Search results for "gensler"

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Meet MUPPette, Gensler’s marriage of 3D printing and unmanned drones
Two of the most talked about new technologies in our world today—3D printing and unmanned drones—are beginning to merge. A good example: Mobile 3D Printing, a research project in Gensler's Los Angeles office attempting to create an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) fully capable of digital fabrication—freeing the technology from the constraints of boxes, robotic arms, and X-Y-Z axes. Young Gensler architects Tam Tran and Jared Shier are spearheading the effort. Their vehicle's name—MUPPette—stands for Mobile Unmanned Printing Platform. It consists of a carbon composite hexacopter,consisting of six blades, a gimbal beneath to stabilize the printer, and the battery-powered printer itself below, enabled with PLA plastic filament, the same material used in Makerbots and other fabrication machines. When the copter, controlled via laptop, takes off, its legs retract, allowing for more maneuverability. It can shoot out a relatively limited amount of PLA and can fly for about ten minutes at a time. The project concluded its first year this spring, and the group recently received a second grant to hone the concept for another year. Improvements that the team wants to work out include adding sonar sensors to make real time flight and stabilization adjustments, adding localized GPS for greater precision, addressing the impact of blades' wind currents on the PLA projection, and teaming the vehicle with others for more efficient and complex fabrication. "It's been exciting, exhilarating, and agonizing at the same time," said Shier. "Unless you try to solve the problems you're not advancing the technology." In the future—perhaps in a third year for the project—the group hopes to advance the technology to take on construction, which could be especially useful for producing humanitarian structures or for producing buildings in areas cut off from conventional modes of transit. Mobile 3D Printing is one of over 50 research projects funded firm-wide by Gensler. "This is a frontier that we clearly hadn't entered into before," said Tran. "We want to see what can be done."
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Gensler Tower in Houston Becomes One of First in U.S. to Receive LEED V4 Platinum Pre-Certification
The Gensler-designed Capitol Tower, a 34-story speculative office building developed by Skanska USA on the site of the former Houston Club in downtown Houston, Texas, has been awarded Platinum Pre-Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED v4 ranking system. According to a press release put out by Skanska, the project is one of only a handful of in-the-works buildings to earn the distinction under the fourth generation of the LEED system. The company also stated that it wished Capitol Tower to be the greenest building in Houston. The design includes a high-performance facade system, daylight harvesting technology to reduce energy use, 90 percent access to daylight and views for tenants, a garage with daylight occupancy sensors and a green roof, alternative vehicle charging stations, a rainwater collection system, and bicycle amenities to encourage cycle commuting, among other sustainable features. “Skanska made it clear from the beginning of the design process that they wanted this to be the most sustainable building in Houston,” Gensler principal Kristopher Stuart said in a statement. “We really pushed our team to move beyond anything we have done before to create a building that offers an exceptional work environment in a high-performance envelope that will dramatically reduce operating costs. The design also places an extraordinary emphasis on public spaces and pedestrian experiences which we believe will greatly enhance and enrich Houston’s urban fabric." Under the LEED system, pre-certification allows owners to begin to market the proposed green features of a project to prospective tenants who wish to occupy a LEED certified space. Earning a pre-certification is not a guarantee of actual LEED certification. While the pre-certification review is conducted in the same manner as a combined design and construction review, no credits or pre-requisites can be awarded. They are instead marked as "anticipated." In addition, only projects registered under the LEED for Core & Shell rating system can apply for pre-certification.
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Gensler, LOT-EK Design Google’s San Francisco Barge With Sails, Shipping Containers
The rumors are true: Google is building that barge docked at Treasure Island on the San Francisco Bay. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle uncovered documents submitted to the city by By and Large, a company connected to Google, that revealed plans for a "studio and tech exhibit space." The 250-foot-long and 50-foot-tall structure is being built from welded recycled shipping containers, with the design led by two coastal firms, Gensler in San Francisco and LOT-EK in New York. The project will include over a dozen sails resembling fish fins, to help provide shade and shelter, and come foul weather, the ability to be lowered. The barge will make the rounds throughout San Francisco, stopping at several docks (each for a month), including Fort Mason, Piers 30-32, and Angel Island, among others. It will eventually make its way down to San Diego and other port cities along the west coast. The exhibit is expected to receive up to 1,000 visitors a day. Three additional barges in the works. Read more about Google's plans here.
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Gensler Triangulates a New Santa Clara Headquarters for Nvidia
Silicon Valley definitely has the architecture bug. We've recently seen remarkable new designs put forth by Foster + Partners for Apple and NBBJ for Samsung. Now Gensler has released ambitious new designs for tech company Nvidia, located in Santa Clara. The 24-acre complex's two 500,000-square-foot buildings are each shaped like triangles, a configuration that Gensler principal Hao Ko explains facilitates collaboration by allowing connections to each side of the building to be the shortest. (The triangle, he adds, is also "the fundamental primitive that defines all shapes in the digital realm.") Undulating roofs will be made up of smaller triangle pieces, breaking down the overall mass and allowing for ample skylighting, in the in-between spaces. Construction is set to begin this summer, with completion in 2015. Apple's circle now has geometric competition. Who's next?
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Pratt Student Awarded Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship
While most design students are starting the scramble for plum summer internships, Tina Uznanski can rest easy, knowing a desk with her name on it will be waiting at Gensler's London office. Uzanski, an interior design student at the Pratt Institute, has received Gensler's annual Brinkmann Scholarship, winning a paid summer internship at the Gensler office of her choice and a cash prize to be put toward her final year of study at Pratt. The award was established in 1999 as a memorial to interior designer and former Gensler partner Donald G. Brinkmann. Uznanski won the competition with her clever concept for a renovation of her neighborhood library in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that creates a flexible room through "shifting stacks."
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Gensler’s New Los Angeles Digs Filled With Energy
With all the news coming out of Gensler lately we've officially declared November Gensler Month. The latest is the firm's new offices inside the Jewel Box building in Downtown LA, a glassy former bank branch located between huge towers at City National Plaza. Completed in record time (construction didn't start until about March of this year) the project, headed by Gensler Associate Richard Hammond, feels like a miniature city with flexible, open banks of offices and small, colorful meeting spaces abutting the open atrium—created by cutting a 30 foot by 50 foot skylight in the ceiling—that defines the space and provides views throughout the interior and onto the city at large. The offices contain an unmistakeable energy collected from the whirl of activity and people and from the connection to the city. The firm, which moved in a week ago, has signed a 12 year lease and can sign two 5-year extensions, so it looks like they'll be here for a while.
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Gensler’s Downtown Dealings Revealed
We heard back in April that architecture giant Gensler's move to Downtown LA was spurred largely by a million dollar enticement arranged with the city. But it's only now that we get to see the details behind the move. The LA Times' Steve Lopez was able to dig up the emails that set the process in motion, and they include corporate requests to pave the way for federal community development block grants (usually reserved for low income communities) to go to Gensler. The emails were sent from big-time developer Thomas Property Group to an aide in councilperson Jan Perry's office. This seamless connection between business and government, we all know, is how things work in LA. But it's rare to "look inside the sausage factory," as Lopez puts it.
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Gensler First Moving Downtown Via Video
As we've noted, architecture giant Gensler is moving from Santa Monica to Downtown LA (a move that has seen its share of  controversy lately thanks to the firm's city-provided subsidy). With the help of three talented  students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Professional Studio program, the firm has put together a video about their new 'hood.  It documents Downtown's dramatic growth and change over the years, and offers predictions and suggestions for its future.       Downtown Los Angeles from tam thien tran on Vimeo. Their intriguing ideas include: putting parking on the periphery and closing the rest to cars; keeping production local; developing a new ground plane in the sky; and transferring cars' kinetic motion into energy. Wishful thinking, of course, but that's a good thing in a studio meant to be a "marriage between reality and mythology." The studio was led by Gensler Design Directors Shawn Gehle and Li Wen and the three students/filmmakers/visionaries were Sarah Fleming, Tam Thien Tran, and Toon Virochpoka.  
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Quick Clicks> IKEA Life, Gensler′s Mil, Graceland II, and a Green Empire
Hem Sweet Hem. We love this quirky story from our friends at Curbed. The Swedish-based IKEA is well on itsway to worldwide domination of the budget-furniture market -- and who doesn't love wandering through the cavernous stores and imagining life in the mini habitats arranged throughout the store? Photographer Christian Gideon sure did. His latest project documents what life might look like if you lived in one. Subsidy Switch. LA's Mayor Villaraigosa promised not to spend any taxpayer money to a proposed football stadium in the city, but the project's lead architect is another matter entirely. According to LA Weekly, the mayor is sending $1 million slated for the city's poor to lead-architect Gensler as they prepare to move their offices from Santa Monica to downtown LA. Elvis Goes Danish. Think living at IKEA was strange enough? Well, the Historic Sites Blog hopes to top that. Apparently there is now a replica of Graceland in Denmark. Yes, Denmark. If those photos weren't enough, the BBC has a brief video of the Danish dupe. Empire Example. According to gbNYC, the Empire State Building plans to be in the LEED when it comes to retrefotting historic buildings. Though owner Anthony Malkin, the man behind the green curtain, didn't set out to achieve the green label for one of the city's highest profile building, he's apparently changed his tune.
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Gensler Wins Hypothetical LA Stadium Commission
Although LA still does not have an NFL Team, developer AEG today awarded architecture giant Gensler the design of the city's hypothetical 1.7 million square foot downtown stadium, called Farmers Field. Gensler beat out HKS and HNTB who were also shortlisted for the project back in December. If the $1 billion project moves forward it will seat 65,000 to 75,000 people, contain about 200 luxury suites, and have a retractable roof, enabling it to facilitate convention events as well as football games. Gensler's  proposal also features a lightweight ETFE roof, bulging outward and taking on an oval-shaped profile. The project would be located on a 15-acre plot on the site of the LA Convention Center's West Hall, which would be demolished and moved to a site further south (AEG is conducting a search for the architect of that project, which will be called Pico Hall). Gensler has already designed the majority of AEG's L.A. Live development in the area, including its Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott and its Regal Cinemas. Meanwhile the beleaguered NFL may not even have a season next year, so we think it might be occupied with other things for a while. Stay tuned.
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Gensler’s Downtown LA headquarters
Inside Gensler's planned office in Los Angeles.
Courtesy Gensler

Architect: Gensler
Client: Gensler
Location: 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles
Completion: Fall 2011

Architecture giant Gensler has announced its move to downtown Los Angeles after 20 years in Santa Monica. The firm recently signed a 12-year lease to occupy the top two floors of the three-floor “jewel box” that sits between two 52-story towers at City National Plaza.

A six-month study led by the firm’s Strategy & Brand Design Studio director Lance Carlson found that most of the work at Gensler was done in groups rather than in “focused, heads down work.” As a result, the firm’s current H-shaped office layout, which effectively compartmentalized teams, will give way to a more open and transparent layout built for group work. Gensler is amping the number of collaborative spaces from eight to 30 in the Jewel Box. Conference rooms and collaborative areas will be placed at the nucleus, while more private spaces will be at the fringes.

The firm plans to convert its two floors into three by adding a mezzanine level that will hang from the top floor, and a large central atrium to allow sunlight to stream from the 30-foot by 50-foot skylight, creating what LA office Managing Director Rob Jernigan calls a “vertical connectivity zone”. This zone creates more opportunities for interaction. “You’ll be able to look across one or two floors down and see each other, even call out, ‘Hey, John! Come up here!’” said Jernigan.

While Gensler plans to maintain the jewel box’s 1970s architectural style, it will take advantage of the building’s 100-foot wide and 30-foot high windows to create a splashy interior, making use of bright colors, especially the firm’s signature red, meant to draw eyes inward. “We want people to see the building and think unequivocally ‘Oh, that’s the Gensler building,’” said Jernigan. The design team is also using parametric software to generate surface patterns on aluminum, which will be laser cut and used as a feature wall in the new office.

Gensler is fast tracking construction of the space. Steel has already been bought for the new floor addition and the building’s reinforcements are being upgraded to take the additional load. According to Jernigan, construction should be finished by mid-October, and ready for move-in by November.