Search results for "gensler"

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Fittings and Furniture

Price Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine by Payette with Valley City Architectural Furniture
Robert Benson Photography



Edelman Leather
979 3rd Ave., New York

404 Park Ave. South, New York

National Interiors
145 Palisade St.
Dobbs Ferry, NY

Shaw Floors
616 East Walnut Ave.
Dalton, GA


Ferguson Cox Associates
1410 Ridge Rd.
North Haven, CT

WB Wood
100 5th Ave., New York


88 Franklin St., New York

Geiger International
6095 Fulton Industrial Blvd. SW
Atlanta, GA

900 12th St. Dr. NW
Hickory, NC

Karl Glave
738 Grand St., Brooklyn

71 W. 23rd St., New York

76 9th Ave., New York

Buyukdere Caddesi 173
Levent Pl. 13, levent 34330
Istanbul, Turkey

Moroso dba Unifor
146 Greene St., New York

Poltrona Frau
141 Wooster St., New York

RG Furniture Design
410 17th St., Brooklyn

Tomas Daskam

Valley City Architectural
64 Hatt St.
Dundas, Ontario


1 Bishop Ln.
Madison, CT

25 East 26th St., New York

1902 Airport Rd.
Monroe, NC

100 Sargent Dr.
New Haven, CT

Von Duprin
2720 Tobey Dr.
Indianapolis, IN


AF New York
22 W. 21st St., New York

578 Broadway, New York

Clivus Multrum
15 Union St.
Lawrence, MA

5 Tudor City Pl., New York

105 Madison Ave., New York

Harbour Food Service Equipment
229 Marginal St.
Chelsea, MA

John Boos + Co.
315 S. 1st St.
Effingham, IL

150 East 58th St., New York

Sam Tell & Son
300 Smith St.
Farmingdale, NY

469 Broome St., New York



chelsea modern by audrey matlock architect with mob a.s.

 “Karl Glave makes beautiful handcrafted wood furniture to detailed specifications. He gives lots of attention to each project and guides you along the potentials of traditional wood fabrication.”
Bradley Horn

“The JWT offices were very complex in terms of furniture. WB Wood and project manager Denise Daur were critical teammates who understood the local conditions and did all of the procurement and installations.”
Neil Muntzel
Clive Wilkinson Architects 

MOB A.S. can do an entire interior finish. They do lights, beds, cabinetry—everything. They’re a one-stop shop. At the Chelsea Modern, they did the cabinets. They’re very good, and because they’re in Turkey, the pricing is right. They do work all over the world, so they’re very capable.”
Audrey Matlock
Audrey Matlock Architect

“The casework design at Albert Einstein was executed wonderfully by Valley City. They bring a high level of craft to the work they do. It’s adaptable and flexible enough to accommodate changing research.”
Chris Baylow

“Everyone does plated brass or aluminum, but Dornbracht offered nickel silver, even on pieces they don’t normally do because of the scale and nature of the project. It was perfect for the modern-but-traditional look we were after at Guerlain’s Waldorf Astoria Spa.”
Christopher King
AC Martin

queens botanical garden visitor and administration center by bksk architects with shaw floors

“At Bank of America we did work with one consultant that we don’t always use: a furniture consultant, Ferguson Cox Associates. We also worked with them on the New York Times Building. They bring a lot of value and support, not only with coordination and installation, which is no small task, but they also bring intelligence to the team in terms of offering furniture from a design point of view.”
Rocco Giannetti

Shaw Floors’ cradle-to-cradle products hit all the notes on sustainability at the Queens Botanical Garden. It was as if the garden came right into the conference room.”
Julia Nelson
BKSK Architects

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Bank of America Headquarters, One Bryant Park by Gensler with HDLC Architectural Lighting
Courtesy Gensler



Aurora Lampworks
172 North 11th St., Brooklyn

Bonilla Dacey Design Group
1275 15th St.
Fort Lee, NJ

Brandston Partnership
122 West 26th St., New York

Fisher Marantz Stone
22 West 19th St., New York

HDLC Architectural Lighting
10 East 38th St., New York

Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
200 Park Ave. South, New York

Johnson Light Studio
335 West 38th St., New York

Lighting Workshop
20 Jay St., Brooklyn

256 Hanover St.
Boston, MA

Office for Visual Interaction
207 West 25th St., New York

Renfro Design Group
15 East 32nd St., New York

Sachs Morgan Studio
224 West 30th St., New York

Susan Brady Lighting Design
132 West 36th St., New York


46 Greene St., New York

Boyd Lighting
944 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA

Broome Lampshade
325 Broome St., New York

950 Bolger Ct.
St. Louis, MO

Liberty Lighting Group
100 Passaic Ave.
Chatham, NJ

Lido Lighting
966 Grand Blvd.
Deer Park, NY

7200 Suter Rd.
Coopersburg, PA

Michiko Sakano Glass
1155 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn

O’Lampia Studio
155 Bowery, New York

5 Lumen Ln.
Highland, NY

Vision Quest Lighting
90 13th Ave.
Ronkonkoma, NY

Zumtobel Lighting
44 West 18th St., New York


scottsdale museum of contemporary art installation by studio luz with crosslink
COURTESY studio luz

“For our exhibit installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, we worked with Crosslink to develop a canopy with an integrated lighting system. It’s an electroluminescent film printed on fabric that’s flexible and very beautiful. They’re currently deploying the concept for military tent structures in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Hansy Better Barraza
Studio Luz Architects 

Michiko Sakano is amazing. She works on projects for the Smithsonian Museum as well as artists around the world. I believe she is one of the best glass designers and blowers in the world. Not only did she do our custom lighting at I Sodi but also vases, sconces, and even glasses for the bar.”
Josh Dworkis
Isadore Design Build 

“In addition to design, Bill Pierro is also a lighting consultant, so Lido Lighting is like one-stop shopping. He’ll come up with new products and solutions that will work for different situations. We used them to figure out the lighting in Bar Blanc and also the townhouse, and almost every project. “
Will Meyer
Meyer Davis Studio 

Aurora created very thin pancake electrical boxes that could be hidden in the historical fixtures at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and even got them UL certified. And they got a great patination on the replicas they made.”
Jill Gotthelf
Walter Sedovic Architects

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New Broad in Town
The Broad building would occupy one or two parcels within Beverly Hills' proposed Gateway Project, shown in the massing model above.
Courtesy City of Beverly Hills

Last month AN reported on philanthropist Eli Broad’s new plan for a museum in Beverly Hills, on the western edge of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards. If approved, the five-story building would contain 118,500 square feet of office space on four levels and 68,000 square feet of museum gallery space, archives, and street-level retail.

Now AN has learned from a source that the shortlist for an invited competition to design the museum includes Thom Mayne, Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban, Rafael Viñoly, and Christian de Portzamparc. The architects will present schemes in mid-February. Advisors to the competition include Frank Gehry, long associated with various Broad undertakings; critic Joseph Giovannini; Joanne Heyler (Director/Chief Curator for the Broad Foundation), and Marcy Goodwin (museum planning consultant).

The new project would become the permanent home for the Broad Collections, with over 2,000 artworks, and would also house a research and study center, as well as the Broad Art Foundation’s administrative headquarters. The foundation currently uses a building in Santa Monica for offices and a gallery, which is only open by appointment.

Gensler, which was Executive Architect of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), has been consulting on the project for the last few months to help devise programming and conceptual design. The firm confirmed that if approved, the new project would be located on one or two parcels of a three-parcel site at the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards currently reserved for commercial and retail development and known as “The Gateway.” The long, linear building would have an unobstructed floor plate and mediate between the busy nature of Santa Monica Boulevard and the pedestrian-oriented Little Santa Monica Boulevard.

Broad, recently in the news for bailing out the ailing Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to the tune of $15 million, only just cut the ribbon on the $56 million Renzo Piano–designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—also on Wilshire Boulevard—last year. The Broad foundation could not be reached for further comment on the project.

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Great Tall of China
More than 2,000 feet tall, the Shanghai Tower (right), will surpass its neighbors, the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center.
Courtesy Gensler

Eighteen years ago, the Luijiazui finance and trade zone of Shanghai’s Pudong district was nothing more than farmland. Today, Pudong is Shanghai’s bustling financial center and newly-dubbed “Supertall District,” a designation soon to be reinforced by Gensler’s Shanghai Tower, a 2,073-foot building that will be the tallest in China and the second tallest in the world.

Some might think that with the global economic downturn in full effect it would be a poor time to begin construction on such a tower, which broke ground on November 29. But firm founder and chairman Arthur Gensler disagrees. “By 2014 (when the building is done) the economy should be really booming,” he said. All those big international firms that are pulling back right now will be looking for space and making deals in two or three years; they'll be looking to expand into China again.” 

Also working in Gensler’s favor are the falling costs of materials—most notably steel—which may result in that rarest of architectural feats: a project that comes in under budget. “We really believe that we'll bring it in at 30 percent below budget,” said Gensler.

The firm's Shanghai office beat out four international offices and five Chinese architecture institutes with a spiraling glass office tower whose startling transparency sets a new precedent for Shanghai. The building’s 120-degree twisting form was derived from multiple wind-tunnel tests, and the carefully-optimized enclosure reduces wind loads on the building by 20 percent. However, this striking envelope is only the outer layer of a double-skinned building. An inner skin encloses nine stacked cylindrical towers, and between these dual enclosures, eight atria divide the Shanghai Tower vertically. These “sky gardens” were derived from a building code requirement for areas of refuge, but have been expanded to provide green space, basic commercial services, and to accommodate the HVAC system for the floors above.

Along with its local partner, the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University, Gensler hopes to achieve certification from both the China Green Building Council and the U.S. Green Building Council, so the sustainable elements of the building don’t end with the sky-garden trees. Wind turbines will generate on-site power, and a spiraling parapet will capture rainwater for reuse within the building. A glazed multi-level retail podium will mitigate the building’s massive scale at ground level, standing in stark contrast to the heavy, bomb-shielding bases of neighboring highrises.

The Shanghai Tower will complete a super-tall triumvirate that includes the 88-story Jin Mao Tower, designed by SOM and finished in 1999, and the recently-opened, KPF-designed Shanghai World Financial Center: “the past, the present, and the future,” as Art Gensler described the trio.

Broad-Based Powers

More details have emerged about LA philanthropist Eli Broad’s latest art venture: a new museum in Beverly Hills on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. The project first came to light in October, when Broad’s lawyer informed the Beverly Hills city manager about the plan.

In a December 9 letter to the Beverly Hills Planning Department, Broad’s lawyer, Thomas Levyn, specified that Broad’s “Museum Project” would become the permanent home for the Broad Collections (which contain over 2,000 artworks) and would also house a research and study center as well as the Broad Art Foundation’s administrative headquarters. The foundation currently uses a building in Santa Monica for offices and a gallery, which is only open by reservation.

According to the letter the new five-story building, whose height would measure no more than 68 feet, would contain 118,500 square feet of office space on four levels and 68,000 square feet of museum gallery space, archives, and street-level retail (including a museum store). The public galleries, stepped back from the street to provide open space at the area’s intersection, would “display rotating installations of works form the Broad Collections, as well as loans from other collections. The building would also include 273 below-ground parking spaces.

A story in the Beverly Hills Courier noted that if approved the new project would be located on a three-parcel site currently reserved for commercial and retail development now known as the “Gateway.” According to that story, the city of Beverly Hills is now considering an art museum as an alternative to office uses. In the October letter to the city manager it was noted that Broad has hired Gensler’s Marty Borko to advise him on the project. Gensler would not comment on their involvement at this time.

Broad, recently in the news for offering a $30 million contribution to help save the ailing Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, just opened his new $56 million Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—also on Wilshire Boulevard—earlier this year.

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Start Your Engines!!!!
AN's California Editor Sam Lubell will be hosting a panel about the creation of new and unconventional design at Gensler and USG's Design Process Innovation Symposium this Saturday at 10:55 a.m. at the A+D Museum. Panelists will include none other than Gaston Nogues, of inventive Silver Lake architecture/art installation/sculpture firm Ball Nogues; Matthew Melnyk, of the omnipresent and hyper-advanced design and engineering firm Buro Happold; Richard Whitehall, whose firm, Smart Design, patterns everything from cool-looking thermometers to Serengeti sunglasses; Scott Robertson, a creator of ultramodern, books, bikes, and even the cars used in video games; and Tali Krakowsky, of Imaginary Forces, who co-designed the flashy set for this year's Victoria Secret fashion show. Another talent-loaded panel, at 2:30 p.m., will be hosted by KCRW and Dwell's Frances Anderton. Tickets ($70, $45 for students) are still available: visit
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We Don't Testwell
One of Testwell's many strikes.

At one point in time, the name Testwell Laboratories was probably an accurate moniker, but now it just seems like a bad joke. On October 30, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau indicted the company and seven of its operators on a litany of racketeering charges for not testing at all. According to the indictment, the firm, which is one of the city’s busiest concrete testing companies, did not perform work it had filed—and billed—for on 102 projects, including some of the city’s most significant and recognizable, both under construction and long-complete.

Both Morgenthau’s office and the Department of Buildings said they have investigated some of the buildings and intend to do so for all, but the buildings do not appear to be in danger of falling down, though the concrete used could have a shorter lifetime than it otherwise would. “These charges are serious,” Morgenthau told the Associated Press. “But these actions endangered lives of people, and that makes them doubly serious.” (Calls to the company and its attorney were not returned.)

The indictment includes a full list of the projects affected by Testwell, which, from a design perspective, is dizzying. Most notable is the Freedom Tower, as well as 7 World Trade. There are some projects—the Hearst and Beekman towers by Lord Norman Foster and Frank Gehry, respectively, as well as a number of other celebrated icons: FXFowle’s One Bryant Park and 11 Times Square, Polshek’s Brooklyn Museum expansion, the new Goldman Sachs headquarters in Battery Park City by KPF, Beyer Blinder Belle’s new Greek and Roman galleries at the Met, and Gensler’s new Terminal 5 for JetBlue.

Roughly half the projects are straightforward condo towers, like 10 Barclay, 150 Lafeyette, 801 Amsterdam, and the Latitude Riverdale; such work constituted the majority of construction in the city during the recent boom. A number of government projects, big and small, local and federal, are listed, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, I.S. 303, and Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse, as well as a number of collegiate buildings. The list also includes a range of infrastructure projects the company worked on, such as the Second Avenue Subway, New Rochelle Metro North station, and, scariest of all, the deck replacement of the Triborough Bridge. There are a few others, too: the USS Intrepid’s refurbished Pier 86, the Pier 90 cruise terminal, Yankee Stadium, the massive Xanadu commercial complex at the Meadowlands.

Indicative of the sensitive nature of the indictment, a number of architects contacted about their work with Testwell declined to comment on the record, though one did mention that his firm found the contractor’s work to be “shady,” leading the firm to look elsewhere for its concrete testing.

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Crumbling Concrete
Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau served an indictment against a dozen employees of a concrete inspection company, which the DA cited for improperly inspecting at least 102 buildings in the city in recent years. According to the Times' account, Testwell, of Ossinning, New York, was "the city's leading concrete-testing firm." AN picked up a copy of the indictment today, and how right the paper of record is. What is striking is the number and range of projects Testwell touched--or didn't, as the case may be. The Times notes three--the Freedom Tower, new Yankees Stadium, and the Gensler-designed Terminal 5 for Jet Blue--and adds that city officials believe all projects to be safe, though the quality of the concrete may be inferior and thus have a shorter lifespan. But the other 99 projects are not just faceless outer borough in-fill. 7 World Trade Center is there, as are a number of high profile projects, including Norman Foster's Hearst Building, Frank Gehry's Beekman Place tower, Polshek's Brooklyn Museum Expansion, FXFowle's One Bryant Park and 11 Times Square, KPF's Goldman Sachs HQ in Batter Park City, and the new Greek and Roman Gallery's at the Met by Beyer Blinder Belle. (The indictment [we've linked a PDF of the list below] lists the gallery as MoMA, but that can't be right. Not surprisingly, roughly half the projects are nondescript luxury condo projects--10 Barclay, 150 Lafeyette, 801 Amsterdam, Latitude Riverdale--not unlike the majority of construction work in the city during the recent boom. A number of government projects, big and small, local and federal, are listed, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, I.S. 303, Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse, as well as a number of collegiate buildings. Perhaps most unsettling, safe or otherwise, are the infrastructure projects the company worked on, such as the Second Avenue subway, New Rochelle MetroNorth station, and, scariest of all, the deck replacement of the Triborough Bridge. There are a few oddballs, too:the USS Intrepid's refurbished Pier 86, the Pier 90 cruise terminal, the massive Xanadu commercial complex at the Meadowlands. The Testwell 102
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Noshing In Style
Without further ado, here are the winners of the AIA LA’s 4th Annual Restaurant Design Awards. The awards were announced on October 16, and judges included architects David Montalba and Michael Hogdson, Joachim B. Splichal, founder of the Patina restaurant group, and LA Weekly writer Margot Dougherty. JURY WINNERS: RESTAURANT Blue Velvet designed by Tag Front Katsuya Glendale designed by Starck Network & DesignARC Mozza Osteria designed by Kelly Architects, Inc. CAFÉ/BAR FOOD designed by Fleetwood Fernandez Architecture LAMILL COFFEE designed by Formation Association & Rubbish Interiors   LOUNGE/NIGHTCLUB Elevate Lounge designed by Tag Front PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNERS: RESTAURANT Mozza Osteria designed by Kelly Architects, Inc. (pictured in jury winners section) CAFÉ/BAR Kitchen 24 designed by Spacecraft & Torres Architects LOUNGE/NIGHTCLUB oneworld Lounge at LAX designed by Gensler
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Las Vegas Is Learning
Courtesy MGM Grand Mirage

Las Vegas has become a barometer for architecture, though it’s usually a little bit behind the times. It was all glamorous modernism in the 1970s, but by the 1990s, local developers here were obsessed with postmodern fancies that brought the world close, and down to size: The Venetian had its own Grand Canal, and the Paris arrived with a scaled-down Eiffel Tower, while New York, New York went so far as to put maintenance staff in uniforms like those worn by Sanitation workers in the five boroughs. At the turn of the century, developers moved toward upscale, lifestyle-oriented resorts and boutique hotels like the Wynn and the Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

Now another shift is underway: The MGM CityCenter, still under construction, is creating iconic buildings in a dense, mixed-use environment. Believe it or not, Vegas is selling urbanism—or at least a local version of it—and taking a page from cities around the world by using big-name contemporary architects to generate interest.

The $7.8 billion, 18-million-square-foot CityCenter will be in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip (on the site of the former Boardwalk Hotel and Casino), and is set to open next year. Touted as the largest privately funded development in U.S. history, it will include hotel, casino, residential, cultural, retail, and entertainment uses connected via indoor and outdoor pedestrian passageways. The major buildings were designed by Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Viñoly, Helmut Jahn, Foster + Partners, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pelli Clarke Pelli, and the Rockwell Group, with Gensler as the executive architect, and Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn as master planner. The marquee names continue to the art program, which will include work by Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Frank Stella, and Henry Moore.


CITYCENTER UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN late MAY (TOP) AND AS RENDERED (ABOVE), with the adjacent monte carlo casino at far left.

While CityCenter’s 76-acre site measures about the same as most of MGM Mirage’s properties, it will be about three times as dense, said Sven Van Assche, vice president of design for MGM Mirage Design Group. The push for density was first necessitated by economic conditions: The sharp rise in land prices in the city forced planners at MGM Mirage (which owns a number of Vegas casinos including the Bellagio, the MGM, and the Excalibur) to consider other revenue sources when they first conceived the project in 2004.

“We quickly realized we were getting ourselves into a very urban condition,” said Van Assche. Mixing uses, he pointed out, is not new in Vegas, and most developments now contain hotels, casinos, retail, and even condos. But nowhere is that mix so tightly packed, so large, and so full of programmatic variety.

Van Assche explained that in order to promote CityCenter’s variety, MGM looked for several architects, and asked each to design something contemporary. New projects in the city are typically designed by the same group of local firms, but Van Assche said they decided to go beyond the standard modus operandi and “look at the project with fresh eyes.” This jump, he added, meant putting architects not accustomed to the Vegas scene through “an intense learning process.”

The interaction of the architects, said J.F. Finn, managing director at Gensler Nevada, started out with very few guidelines, but once a vision began to emerge, planners started to rein things in. Working with so many designers helped spur what Finn termed “happy accidents,” like the plaza between the casino and the Crystal. That came about when designers decided that Pelli and Libeskind’s buildings should have some breathing room. Likewise, a charrette between Libeskind and Jahn helped change their respective projects from one unified, mixed-use building to two very distinct entities.

All seven buildings will be connected by a meandering network of walkways that meet at larger nodes, usually marked with public art or a water feature. “We wanted to create places where people could gather that weren’t near slot machines,” said Finn, in explaining the nature of these nodes. Because of Vegas’ temperature, he added, the majority of these passages will be indoors, although a few outdoor walkways and bridges, landscaped with varied greenery, will act as connectors.

Is this urbanism? Finn argues that it is, and points to the functionally indoor nature of projects in other extreme climates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Libeskind’s project was originally planned to be outdoors until the team realized it was not feasible. Still, having a retail project at the very front of a development in Vegas is rare. Inside it will resemble a small city with large public spaces, curving walkways, and changes in scale from small nooks to a 200-foot-high grand stair.

Van Assche and Finn both noted that other Vegas developers are looking at mixed-use and iconic buildings. Boyd Gaming’s Echelon will contain five separate hotels, 9,000 square feet of retail, and two large theaters. The newly-opened Planet Hollywood has a massive retail complex at its front door, and Harrah’s is reportedly considering a mixed-use, multi-building mega-development as well. “I think it’s the evolution of where the city is going to go,” said Van Assche.

Like anything in Vegas, CityCenter’s goal is to attract attention and stand out from the pack. And so it appears that like the flashing neon signs before them, the pyramids and Grand Canals will give way to Libeskind’s jagged steel forms and Jahn’s diagonal towers, the newest icons in a city full of them. 

Sam Lubell is the California editor of AN. 


Mandarin Oriental
Kohn Pedersen Fox

Unlike the majority of CityCenter, which attempts to introduce a new form of urbanism to Las Vegas through a pedestrian-friendly, open-access environment, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Mandarin Oriental goes out of its way to create an isolated and exclusive world of luxury and tranquility, well-insulated from the crush of the city. Sited along the Strip, the 46-story, 1.2-million-square-foot hotel is separated from the development by its main access road, and is further delineated by a high-walled courtyard planted with bamboo trees. “The entry sequence was very important,” said KPF principal Paul Katz, “because this is a five-star hotel, guests will arrive from the airport in a limo and step right out into the world of the Mandarin.” From the courtyard, visitors take a shuttle elevator to the sky lobby, which is on the 26th floor; and from the sky lobby there is the option to ride down to the 400 hotel rooms, or up to the 215 full service condos. The building’s high-performance curtain wall combines insulated aluminum panels with ceramic-fritted, low-e coated glass in a 60/40 mix to create high levels of transparency while mitigating heat loading from the sun. AS



ARIA Hotel & Casino
Pelli Clarke Pelli

As the centerpiece of MGM’s development, Pelli Clarke Pelli’s 6.1-million-square-foot ARIA hotel and casino epitomizes the project’s spirit of interconnectivity, featuring easy or direct links to the buildings by Libeskind, Foster, Viñoly, and Jahn. It’s also permeable in other ways: In a revolutionary gesture for Vegas, the architects opened up the casino and convention center to daylight and views to the exterior. The facility also features a black box theater for the Cirque du Soleil, 4,000 hotel rooms, and a pool area arranged within a podium and tower. The podium’s plan of two interlocking circles helps to limit views down the long corridors to the tangent of the circles, creating more intimate environments within the massive enclosure. The tower also plays with views. The high-tech curtain wall combines fritted, low-e coated vision glass panels with shadow box panels of glass to achieve a shading coefficient appropriate for the desert sun while maintaining a consistent materiality. Also, the cladding over each room features an angle, or prow, which invites guests to look out at oblique angles, to take in more of the cityscape and mountains. AS

Veer Towers
(above, left)

Rising above CityCenter’s retail and entertainment district, Helmut Jahn’s Veer Towers distinguish themselves with a seeming feat of engineering. Inclined in opposite directions at 85 and 95 degrees respectively, the towers appear attracted toward each other, conveying the distinct relationship between them. The off-kilter forms, however, reflect the pragmatic logic of unit layouts. “Structurally, it looks challenging, but it’s not so mysterious,” said Francisco González Pulido, principal architect with Murphy/Jahn. The structure is created from a three-floor module composed of repeating unit plans. The 37-story towers will include approximately 337 units made up of studios, one- and two-bedroom residences, and penthouses ranging from a modest 500 to over 3,000 square feet. The transparent reflective glass facade with perforated aluminum framing includes fins to promote energy-efficient climate control. Yellow ceramic frit encased in the glass modulates sunlight and provides residents with privacy, while creating a checkerboard pattern on the facade, boldly expressing the building’s program on its skin. DR

The Crystal
Studio Daniel Libeskind 
(above, center)

Daniel Libeskind’s shopping and entertainment hub called the Crystal holds the center of the complex, not so much like the anchor of a mall, but organically, like a heart with main arteries and secondary conduits to enhance free-flowing circulation. “I am aiming for a new sense of orientation where people are not locked in a box with one way in and out,” said Libeskind. “It’s a shaped space with its own topography. There are many ways to come and go or move from level to level. It’s a work in the round.” The 650,000-square-foot structure is lapped in metal petals that break down into discrete volumes with large interstitial openings that Libeskind described (in terms of scale) as “beyond any skylights ever known.” Restaurant, entertainment, and retail interiors are being designed concurrently by the Rockwell Group and billed as a “natural and electronic landscape” for shopping and dining. Nesting between Foster’s Harmon and Jahn’s Veer, the Crystal aims to create the cosmopolitan urbanism of a European piazza within a highly climate-controlled environment. “This is no longer the signs-and-signals Vegas of Venturi,” said Libeskind. “It’s no longer just about surface. This is true urban growth.” JVI

The Harmon Hotel, Spa and Residences
Foster + Partners
(above, right)

If the strategy of CityCenter is to break out of the prejudices surrounding Las Vegas as a city of low-brow kitsch, then the Harmon Hotel, Spa and Residences, designed by Foster + Partners, is meant to be a defining structure that brings gravitas to glitter. Towering above Planet Hollywood across the Strip and diagonally across from the Paris’ faux Eiffel Tower, its walls are glass. Bear in mind that transparency has always been a taboo in this city of windowless casinos, where gamblers don’t know whether it’s day or night. Eschewing decadence, Foster has fashioned a column that borrows more from the Gherkin, his insurance headquarters in London, than from anything in Vegas. No surprise. In his film Casino, Martin Scorcese was telling us that the accountants were pushing aside the mobsters and cowboys, and the Harmon reads as a monument to the corporate domination of Sin City. There are no winks and no gambling in Foster’s austere column, but there’s something very Vegas all the same. Building higher and more expensively is another way of raising the ante, and Vegas gamblers love nothing more than a high-stakes game. DD


Vdara Condo Hotel
Rafael Viñoly Architects

In the Vdara Condo Hotel, a 57-story glass ascent of three overlapping curves, Rafael Viñoly echoes the message of the Foster tower at the nearby Harmon Hotel: There is no kitsch-theming here, beyond a cool corporate assurance that says, “Vegas, not ‘Vegas.’” Gambling won’t be among the offerings at this non-gaming facility, and owners of the more than 1,500 condominium units won’t share a lobby with retirees stampeding to the slots. Wedged into the dream-team ensemble, the Viñoly crescents stand in a corner—alone as any 57-story building can be, a block from the Vegas strip, at a distance from the Crystal, Daniel Libeskind’s retail and entertainment hub. And unlike the Crystal, the Vdara does not repeat forms that are signature elements in its architect’s style. The Viñoly design offers the promise of modernist, even minimalist elegance, once again echoing the larger ensemble’s ambition to refine—and perhaps redefine—Las Vegas. Yet the glass curves send a mixed message: It is part Miami hotel that opens to the sun and sand (the desert, rather than the beach), and part garden corporate headquarters (although the packed garden of highrises in CityCenter barely gives Vdara room to breathe). Its nostalgic simplicity gives off the welcoming feel of Brasília, rather than a hastily-built Dubai. But not too welcoming. The graceful curves form an enclosure as they turn their back to the street, which is marketed as exclusivity. And exclusive it is: 900 square feet in the Vdara starts at $1.3 million. DD

LEEDing Las Vegas

With all the blinking lights, splashing fountains, and blasting air-conditioners, Las Vegas is probably at the bottom of any list of places one would associate with sustainable design. But with rising energy costs and environmental awareness becoming increasingly mainstream, CityCenter hopes to be a model for green thinking in Sin City. Though all the buildings at CityCenter will seek LEED certification, most of their sustainable features are conventional and relatively modest: low-VOC paints, extensive use of daylighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and drip-irrigation for the landscaping.

Like the city’s privatized monorail, however, sometimes large-scale private development can yield green results through the creation of efficient infrastructure. Much of the development’s energy will be generated at an on-site cogeneration plant. The plant will recycle the heat generated by producing electricity for the hot water used throughout the complex.

Also, by striving to create a truly urban place with density and a diversity of uses, residents and visitors to CityCenter will be less reliant on cars and taxis, which, with gas prices continuing to climb, seems a very wise wager for the future. AGB

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Getting Dense

In last year’s developers issue, we focused on California’s highrises: the most obvious indication that the state is finally embracing infill density over sprawl. Yet in fact, most of California’s density is forming at a much lower altitude, in mixed-use projects within commercial corridors.

Mixed-use projects may not be universally embraced (fears of congestion and disruption of the local character are common), but their diversity and size often significantly bolster neighborhood vibrancy and efficiency while keeping development from spreading further away. Scales and solutions vary widely, of course, but you’ll notice in our roundup of projects across the state that many involve top-tier architecture firms and sensitive urban solutions like public plazas, street-level retail, sustainable design, live/work units, underground parking, and terraced and divided massing—an indicator that development doesn’t have to mean destruction of a neighborhood. Many people point out that locating new buildings on commercial boulevards rather than in the midst of residential areas is the best way to absorb the state’s staggering growth without intensely affecting people’s living environments. Locating them near mass transit is another tool, although that option is still slow to come in many parts of California.

And of all the mixed-use projects we’ve seen, many of the best come from the same place: West Hollywood. Thanks to a design-savvy and discerning planning commission and planning department, recent infrastructure improvements, a clear master plan, a population knowledgeable about aesthetics, and a proactive urban designer, John Chase, the area has attracted top design talent and is home to an enviable roster of mixed-use projects. Most are going up in its commercial districts along Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards. This is not to say that things have been easy: Just uttering the word “development” in many WEHO circles invites violent protest, and last summer, the city passed interim ordinances limiting the scale of development until further analysis is completed. But this just makes the scope of work here all the more impressive. Let’s face it, growth is inevitable, so we might as well grow the right way.

Produced by Sam Lubell with contributions from Danielle Rago and Helen Te.



West Hollywood

Location: 8120 Santa Monica Blvd.
Architect: Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Developer: Pacific Development Partners, LLC/Walgreen Co. Joint Venture
Size: 120,000 sq. ft.
Completion Date: Spring 2009

Not your usual Walgreens, this project includes ground-level retail and 28 units with private gardens above. The project will be covered with a skin composed of stabilized aluminum foam.  

Location: 9040 Sunset Blvd.
Architect: Eric Owen Moss Architects
Developer: Weintraub Financial Services
Size: 187,710 sq. ft.
Completion: 2011

Featuring Moss’ off-kilter floorplates and hard-edged forms, this retail, hotel, and residential project is built around an 11-story hotel with a glazed curtain wall. The smaller residential block will enclose small public and private courtyards. 

Location: 8430 Sunset Blvd.
Architect: Kanner Architects
Developer: Combined Properties
Size: 225,000 sq. ft.
Completion: In design

The project includes a hotel, condominiums, a cafe, retail spaces, and an entertainment venue. The five-, six-, and seven-story hotel features maze-like, projecting floorplates. The residential portions of the project are much lower-scale and inconspicuous, terracing downhill from the site.

Location: 9040-9098 Santa Monica Blvd., 603-633 Almont Dr., and 9001-9021 Melrose Ave.
Architect: Studio One Eleven and Perkowitz+Ruth Architects
Developer: The Charles Company
Size: 250,000 sq. ft.
Completion: In design

This mini-city is marked by large roof overhangs, inset windows, and large bays. The project includes several floors of shopping—much of it outdoors—a parking garage, and apartments.

Location: 1342 Hayworth Ave.
Architect: Pugh + Scarpa
Developer: Grovewood Properties
Size: 28,000 sq. ft.
Completion: Spring 2009

With 16 units of luxury condominiums over a 36-car garage, these stacked townhouses are oriented to create two landscaped courtyards: One faces the street, while the other creates a communal front entry space for residents. A perforated copper skin wraps the facades.

Location: 8801 Sunset Blvd.
Architect: Gensler
Developer: Centrum Sunset
Size: 53,000 sq. ft.
Completion: 2011/2012

Built on the site of the legendary Tower Records building, this development includes office and retail space, as well as a David Barton spa and gym. The project wraps around the corner of Sunset Boulevard with a repetitive pattern of large concrete facade columns, due to be lined with large billboards.

Location: 627 North La Peer
Architect: Moule & Polyzoides Architects
Developer: A.J. Khair
Size: 63,000 sq. ft., 8 condominium units, 69 hotel rooms
Completion: 2010

The project shows how traditional design can be done in a stylish way, with both Spanish and Art Deco motifs and a variety of scales and massing, all aligned with the street grid in a very urban manner. 

Location: 7350 Santa Monica Blvd.
Architect: Tighe Architecture
Developer: West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation
Size: 5 floors, 42 units
Completion: 2008

The project includes 42 affordable, one-bedroom units and retail on the ground floor. An outdoor courtyard provides a garden for residents, and each apartment will have its own private outdoor space.

Location: 8350-8364 Santa Monica Blvd.
Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
Developer: Combined Properties
Size: 20 units with commercial space at grade
Completion: Entitlements completed spring 2008

The project reflects adjacent residential zoning by stepping down and breaking up the rear facade with private courtyards. The ground level combines retail and on-grade parking. 

Location: 901 Hancock Ave./8759 Santa Monica Blvd.
Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
Developer: CIM Group
Size: 133,476 sq. ft.
Completion: Late 2008

The 77,500 sq. ft. project features 11,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial retail and restaurant, with 40 housing units (33 condos and 7 affordable). Live-work housing units are proposed at ground level.

Location: Santa Monica Blvd. and West Knoll Drive
Architect: Aleks Istanbullu Architects
Developer: Seven Sandmore
Size: 8,700 sq. ft. of ground floor retail, 52,000 sq. ft. of residential space
Completion: 2010

This four-story building contains residential blocks sitting above a continous story of sidewalk retail. Nineteen condominiums are located above, separated by 15-foot-wide courtyards.

Location: 7302 Santa Monica Blvd.
Architect: Van Tilburg, Banvard + Soderbergh
Developer: Casden Movietown
Size: 526,800 sq. ft.
Completion: 2012

This sustainable project contains 20,000 sq. ft. of retail (including a new Trader Joe’s), 304 condominiums, and 76 senior rental units. A public plaza and streetside retail are planned to create a walking-friendly environment.




Best of the Rest

Location: San Jose
Architect: Brand + Allen Architects
Developer: Wilson Meany Sullivan
Size: 561,472 sq. ft.
Completion: 2013

Part of the master plan to revitalize downtown San Jose, the project, which includes residential and retail elements, encloses and activates a public plaza fronted by the San Jose Repertory Theater.

Location: 1 Kearny, San Francisco
Architect: Charles F. Bloszies
Developer/Owner: 1 Kearny
Size: 10-floor addition to 12-floor building, 120,000 sq. ft.
Completion: 2009

Including office and ground floor retail, this renovation of a 1902 building uses the surrounding structures as seismic “bookends” for the original building. The new addition is clad in a glass-and-aluminum curtain wall.

Location: 55 Laguna St., San Francisco
Architect: Van Meter Williams Pollack
Developer: AF Evans Development
Size: 450 residential units, 10,000 sq. ft. of community facility space, 5,000 sq. ft. retail
Completion: 2012

This redevelopment of the former UC Berkeley Extension Campus will include new construction and the preservation of historically significant buildings.

Location: 55 Harrison St., Oakland
Architect: RMW in Association with Steve Worthington
Developer: Ellis Partners
Size: 1 million sq. ft.
Completion Phase I: 2009

The square is undergoing a $300 million redevelopment that includes restaurants, entertainment, new parking facilities, and Class A office space.

Location: Broadway and North Harbor Dr., San Diego
Architect: Tucker Sadler
Developer: Manchester Financial
Size: 3.95 million sq. ft.
Completion: Proposed

Located on the North Embarcadero of the San Diego Bay, the project—if approved—will include almost 4 million sq. ft. of hospitality, office, and retail space.

Location: Roscoe Blvd. and Tobias Ave., Panorama City
Architects: Nadel Architects
Developer: Maefield
Size: 1 million sq. ft.
Completion: Fall 2009

This development will feature a three-level vertical lifestyle center with over 415,000 sq. ft. of retail and five levels of parking. It will also include big-box retail and smaller street-front shops.

Location: Anaheim
Architect: RTKL, Kanner Architects, 30th St. Architects, RTK, and MBH
Developer: CIM Group
Size: 129 condominium units, 276 apartment units, 56,803 sq. ft. of street-level retail, and 32,056 sq. ft. of office space
Completion: In design

This project includes 500 housing units, plus retail and restaurant space surrounding downtown Anaheim’s main street.

Location: 9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Architect: Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Developer: Project Lotus
Size: 203 units, 895,000 sq. ft. (residential), 16,000 sq. ft. (retail)
Completion: 2011

Designed to be sensitive to the neighboring hotel and golf course, the project is located on an 8-acre site between Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, and constitutes the western entrance to Beverly Hills.

Location: 2901 E. Olympic Blvd., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles
Architect: Torti Gallas
Developer: Fifteen Group
Size: 6.1 million sq. ft.
Completion: 2020

The $2 billion plan calls for redeveloping the 1930s apartment complex to include 4,400 residential units, 300,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space, as well as 9 acres of publicly accessible open space.

Location: 6121 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Architect: Johnson Fain
Developer: Apollo Real Estate Advisors
Size: 380,000 sq. ft. of offices, 20,000 sq. ft. of retail, 330 units, 125-room hotel
Completion: In design

Located at the historic CBS/Columbia Square Studio site, a 35-story residential tower and 16-story office tower rise from a ground floor mix of hotel, retail, and open space.

Location: 6200 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Architect: VTBS
Developer: Clarett Group
Size: 1.12 million sq. ft.
Completion: 2011

Spanning both sides of Hollywood Boulevard on a 7-acre parcel are nine buildings of rental housing, with affordable units, public open space, live/work lofts, and retail. The project, which is seeking LEED certification, is next to the legendary Art Deco Pantages Theater.

Location: 5661 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Architect: Gruen Associates
Developer: Continental Development
Size: 375 units, 377,000 sq. ft. (retail), 1680 parking spaces
Completion: 2010

Located on a 5.5-acre city block, this project incorporates a historic department store. Much of the retail is street-facing, and the buildings include high-rise, stoop housing, and town houses to create an urban ambience.

Location: Chandler Blvd. and Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Architect: AC Martin
Developer: Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group
Size: 1.75 million sq. ft.
Completion: Proposed

Planned around a multi-modal transit station, the proposal includes a central plaza and an arcade linking the proposed grid of the project blocks, which respond in scale and configuration to the existing urban fabric.

6230 YUCCA
Location: Hollywood
Architect: Ehrlich Architects
Developer: Second Street Ventures
Size: 115,000 sq. ft.
Completion: 2010/2011

One block from the historic Hollywood and Vine intersection, this 16-story tower won entitlement after a battle with nearby Capitol Records. It includes eight live-work townhomes, 85 residential units in the tower, and 13,500 sq. ft. of creative commercial space.

Location: 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Architect: HKS Hill Glazier Studio
Developer: Gatehouse Capital Corp. and Legacy Partners
Size: 330,000 sq. ft. condo, 300,000 sq. ft. hotel, 50,000 sq. ft. retail
Completion: 2009

This project includes a 305-room W hotel, 143 luxury W for sale residences, 375 luxury apartments, and street-level retail.


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Making Radio Waves
The initial KCRW concept model includes an ivy-screened facade.
courtesy Clive Wilkinson Architects

Clive Wilkinson Architects has won a commission to design a new building for Santa Monica-based public radio station KCRW.

The station, which is the largest public radio affiliate in Southern California, is located on the campus of Santa Monica College (SMC). Its growth over the years has forced it to scatter its facilities throughout SMC’s main campus. The new building, located on one of SMC’s satellite campuses, about a mile north of the main campus, will help the station modernize and consolidate.

The 35,000-square-foot structure, located on the site of a large parking lot off of Stewart Street, just north of the 10 Freeway, will include office and recording studio spaces. Plans are still very preliminary, but an initial concept model reveals a simple three-story building covered in a green screen of ivy.

Construction funding is subject to a bond measure due in November, and the proposed cost of the project has not been disclosed.

As part of the commission the firm will also be carrying out modifications to the SMC satellite facilities located just adjacent to the planned KCRW building, including new landscaping and a renovation of the Academy of Entertainment and Technology building.  

Other firms short listed for the commission included Gensler, HLW, Morphosis, and CO Architects.

While Clive Wilkinson Architects is known for its interiors projects, the firm, said Wilkinson, is aggressively pursuing ground-up work. Besides the KCRW building, the firm just won commissions to design a mixed- use building for handbag maker Harvey’s in Santa Ana, and to renovate the 450,000-square-foot headquarters for Finnish communications giant Nokia in Helsinki.