The building went on to receive critical raves, and sold so well that CMK asked Johnson to design a much larger, moderately priced project, the recently completed 235 Van Buren. “He said he wanted to do something for more of an entry-level buyer,” Johnson said. “I thought it was a good challenge.” The 714-unit building has a glazed south facade with concrete balconies that appear to float. As Kihnke said, “Unique architecture has value.”
Aside from Johnson at Perkins + Will, CMK has worked with Brininstool and Lynch (now Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch) on large projects including 1620 and 1720 Michigan Avenue in the South Loop, both of which are sold out, and John Ronan on the renovation of the company’s offices. Ronan has also worked on a project in the Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean that has yet to break ground.
Kihnke believes that though the market still has a lot of excess inventory, especially in condominiums, there is activity. “If your project has momentum, you can still do well,” he said, noting that 235 Van Buren has ten to 12 closings per month. For the near future, he plans to focus on smaller projects, more along the lines of those he started in the beginning. “I live and breathe real estate development,” he said. “I get as much pleasure out of developing a 50-unit building as I do a 500-unit building.”
Osterhaus added, “As an architect, you wish there were a lot more Colins out there.”
The Placemakers: Friedman Properties
With its restaurants and showrooms, lovingly converted old buildings, and busy new hotels, it’s easy to forget that River North wasn’t always a nice place to live, work, or go out at night. “Fifteen years ago, this place was blighted. People thought we were crazy,” said Robert Lopatin, chief operating officer of Friedman Properties, one of the principal forces behind the area’s renaissance. “Now it’s the hottest area in the city.” The company manages more than 50 properties, many in River North, with a total of more than 4 million square feet of holdings.
Through historic preservation projects—like the conversion of Reid Murdoch Center from a warehouse into a combination of office, retail, and restaurant spaces—and new construction, Friedman has been a leader in turning the area into a vibrant, and highly sought after, mixed-use neighborhood. With many buildings converted to retail and restaurants with office space above, River North has also extended Chicago’s central business district beyond the Loop.
The sustainably designed garage shows the company’s commitment to adding contemporary new construction to its extensive portfolio of rehabilitated properties, as well as its continued belief in mixing uses and adding urban amenities. Built on the site of a former surface parking lot, the garage has ground-floor retail and a multi-story corkscrew wind turbine at the corner, which will generate enough electricity to power the garage and even supply a couple of electric car–charging stations. Cisterns collect rainwater, and the building will have a green roof that will be accessible to a new 40-story residential tower next door, developed by AMLI with Friedman.
According to Lopatin, vacancy rates are very low and new businesses, especially restaurants, continue to open in the neighborhood, even in the slow market. “Younger people are living in the city again,” he said. “They want the amenities close by.” With these demographic trends and the company’s long view, Friedman’s commitment to River North looks like a good investment that will continue to grow over time.
Wrigley Field may be getting a new neighbor. The planned Addison Park on Clark development, which includes residences, retail space, and hotel rooms located adjacent to the ballpark, has gained the backing of 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney. The proposal needs final approval from the Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council Zoning Committee before it can proceed, and the Alderman’s support is seen as critical to moving the project forward. The development would bring significant new density to the area, but opponents fear the retail-intensive project could alter the character of the neighborhood.
The project would be comparable in height to the historic ballpark and would be built on a combination of surface parking lots and on the site of existing, mostly single-story buildings along Clark Street. In response to concerns from some neighbors and business owners, the developers, M&R, have substantially reduced the scale of the project, which originally included two towers that would have loomed over the field.
“It’s been a two-and-a-half year process. The developers have greatly reduced the height and have worked closely with the community development committee to respond to neighborhood concerns,” said Bennett Lawson, deputy alderman for the ward.
Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), the current scheme will include 135 rental apartments, 137 hotel rooms, and over 145,000 square feet of retail space on two levels. “The project will reinforce the vibrant retail corridor,” said John Lahey, president of SCB. “It’s not a mall at all. It will be a very vibrant street front.” Retail spaces will all be accessed from the street, and second-story spaces will have ground-level frontage as well. The project’s design reflects elements in the neighborhood, including corresponding building heights, and brick and limestone elements in the facade. Lahey stressed that the project won’t mimic the historic ballpark. “It will be a contemporary building, not a nostalgic one,” he said.
Several buildings housing businesses will be demolished to make way for the project, including the Improv Olympics, a comedy venue. Lawson said the alderman’s office and the developer will work to relocate the businesses, some within the new project. Several large billboards will also be removed as a result of the development. “There will be wider sidewalks on Clark Street, new street trees, new alleys, lots of bricks and mortar improvements for the neighborhood,” Lawson said.
The developers also noted the project’s sustainable features, including several green roofs and roof gardens, bike parking, and LEED Silver construction, along with its location near an El stop and several bus lines. “Shouldn’t we have denser development near transit nodes?” Lahey asked.
Lahey agrees that the project will change the character of the neighborhood, though he is convinced that change will be for the better. “The site currently isn’t very urban. It’s a lot of parking lots and single-story buildings,” he said. “A building can clarify and organize a place. It will be a foil to Wrigley Field that will strengthen the fabric of the neighborhood.”