Search results for "Rockwell Group"
Queens Museum of Art
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York
Grimshaw’s recent renovation of the Queens Museum of Art involved the task of unifying a previously divided building under a single program. The institution used to share its walls with an ice skating rink. The museum occupied the north half of the building—originally constructed as the New York pavilion for the 1939 World’s Fair—and the rink the south half. When, in 2008, the rink moved into the newly completed Handel Architects–designed Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink, which was part of New York City’s 2012 Olympic bid, the museum had the opportunity to stretch out, occupying the entire 105,000-square-foot building for the first time since being founded in 1972.
The architects saw the opportunity to greatly improve the museum’s somewhat confusing circulation scheme, as well as support its mission of bringing the community together around art. By shifting the main entrance away from where it had previously been off the north parking lot, at the narrow end of the rectangular plan, to the center of the longer west facade, they were able to usher visitors directly into the building’s cavernous central volume. By arranging temporary exhibition galleries around this space, which functions as a large works gallery, the architects created an easy to navigate experience where figuring out where to go next is simply a matter of looking around.
Scott Rudd; Holly Tsai
Glass played a key role in supporting Grimshaw’s design concept and in creating a bright and airy experience on the interior. Both eastern and western faces of the building were opened up with glass walls that let daylight in, welcome the community, and create a view corridor that passes straight through the space from the Grand Central Parkway to the Unisphere—the great, globular icon of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The west facade features a screen that can be animated by a color-changing LED system. A variety of artists will be invited to program the system over time.
Even with the glass facades, the large works gallery, with its soaring ceiling, promised to be a dark space. This could be solved with skylights, but then skylights, without control measures, can create tricky daylighting conditions for museum artifacts, many of which deteriorate in direct sunlight. In addition, the architects wanted to create a seamless experience, where visitors could go from outside, into the great hall, and then into the galleries without perceiving the difference in light level. “On a bright day, it’s 10,000 foot-candles outside,” said Mark Husser, managing partner for Grimshaw’s New York office. “We had to step that down to about 15 foot-candles in the galleries, and we attempted to do that without having a noticeable change or a lot of glare or shadow.”
In order to accomplish this effect, Grimshaw designed what is unofficially referred to as the “Hanging Lantern,” a daylight chandelier of sorts composed of canted glass louvers suspended by stainless steel cables around the great hall’s central skylight. The glass louvers, which range in width, are built up from two 5mm-thick pieces of low iron tempered glass that are laminated together with an SGP interlayer. The down facing sides of the louvers are acid washed, to catch and diffuse daylight, while the up facing sides are left glossy, to make them easier to clean as well as to create a shimmering effect on the inside of the lantern. The edges of the glass louvers are polished, post lamination, a delicate process that removed a mere 1/64-inch of material to clean up the edges and create a sparkling, diamond-like effect. The louvers are canted at different angles to catch sunlight entering from the skylight, which also features louvers, and direct it to the galleries, whose ceilings are outfitted with louvers of their own that further diffuse the light. “We did sun studies to determine the angles of the louvers,” said Casimir Zdanius, Grimshaw’s head of industrial design. “When direct sunlight hits the pieces of glass they light up like a halogen.”
Grimshaw designed the Hanging Lantern, which combines daylighting and structural design, with consulting engineer Michael Ludvik. The tempered glass louvers, which handle some structural loads, are attached to inner and outer sets of steel cables that drop down from the ceiling with machine finished 304 stainless steel connections. At the bottom of the lantern, which hangs more than 31 feet down from the ceiling, is a ring beam made up of 6-inch-diameter solid steel billets fastened together with heavy-duty bolts. At 20,000 pounds, the ring beam pulls the cable system into tension. While the 8mm-diameter outer cable carries most of the load, the 6mm-diameter inner cable attaches to the ring beam via a spring connection that allows the pendulous structure to sway without breaking the glass. The inner cables are also tuned to achieve a sensuous curving profile on the inside of the lantern.
Grimshaw also designed a glass-treaded feature stair that encourages access to the second floor and provides a series of landings that offer a good view of the large works gallery and the Hanging Lantern. The landings and treads are composed of four piles of ½-inch-thick low iron annealed glass laminated together with SGP interlayers. The upper surface features an acid etched non-slip surface and the structure was designed so that even if all four piles break the interlayer will continue to carry the live load. Annealed glass was chosen, as opposed to tempered, so that the edges could be polished down flush without shattering, a detail that gives the edges of the treads a jewel-like translucency.
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Ohio State University South Campus Central Chiller
Ohio State University’s south campus central chiller is a utilitarian powerhouse. It pumps cool water to more than half of the campus’ buildings. It is also host to a dynamic light show, thanks to an array of glass fins affixed to its concrete facade.
“Rather than just showing the pipes, we wanted to represent energy itself,” architect Carol Ross Barney told AN when the project was first announced in 2010. Ross Barney worked with associate architects, Champlin, on the project. Now complete, the 95,570-square-foot building sports dichroic glass, composed of multiple micro-layers of fused metal oxides. A coating just 30- to 35-millionths of an inch thick can contain up to 50 layers of these materials, which condense on the glass after being vaporized by an electron beam in a vacuum chamber.
Those tiny bits of metal reject certain wavelengths of light, so the dichroic fins reflect and transmit different colors simultaneously. Which colors pass through and which bounce back depends on the angle of view. The end result is a constantly shifting array of colors that dance across the building exterior.
Previously it hadn’t been affordable to laminate dichroic film between layers of glass. Ross Barney Architects worked with glass manufacturer Goldray Industries to laminate the dichroic film, which was originally developed by NASA for use in space. The exterior application created concerns for the longevity of the thin film, so Goldray tested several glass products to sufficiently protect the film without distorting its ability to transmit light. Based on its success, Goldray has since used similar fins on projects from Indianapolis to Istanbul.
Structural shapes and welded plates hold the glass fins perpendicular to the building’s precast panels. The incandescent fins themselves convey a sense of energy, Barney said, but clear sightlines into the mechanical innards of the chiller plant also put the building’s utility front and center.
Still, no moving parts are visible. Instead, the precast plates that make up the ten-story building are punctuated with varied rectangular windows, complementing the geometry of the glass fins. Oldcastle manufactured the aluminum curtain wall window system, whose insulated exterior panels also cut down on energy use. Inside, equipment decks are grated for natural cooling so the chiller, which anticipates LEED certification, won’t have to be chilled itself.
To hear the designers tell it, in a rundown of their research and development process, “the building becomes an ethereal expression of the functional process of releasing thermal energy into the air to produce chilled water.” Cool.
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Like many who attempt to transform Mies Van der Rohe landmarks, interior designers Richmond Group got some flak for putting a glitzy hotel into one of the architect’s stately modernist icons along the Chicago River. Langham Hotel, which now occupies floors 2-13 of the 52-story tower, is more known for glamour than clean geometry.
But the design team’s intervention narrowed in on one of the skyscraper’s key materials: glass. “We wanted to emphasize the extensive use of glass on the facade,” Richmond Group’s Deborah Bray said in a press release, “to deliver an individual and innovative design, which reflected the linear elements of the existing architecture.”
Alliance Glazing and GLASSource helped outfit the lobby’s two-floor RiverRoom with a unique array of composite panels of Pilkington Optiwhite glass. They bonded ¼-inch low-iron beveled glass to both sides of an extremely flat 3/8-inch monolithic panel, computer numerically controlling each panel to keep the floor-to-ceiling array of panels uniform. Individually cut and fit brass strips divide each panel.
“The feel is almost like you’re in a prism. The light reflects in different directions,” said Alliance’s Dan Shields. “But when you get close to it, you’re able to get nice views out, so you’re not taking away the skyline feel. It’s more art than it is just glass.”
Over six months of testing and mock-up production, Alliance and Bohle Group developed an adhesive that cures under ultraviolet light, keeping the composite panels together without forming bubbles in the glue. Despite being made from many small pieces of beveled glass, the feature wall appears unified.
GLASSource’s Jim Arnold said the UV bonding was the first of such detail and scope. “Full size vinyl templates were printed to control the layout process and each small section took between two to four days per panel just to do the UV bonding,” he said. “After almost 15 months from the first discussions the designers vision and the end result turned out to be very spectacular as well as unique.”
Langham Hotel opened its Travelle restaurant and bar this year, completing the bottom floors’ transformation from office space to high-end hotel; and the focus on glass does not end at the lobby. Electrochromic glass from Guardian separates the bathrooms—with the flip of a switch, the glass switches from opaque to transparent. Televisions within the mirrors add another touch of luxury, rounded out by custom diamond-cut shapes in each mirror enclosure that match the carpeting.
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The Langham Hotel occupies the first 13 floors of Mies van der Rohe’s historic IBM building in downtown Chicago. Tucked away in the building’s southwestern corner is Travelle, a 24-hour restaurant designed by the Rockwell Group. David Zaccheo, lead project designer, focused on the structure’s original namesake tenant when designing the space. Entering the restaurant, diners are faced with a golden decorative wall whose pattern evokes a layered mass of computer chips. “This isn’t a preservation project,” said Zaccheo. A row of vertical glass tubes separates the dining area from the bar, where golden discs hover in a ceiling recess. As the bar seating sprawls to greet stunning riverfront views of downtown Chicago, wood and leather restore the mutable lounge vibe.
In aiming to shed the trappings of a typical hotel bar, a little luxury goes a long way. While purists could not call it a harmless intervention, the update is flashy but not without a tasteful restraint. Rockwell also collaborated with the Art Production Fund to curate a collection of original artwork for the interior, which evokes the building’s mid-century modernist past.
Studio V was founded in 2006 by Jay Valgora who at the time was a design principal for Walker Associates/CNI, and had been a design director at Rockwell Group. In these previous positions Valgora focused on refurbishing projects located in gritty urban industrial areas: A residential tower addition above the RKO Keith in Flushing, Queens, the historic Empire Stores in Brooklyn, and a large zone of Anabel Basin in Queens. Crucial to his later Studio V career as an urban designer, Valgora simultaneously developed theatrical designs for Cirque du Soleil, Mohegan Sun resort, and the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. These widely diverse project types have come together in Studio V’s current work, which shows Valgora’s interest in projects that “reconcile modern architecture and the city’s abandoned or fragmented edge urban areas... emerging neighborhoods, public parks, and sustainable communities.” The 18-member office has under taken a massive renovation of the interior and exterior of Macy’s Herald Square. Other projects include architectural and urban design work in Long Island City, Flushing (Flushing River Waterfront), Astoria (Halletts Point and Astoria Cove), Sunset Park (Bush Terminal), and Red Hook (Atlantic Basin). The firm is also designing new parks and public spaces along the East River in collaborations with internationally recognized landscape firms James Corner Field Operations and Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect.
Niagara Falls Bridge and Cross Link Bridge Development
This project turns an abandoned railway bridge over the Niagara River and an adjacent 40-acre site into a mixed-use commercial development, museum, and cultural center. The bridge’s current owner, the City of Niagara Falls, Canada, must ether destroy it or find a buyer to turn it into a gateway attraction so they hired Studio V to develop a creative and realistic proposal for the structure. The second site is across the bridge and adjacent to Downtown Niagara Falls and the canyon escarpment. Their master plan for the site includes a series of elevated outdoor gardens on the existing track and smaller bridges leading to the main bridge. The scheme also includes a series of pavilions that contain a variety of supporting uses including restaurants, a new train station, a theater, and a hotel tower suspended over the edge of the bridge with views of the famous falls. The bridge is meant to be a contemporary gateway and symbol for the nation of Canada. The glass canopy over the bridge is an aluminum grid shell covered with ETFE foil for the museum and conference center.
Residential Building at Vernon and Jackson Avenues
Queens, New York
The Long Island City site for this new residential structure lies at the intersection of two of the most prominent streets in Queens: Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue. They also face onto two very different plazas: Vernon Plaza (a 100 foot wide street with a new green median) and the Midtown Tunnel toll plaza. The overall massing of the building responds in a sculptural manner to its unusual triangular site. The corners of the building are articulated with cantilevered balconies that extend out into the angled corners of the site as the facade peels away in a series of layers to reveal the concrete structure beneath. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the building is an unusual mid-block courtyard raised up in the air to over look the adjacent boulevard and provide an outdoor space for the residents. Finally, the taut stainless steel and perforated aluminum facade fits perfectly into this mixed industrial, residential, and cultural (P.S.1 is only a few blocks away) zone of the city.
Yonkers Raceway / Empire City Casino Expansion
Yonkers, New York
A gambling casino attached to a horse-racing track in Yonkers is not one where you would expect exciting architecture. Yet Studio V’s striking design for a new Empire City Casino sets out to “re-invent the modern casino with an unlikely and innovative contemporary architecture.” Valgora has designed a volume of stacked elements—balconies and overlook openings between floors, including a dramatic bar, an Alain Ducasse restaurant, and a bowling ally—to create an entirely new paradigm for the casino. The facade is a four-story arc of frameless glass that not only brings the daylight into the casino but projects the excitement of the space outward to the street and the city. The facade is a large steel lattice structure which seems to grow out of its hillside site to create a sculptural entrance canopy and porte-cochere.
Macy’s Herald Square
R.H. Macy’s has occupied their Herald Square Store since 1902, when it moved uptown from 6th Avenue. It first occupied just one building designed by DeLemos and Cordes but eventually began acquiring additional properties on the block bounded by Broadway and 34th and 35th streets until it owned the entire block. Though the building had the first modern escalator in the world and still has several of the great old wooden moving stairs and beautiful deco details, it feels cobbled together with various dropped ceilings, unexplained partitions, and inefficient mechanical equipment. Macy’s, Valgora claims, has always been “contemporary” and it is the Studio’s intention to create a new contemporary environment with restored historic architecture to create a “spacious, grand yet light and fit space for the 21st century shopper.”
The store’s master plan will create an entirely new interior, a high-end restaurant, a café on the mezzanine overlooking the grand ground floor, and a champagne/coffee bar in the Women’s shoe department. It also includes restoration of a Grand Retail Hall with coffered ceilings, visible exterior windows, double-height entrances, and soaring illuminated columns.
The eight-year long renovation of Lincoln Center concluded on October 1 with the opening of a new pedestrian bridge over 65th Street. Designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro (DSR) with architects of record FXFowle, the blade-like bridge reflects the firm’s surgical approach to the entire campus. DSR has peeled off facades, sliced through existing circulation routes, and grafted on new programming and media, all while working in tandem with other specialists including Tod Williams Billie Tsien, Rockwell Group, and H3 Hardy Collaborative.
The bridge replaces a large plaza that covered 65th Street. The plaza had linked Julliard and the School of the American Ballet with the main campus, but it deadened the street below. The bridge serves the same link function while restoring the street circulation. The east side of the span is glazed and ultra-slim, while the west side, which provides structural support, is a faceted, monolithic bar. The crossing forks as it approaches the main campus. The structural bar bends back and down to the foundation under the Vivian Beaumont Theater, and the circulation plane jogs slightly east toward the theater’s entrance.
Painted in matte-grey, the structural bar has a muted, somewhat austere quality. “The area is a juncture between Saarinen’s modernist theater, Pietro Belluschi’s Brutalist building, and the postmodern building that houses the School of American Ballet,” said Liz Diller, principal of DSR. “We didn’t want to add another thing.” It is that sensitivity to background and foreground, to when to play soloist or as an ensemble, that has made the renovation a bravura performance.
Drive down Main Street away from the train station for exactly one mile, past the Shangri-La nail salon, BJ's Chicken and Ribs and Augie's Texas Lunch, home of The Augie Doggie, and you begin to notice the Dia-fication of Beacon. You'll pass a yoga studio, a fledgling gallery or two and a plain-faced pizza shop advertising a new addition to its menu written in Sharpie marker on a sheet of white paper taped to the front window: "gluten-free options available." There are other restaurants, too, of course, ones that the Dia's staff can confidently recommend to their visitors. But continue on over a set of seldom used railroad tracks until you arrive at 2 East Main Street, the unassuming location of The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, the new hotel and restaurant designed by David Rockwell. Dia:Beacon may have lured New Yorkers to make the quick day trip to the small and charming Hudson River Valley town since it opened in 2003, but with Rockwell's contribution city folk now have a reason to stay overnight.
Developed by Robert A. McAlpine, the hospitality project renovated one of the few remaining historic industrial buildings in Beacon, a mill with a 200-year-old history that includes manufacturing thick industrial grade felt, fur hats, and the line of Swift lawnmowers, which the recently opened 100-seat restaurant is named after. The 6.25-acre site is split by Fishkill Creek, a gently moving tributary that falls over a perfectly horizontal ledge before joining up with the Hudson River less than two miles away. As luck would have it, the prime viewing location of this waterfall is 2 East Main Street, and Rockwell made sure to give diners at Swift an eyeful through the large windows that encircle one side of The Roundhouse. There are more views, too, from the 14 guest rooms (including two affordable penthouse suites) in The Roundhouse and the 42 to follow across the creek in The Mill property, which will also house a spa when it opens in early 2013.
The Roundhouse has been renovated in the most considerate manner, preserving the best features of the long abandoned industrial space. Original bricks have been used to reconstruct exterior walls and The Mill's rough wooden beams are used to support the roof. In The Roundhouse, raw cement beams overhead bear the marks of the original joinery, and the ceiling itself is inset with panels of thick grey felt—another tribute to the building's past life. McAlpine has even gone to the great trouble of restoring the turbine from the site's former hydroelectric plant, which will supply around 60 percent of the hotel's energy when it is completed.
Apart from being something of a poster child of architectural renovation, the project is also a showroom for Beacon's creative community. Every interior element is sourced from no further than a mile or two around the site. The restaurant and guest rooms are outfitted entirely by local artisans, from the wooden tables and doors by Wickham Solid Wood Studio to the beautiful hand blown pendant lights by Niche Modern and the gold-cerused oak bar face by Metconix. The interior designer, Elizabeth Strianese, resides in Beacon, as does McAlpine, whose construction company is based there and whose son and daughter are involved in the property's management. Even the restaurant's executive chef, Brandon Collins, was trained at the nearby Culinary Institute of America before working as a sous chef at Valley at the Garrison, also a stone’s throw away. At Swift, he's developed a menu of clean, fresh American fare made with ingredients that are grown, yes, locally. Fortunately, none of the emphasis on the L-word is presented as a preconceived selling point for the property. Rather, it comes across like an earnest, family-run venture, albeit a family with very excellent taste.