Posts tagged with "A+I":

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Chicago’s Merchandise Mart to become “world’s largest” canvas for projected art

Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart (rebranded as theMART), a massive art deco design center on the bend of the Chicago River, will play host to a 2.6-acre art installation come fall of 2018. At a press conference this Sunday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, city cultural officials, and representatives of building owners Vornado Realty Trust’s Chicago branch announced a plan to convert the front wall of The Mart into a canvas for large-scale, projected art. “Art on theMART” will paint the river-facing wall of the Mart with high-resolution images and videos, including indie works, through an open-source software. Mart Chief Operating Officer Myron Maurer has promised that the project would never be used to display ads. A curatorial board would be set up as early as this spring to select which works would be screened, including holiday-specific pieces and work from student art shows. First proposed in March of 2017 as a joint effort between the Mayor’s office and theMART, the project was envisioned as a “large-scale architectural projection” that would contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the Chicago waterfront. Vornado had reached out to New York City-based A+I Architects and San Francisco-based Obscura Digital to conduct the feasibility study and will be paying the $8 million installation cost and $500,000 yearly maintenance costs out of pocket. Obscura has worked on enormous projections and screen-related art projects at Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building, and at the Sydney Opera House. With the project moving forward, Mayor Emanuel is advancing an ordinance to the City Council that would allow for the installation of the 34 necessary projectors under a 30-year license. If the City Council approves, theMART’s light shows could begin by October of this year, and works would be projected for two hours a night, five days a week, for up to ten months a year. “It brings two great strands of the city of Chicago together,” Mayor Emanuel told reporters on Sunday. “What we all know as the Merchandise Mart will now become the largest canvas in the world.” Art on theMART is the latest in a continuing transformation for the building, which has recently shifted from housing wholesale retailers and showrooms into a tech hub and office building. A video mockup of the installation is available here, courtesy of The Chicago Sun Times.
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Archtober Building of the Day #13: iHeartMedia

This story is part of a monthlong series of guests posts by AIA New York that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours. See the full 2017 schedule here. In today’s Building of the Day tour, Archtober viewed the new offices of iHeart Media in Midtown. Designed by Architecture + Information (A+I) in association with creative consultants Beneville Studios, the space houses the corporate headquarters of iHeart Media over three floors. From A+I, Todd Stodolski, Senior Associate; Tony Moon, Architect; and Jara Mira, Project Manager, joined Michael Beneville, Founder and Principal, and Kyle Hoy, Design Manager at Beneville Studios, to lead the tour. First, Beneville and the A+I team gave an overview of iHeart Media’s history and the context for the new office. iHeart Media is the largest radio station owner in the United States. iHeart’s predecessor, Clear Channel Communications, was founded in San Antonio in 1972 and expanded over the next 30 years to include not only radio stations but other forms of mass media assets, notably billboards and live concerts. Beneville described CEO Bob Pittman’s deep faith in radio as a medium, and his belief that, were radio invented today, it would be seen as a groundbreaking technology. It was this belief that led Pittman to rebrand Clear Channel as iHeartMedia in 2014. A+I and Beneville Studios were tasked with creating a flexible, open office space that would convey the excitement of working for and with iHeartMedia. Moreover, the design themes used in the headquarters would be copied at iHeart corporate and broadcasting offices throughout the country, meaning elements had to feel as natural in Peoria or Phoenix as in New York. And the most important directive for the 75,000-square-foot space came from Pittman: “I want visitors to walk through the door and say, ‘Who the #*%! are these people?’ and I want them to get it within five seconds.'” The main entrance, on the middle floor of three, amply fulfills his vision. In the corridor leading from the elevator to the offices, motion sensors trigger lights in iHeart’s colors of red and white, and speakers play randomly chosen live content from iHeart’s stations across the country. An average office entrance it is not. The barrage of audio-visual information continues inside. The heart of the space is a cut connecting all three levels around a massive screen which plays footage from iHeart events and seating steps. This space is used to present office-wide policies to all New York employees, but has also host mini-concerts from the likes of Alicia Keys. Behind this light, airy space is the dark, intense Promotional Porthole, a conference room with screens and other fixtures that play video and sound as well as emit fragrances. The three floors of the office all house different parts of the iHeart staff. The top floor is for employees of the audio-visual groups, the middle floor is for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, one of the country’s largest owners of billboards and hoardings, and the bottom floor contains boardrooms and executive offices. The offices are bright and airy, primarily white with flashes of red and blue. The previous offices were very traditional, and there was some concern about the transition to a new space. The main feedback the designers have received is that they could have gone even further in replacing individual glassed-in and cubicle offices with open plan meeting spaces and “phone booth” meeting pods. Many initiatives at iHeartMedia involve multiple teams, and having a common space to meet is essential. Additionally, market managers from across the country meet with executives in New York once a month, so there is a strong ebb and flow in the office population, requiring spaces that can grow or shrink as needed. Within this complex context, A+I and Beneville Studios have conveyed in spatial terms the excitement iHeartMedia generates across its many media platforms. Join us tomorrow at 56 Leonard Street.
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2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Workplace: Square, Inc. HQ by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it’s grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you. 2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Workplace: Square, Inc. Headquarters Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Location: San Francisco, CA

To tackle the challenge of making four floors of a windowless 1970s data center reflect the contemporary culture of Square, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson organized the company’s headquarters around a central collaborative space punctuated by a library, a coffee bar, and a gallery—anchored by a monumental amphitheater staircase that itself functions as a flexible venue for a variety of activities. Custom white tables further enhance the stair’s visual appeal while encouraging dynamic use. The concept’s clean lines and predominantly white interiors reflect Square’s brand at both aesthetic and functional levels, successfully transforming the space while highlighting the company’s core values to create a refined, seamless experience.

Contractor BCCI Builders

Structural Engineer Tipping Structural Engineers Millworker San Francisco Millwork Lighting Manufacturer Vodes Custom Furniture Manufacturer Ohio Design

Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Pinterest Headquarters

Architect: IwamotoScott Architecture with Brereton Architects Location: San Francisco, CA

Inspired by the clean, simple, and intuitive ethos of Pinterest’s recent web platform redesign, IwamotoScott Architecture and Brereton Architects envisioned a concept of porous concentric layers wrapping a repurposed warehouse atrium.

Honorable Mention, Interior > Workplace: Squarespace Global Headquarters

Architect: Architecture Plus Information (A+I) Location: New York, NY

To honor its client’s aesthetic commitment to minimalism, A+I sought to bring depth, texture, and warmth to the Squarespace headquarters in New York’s historic Maltz Building through a purposeful variety of spaces and the use of natural materials: polished concrete, wood, and leather.

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Building of the Day: Horizon Media

This is the eleventh in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Horizon Media 75 Varick Street New York, NY This afternoon, we set our sights on Horizon Media, the fastest growing, privately owned media company in the United States. In 2010, it began construction on what is now a stunning, progressive workspace that unites over 1,000 employees in a single office building in downtown Manhattan. A+I’s Phil Ward and Kate Thatcher took us into the 250,000-square-foot- space, leading us through what felt like the most sunlit, well-connected office maze I’ve ever seen. The company covers three floors at 75 Varick Street. A+I is currently collaborating with them on the fifth phase of the project that will expand the office across the 11th and 12th floors. Though the office is inside a landmarked art deco structure, Horizon’s space looks anything but its real age. From the visitor’s entrance on the 16th floor, a giant LED screen guides visitors into an open space full of natural light. To the left, an internal open staircase is cut out diagonally, connecting three floors of the office. Visitors will immediately see that giant windows line each floor, providing sweeping views of the Hudson, Tribeca, and Soho. It’s clear that access to daylight, along with an emphasis on wood paneling, polished concrete, live plantings, and orange accents, are incorporated into every detail of the office's design. Designer Phil Ward described the building as a dream subject for renovation. Once a pre-war printing press, its sturdy concrete skeleton was able to hold the weight of their creative construction. At one point during the tour, Kate Thatcher asked the group: “What does a modern office space need in a building built 100 years ago?” The answer is technological mobility and connectivity. Horizon operates on transparency and accessibility in a 21st-century media world and their office space reflects that. A+I used the industrial feel of the space to their advantage by creating a clean, seamless office that utilizes glass encasings, white cubicles, and techy conference rooms to suggest openness and creative collaboration amongst employees. While there are individual desks, people can also make calls in phone booths, bring their laptops to small couches, meet in groups on the outdoor terrace, or in even in “the dunes,” a multi-purpose space on the bottom floor with extra seating and a pantry area. Horizon also boasts a game room, a company gym, a theater and a giant fish tank (a special request by CEO Bill Koenigsberg). The new office design has inspired major change in the company culture, according to leadership. Not only are employees encouraged to get up and move throughout the work day—I don’t recall a single elevator outside of the visitor’s entrance—but Horizon also strongly promotes the democratization of office amenities and a flexible workspace. While all the employees are not literally seated on the same floor, the company as a whole aims to be on the same level. About the author: Sydney Franklin is a content producer at the NYC Department of Design and Construction. She recently graduated from Syracuse University with a master’s degree in architectural journalism.