A mid-rise office building in downtown Pasadena, California, that’s been subject to (not totally implausible) conspiracy theories over the years was sold earlier this month in a $72 million transaction to Atlas Capital Group as reported by The Real Deal. Completed in 1974, the building’s most notable features include its travertine-clad facade and a near-complete absence of windows save for the ground level. Yes, no windows. It was designed by the namesake firm of marquee modernist architect Edward Durell Stone, an Arkansas-born 20th-century powerhouse whose long list of notable projects includes the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India; PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, New York; the General Motors Building in Manhattan; Westgate Tower in Austin, Texas, and both the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in and the National Geographic Society building in Washington, D.C., Early in his career, Stone also had roles in the design of the Museum of Modern Art and Radio City Music Hall. The 360,000-square-foot Pasadena building, long shrouded in mystery because of that signature design feature, isn’t one of Stone’s better-known works, and was approved for a substantial redesign early last year by city planners with the blessing of Pasadena’s top historic preservation brass. Stone himself, who died four years after the building was completed, reportedly wasn’t directly involved in the design of the building, which was ultimately “heavily modified” to be more imposing by Bank of America officials, per the Pasadena Star-News. “Pasadena Heritage agrees with the conclusion that the building does not rise to standard of significance for landmark or National Register (of Historic Places) status, though it remains, certainly, a building of interest that has held its place on that corner for decades now—with various opinions about it having been expressed over the years,” Susan Mossman, executive director of Pasadena Heritage, explained to the Star-News last year. Occupied by the Bank of America from its completion up until last year, the monolithic slab of a structure (locally referred to as the Bank of America building) isn’t completely without historical significance. Per the Star-News, it served as a processing center for the BankAmeriCard, which was the first credit card—a direct predecessor of the Visa card—that permitted cardholders to carry a balance. Prior to its sale to Atlas Capital Group, the old Bank of America building was owned by Woodbridge Capital Partners, the same real estate investment firm that had sought permission from the city to dramatically revamp the structure last year. While it’s unclear what Atlas Capital Group’s exact plans for the building are, it will presumably include windows. “Creating some window openings should be able to be done attractively and appropriately to make it a usable building. Given its size and location, it is certainly important that it have a new, productive use,” wrote Mossman of Pasadena Heritage last year.”This is not a demolition but a modification which should be able to be successfully accomplished.”
Posts tagged with "Edward Durell Stone":
Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has designed and completed the first-ever expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Located southeast of the National Mall along the Potomac River, the three pavilions that make up The REACH opened this weekend to the public, marking the Washington, D.C.-based institution’s largest design upgrade in its 48-year-history. The $250-million addition spans four-acres of sweeping, waterfront landscape next to the main Edward Durell Stone-designed building that’s held all of the Kennedy Center’s programming for decades. Arranged in a series of angular, cast-in-place concrete structures that are semi-submerged underground, The REACH is strategically woven into the surrounding, sloping green space and features a contemporary vision that lightly references its parent building next door. According to a press release, the new structures “break down the traditional barriers separating art and audience.” The Welcome Pavilion, Skylight Pavilion, and River Pavilion all emerge from the green lawns with shapely white facades and opaque glass windows. Together, they make up a porous and fluid, 72,000-square-foot facility that, though largely underground, includes ample access to daylight and features soaring, open interiors. While the site doesn’t look very active from an aerial perspective, what you see above ground isn’t all that you get. Inside and below the pavilions is a large network of flexible rehearsal studios and classrooms, as well as performance and public spaces that are, by design, more welcoming to visitors—something the Kennedy Center previously lacked. AN wrote previously about the crinkled concrete walls that were integrated into the studio spaces to stop sound from echoing throughout the below-grade rooms. Performance-enhancing technology such as this was used at every level of the building project. For example, SHA worked with ARUP to make The REACH more sustainable than its predecessor; it’s now on track to achieve LEED Gold status. The site features a closed-loop, ground source heat rejection system, advanced temperature controls, an under-floor concrete trench system, and radiant floor heating made by ARUP’s in-house software suite, Oasys Building Environmental Analysis (BEANS). Much like other projects by Steven Holl, the integration of unique light cutouts on the sides or tops of the buildings and curvaceous walls made the structures difficult to heat or cool efficiently. Arup’s interventions will help the facility maintain proper temperatures year-round. In addition to improving the Kennedy Center campus, The REACH was intended to bolster the memory of JFK. Some of the spaces within the pavilions were named after the 35th president, and a plaza with 35 gingko trees honors his life and accomplishments. Over time, the 130,000-square-foot landscape is expected to grow into a fuller, more vibrant addition to the riverfront and help activate a formerly-inaccessible area. SHA also designed a pedestrian bridge to cross the highway separating the Center from the water’s edge.
After five years of planning and construction, Chicago-based architecture and planning firm Farr Associates and artist Theaster Gates have dramatically transformed a 60-year-old dormitory at the University of Chicago into a state-of-the-art research center and student hub, known as the Keller Center. Originally designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1962, the once dark and closed-off concrete structure served as the University of Chicago’s New Graduate Residence Hall. While some of Stone’s initial design was preserved—including the building’s slender columns, projecting canopy, and mid-century modern aesthetic—the addition of a glass roof and brilliant limestone facade illuminates the fully renovated interior, which is now home to the university’s Harris School of Public Policy. The design team foregrounded sustainability—the Keller Center will be the first LEED Platinum building on the University of Chicago campus and one of the first university buildings to pursue the strict Petal Certification of the Living Building Challenge—but also thought about ways to tie the new design to the building’s past, context, and community. Farr Associates salvaged as much as possible for the renovation, preserving old doors, hooks, mailboxes, mirrors, light fixtures, and shelves for the new design. Theaster Gates came up with the idea to use lumber from damaged ash wood trees that were removed from Chicago’s city parks for a main building material for the interior of the center. Gates then hired local workers to process the trees at a mill just south of the project site, where he was able to provide job training to people on Chicago’s South Side. The center also features a rainwater harvesting system, which captures water from the roof and transports it to the building’s toilets, along with rain gardens that accommodate the region’s native species. There were many design challenges associated with carving a new interior from the existing concrete skeleton of the building. For example, the structure lacked insulation, and it was riddled with columns and steel supports that could not be removed. The architects were forced to work around those structural hindrances, while trying to keep the space open and inviting. The result was a visually inspiring interior complete with shimmering, glass-walled classrooms, lounges, offices, meeting rooms, and a four-story atrium called the Harris Forum, which serves as a central collaboration space. The sun-streaked atrium, which was carefully shaped out of the existing structure, represents the heart of the Harris School, and it is home to a variety of discussions, world-class speakers, and events.
Weiss/Manfredi is bringing an update to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. Yesterday, the New York–based firm released initial renderings of its redesign for the 28-acre site along with potential plans to restore the modernist Chancery Building, designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1958. The 61-year-old campus sits in New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, a verdant city built in the mid-19th century for wealthy locals and other embassies. Using a long-term masterplan that hinges on security and an extensive, connective landscape, the design team will add new construction to the embassy’s property, including an office building for the ambassador and staff, as well as a support annex featuring space for more offices and a health unit. Five small entry pavilions will also be integrated at the edges of the campus as welcoming points for visitors. Weiss/Manfredi, the award-winning firm led by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, has worked on the masterplan for the embassy since 2014. In collaboration with the State Department, the practice has come up with a design that both fits the functional needs of the U.S. government and honors India’s architectural heritage. According to the architects, the new construction will complement Indian vernacular architecture with materials that are used both locally and nationally, as well as with design motifs that evoke the ancient traditions of the country. For example, the new office building and support annex will be clad in interwoven pre-cast concrete fins featuring white Makrana marble. This design move serves as a nod to the jali (or perforated) screens used in Indian homes. Other common Indian stones such as Golden Teak sandstone, Kota limestone, and Ambaji white marble will also be used throughout the campus. Due to New Delhi’s hot and variable climate, each piece of architecture will feature some type of shading component or cover. The main office structure, which appears to have a slightly curved stone facade facing the chancery, will be topped with a deep, flat canopy roof. On the edge of the campus will be a giant reflecting pool, providing evaporative cooling for the surrounding structures. Garden walls, open green spaces, and shaded seating will be scattered throughout the public areas, while all functional zones will be connected via a tree-lined promenade that will extend to both sides of the campus. Initial construction on the support annex is expected to begin this spring. In total, the project is set to take seven to eight years to complete and will be built in two phases.
Grand Island is in the center of Nebraska. Halfway between Chicago and Denver along Interstate 80, it is perhaps best known for being the home to the Nebraska State Fair. It is also home to the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. Designed by modernist architect Edward Durell Stone in 1963, the museum documents the lives of European pioneers who first settled Nebraska. Recently, the museum underwent a comprehensive renovation and rehabilitation, led by Lincoln, Nebraska–based BVH Architecture. BVH provided architectural and engineering services for the project. Working with the museum staff, the Stuhr Foundation, and the museum’s board, BVH developed a master plan to look into the 75,000-square-foot museum’s future. While addressing the changing needs of the museum’s collection and exhibition spaces, the master plan called for the careful treatment of the iconic building’s exterior. The facade, interior finishes, structural stability, HVAC system, fire and life safety, and accessibility were all addressed. Each of the improvements was designed not in interfere with the building’s operations or modernist styling. Following the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the building was also added to the National Register of Historic Places 2015. The project also won a 2017 Docomomo Citation of Merit Award | Civic. All of this comes as the museum celebrates its 50th anniversary.
A house designed by Edward Durell Stone, located in Darien, Connecticut, is under threat of demolition to make way for a developer’s vision: a neocolonial pastiche home. The 2,334-square-foot home is sited on a 1.1 acre wooded lot in the private community of Tokeneke. The house represents a transitional moment in Stone's multifaceted career. Constructed for client Walter Johnson, an IBM executive, the house is one of only two Stone-designed homes in the Constitution State. Designed in 1953, the house marks a pivotal turn in Stone’s architectural career. It was the end of what is defined as his austerely modern, “hair shirt” phase, a term loosely borrowed from a monastic practice of wearing horsehair shirts as repentance. Secondly, this was the year that the famously drunk architect committed to sobriety, at the behest of his second wife. Finally, the Darien house was his final work to outwardly emulate Wrightian detailing, a practice that began with Stone’s visit to Taliesin in 1940. “This is one of the last of father’s rustic vernacular homes that emulates the work of Frank Lloyd Wright,” his son, Hicks Stone, recently told AN. “The house is based on a dog trot house, which is common in the southern central U.S., but it’s a unique fusion of American vernacular and Wrightian style with Japanese elements.” Original finishes and detailing still exist in the home, such as textured rice paper shoji screens. Ornamental lighting and wood paneling also remains in good condition. At press time, sale of the home through Halstead Properties had not been finalized.
New York City’s financially-strapped Department of Education is seeking to cash in on a 99,000 square foot lot on 70th Street just west of Broadway, but a local elementary school and the legacy of one of America’s first Modernists stand in the way. If the Department gets its way, the three-story P.S. 199, designed in 1963 by Edward Durell Stone, will be sold to developers and replaced by a 340-foot-tall luxury residential tower in the already crowded Upper West Side neighborhood. Stone’s architecture has faced criticism since the late 1950s, when he moved away from the earlier International Style to incorporate classical reference and Beaux-Arts formalism into his designs. While some of his work, like DC’s Kennedy Center, have won over both the public and critics, other relics of his legacy have not faired as well. Famously, the marble-clad "Lollipop Building” at 2 Columbus Circle faced drastic renovations both inside and out in 2005, effectively erasing any remnants of Stone’s maligned eclectic historicism despite strong resistance from preservationists and the architectural community. PS 199, with its white brick colonnade, dramatic six-foot cornice, and sober monumentality exhibits many of the same qualities that have won Stone praise from some and abuse from others. While it has thus far slid beneath the radar of Stone’s detractors, it may soon face the wrecking ball nonetheless. Neighborhood residents have begun a campaign to stop the Department's efforts, with a petition less than 300 signatures short of its goal. Community members worry that the planned residential development will displace their school, lead to additional stress on already burdened local infrastructure, and lead to overcrowding. While the Department promises to install a new school in the base of the development, like they did at Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street, this concession has done little to appease local antagonism towards the project. One can assume that as this project moves forward, we will here more and more from local activists and preservationists alike.
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New learning center gives an in-progress look at lightweight structural designConstruction is underway on the first academic facility in almost two decades to be built on the Claremont, California, campus of Harvey Mudd College. Designed in 1956 by Edward Durrell Stone, the 39-acre school is a private engineering, science, and math institution, which is planning for growth in the coming decade. “A lot of their current classrooms are underground so they were literally wanting to bring these into the light,” said Amy Donohue, a principal at Boora Architects. The Portland-based firm has designed a new 70,000-square-foot Teaching and Learning Center to create a bridge between academic facilities located to the west and dorms to the east. Though the design emphasizes transparency, energy efficiency, and a range of academic and social functions, a unique bi-axial hollow slab structural system concealed in the building’s concrete will have one of the greatest impacts on reducing material use as it targets LEED Platinum certification. The system, created by Denmark-based BubbleDeck, has long been used in Europe and Canada, but the Learning Center is poised to be the first U.S. academic building to use the product. By replacing non-functional concrete with recycled plastic balls suspended between reinforcing mesh, the system is about 35 percent lighter than a traditional concrete slab. Boora began to consider the BubbleDeck system because of the amount of weight it could eliminate from the building’s structure. The system allowed designers to keep the layout as open as possible, with high ceilings and clear spans of 35 feet between columns. “If you were doing that with a typical slab and beam or with steel, you would end up with deep beams that cut into the overall height of the classrooms,” said Donohue. The Learning Center’s slim 13-inch floor slab leaves almost 14 feet of the 15-foot floor-to-floor height clear, even with ductwork and electrical elements installed. Shear walls are also thinner than they would have been with a traditional concrete slab because of the BubbleDeck’s decreased weight. Though the system proved to be comparable in price to a traditional slab, its implementation in such a high-profile building came with a learning curve for all. Boora worked with the company to feed cost information to construction manager Matt Construction. The team in turn worked with structural engineer KPFF to design each floor slab, modifying some slab embed details and engineering the building’s green roofs for the added load of soil. Where there is occupied space over open courtyard areas, the plastic balls are filled with insulation with an R-value of 3.7 per inch. "We also had to work closely with the city’s structural code review department," said Donohue. "The calculations that KPFF had to take into account are traditional, but we definitely had to talk it through with the code reviewer." BubbleDeck also consulted with the precast concrete manufacturer and installer, both of whom were working with the system for the first time. Installers recently finished placing the building’s floor panels, containing more than 90,000 plastic balls, in only two days. Overall approximately 80 percent of the school’s first through fourth floors will use BubbleDeck. “It provides the finish quality of concrete with the erection time of steel,” said Donohue of the system. “You have beautiful ceilings that are basically precast concrete, but they take no time to assemble.” In the long term, the system will also allow the college to renovate more easily—outlets or new openings can be made by core-drilling into the slab rather than breaking through 13 inches of concrete. “You’re basically popping a bubble,” said Donohue. “It’s a very smart system.” In that way, the design also has something in common with the school’s innovation-minded students, who expect to move into the new building in 2013.
Longtime repertory company A Noise Within (ANW) will complete its move to Pasadena at the end of October. Formerly located inside an old Masonic Temple in Glendale, it now calls Edward Durell Stone’s midcentury modern Stuart Pharmaceutical Company home. The project was carried out by John Berry Architects, Robert J. Chattel, and DLR Group WWCOT. You might remember back in May when we showed you the project still under construction. ANW staffers have now started to move in and perform technical runs for their inaugural showing of Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night. The building's exterior shows no visible additions, keeping its distinctive modular screen wall embellished with gold knobs. As promised, the rooftop addition sits stepped far back, unnoticed until you actually look for it. The entire scene remains stark white and concrete until you descending to the performance area on the lower story, which opens up to a luxuriously purple-hued, 300-seat, tiered theater. "It’s undoubtedly a beautiful artistic playground,” said Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, ANW co-founder and co-artistic director. Despite a successful fundraising campaign the scrappy 20-year-old theater group is asking for contributions to help it polish off the edges. Among its need-a-contributions list? Dry wall, insulation, STC rated doors and fixutres. See the complete list of needs here.
History happens in pubic space. The election of Barack Obama brought crowds to 125th Street. Crowds formed at the World Trade Center on news of Osama Bin Laden's death. Last Friday night it happened on Sheridan Square. In front of the Stonewall Inn, the crowd stood transfixed, staring into their iPhones, Blackberrries and other assorted digital devices. Several shouted out the numbers of state senators supporting gay marriage as it got closer and closer to the magic number: 32. When I got there, there were shouts of 30 or 31. It was hard to tell really, it wasn’t a coordinated countdown, like the Time Square ball dropping. Some were still at 29 while others were at 31. It depended on whether you were on HuffPo or NYTimes. The whoops of the crowd came in waves, making it feel like the number 32 was reached several times. Amidst the random shouts and general giddiness Danny Fields, the punk impresario and Warhol Factory/Max’s Kansas City regular, stood alone, taking it all in. We talked a bit about who might have liked to be there, but, unfortunately, were no longer with us. I mentioned Herbert Muschamp, also a Factory regular. Fields got mildly misty and said that for all the great writing all that mattered was that he was a good man. It would have been great to read a Muschamp reaction to the events on Saturday morning. Perhaps he would have found a way to weave together preservation with gay issues and architecture. If Robert Moses got his Lower Manhattan Expressway would Sheridan Square have been effected? Would the Stonewall riots have taken place somewhere else, or at all? Or was it a perfect storm encouraged by oppressive power brokers, Village politics, and twisted off-the-grid side streets. Muschamp might have found a freewheeling yet substantial approach to the event, as in his gay-centric essay on landmarking the Edward Durell Stone’s Gallery of Modern Art. In “The Secret History of 2 Columbus Circle” he memorably brought together Henry Geldzahler, lacy underwear, swanky taste, and Singapore slings--all in one sentence! This story was made for him.
One of the biggest projects on the San Francisco Peninsula is the upcoming $720 million Stanford Hospital. It will replace -- though not displace -- the hospital's current home, a three-story affair designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1959, which has a concrete brise-soleil and is very much a building of its time. The new structure, which Rafael Viñoly Architects is in charge of, looks more like a hotel than a hospital, and the design is an indication of what state-of-the-art healthcare facilities are emphasizing these days. Designed to maximize natural lighting in what is often a rather closed, oppressive environment, the Viñoly hospital features a checkerboard layout, in which buildings are interspersed with squares of open space. You can get the general idea through this 3D animation, which must set some sort of bar for fancy architectural renderings -- forget about abstract outlines of people, here are models energetically walking around the space and cars driving past. (The animation was produced by a San Francisco company called Transparent House.) However, what the animation doesn't really show you is the interior, which has an enormous central atrium, like many a high-end hotel. The first two floors of the hospital are where procedures take place (surgery, imaging, and emergency services). Above are clear glass cubes, which contain the patient rooms (with 368 beds). The glass cubes are perched on opaque bases that hide all the mechanical equipment of the hospital, and the rooms look out over the hospital's gardens, meditation spaces and courtyards. The first two floors and adjacent two-story parking garage will be covered by roof gardens, which will create a second ground plane above the street and give patients access to open space without them having to leave the hospital and deal with all the attendant security issues. The rooms themselves will have window walls, offering views of the surrounding campus and town to provide some distraction from the tedium of a hospital stay. There will be motorized blinds that track the sun and reduce heat gain (LEED certification is planned). "It is an unusual layout for a hospital," said Chan-li Lin, who heads up Viñoly's San Francisco office. "Most hospitals don’t devote this much space to public amenities, because they do not generate income. But at Stanford, the buildings and landscape are always somewhat integrated, and the courtyard idea is embedded into their very DNA, so we were able to get our client on board. When you go to a very large hospital, it is easy to become disoriented because these buildings generally have such a large floorplate. Hopefully, we are creating a more humane environment for treatment and healing, where you are always aware of the connection to the outdoors. " Stanford is part of the low-density suburbs between San Francisco and San Jose, and at seven floors (and 130 feet), the hospital will be the tallest building in the area (except for Hoover Tower, which is pencil-thin) -- which is yet another motivation for reducing the mass of the building. The architects are working with the L.A. firm Lee, Burkhart, Liu, for their specialized knowledge in healthcare design. Ground-breaking is planned for the fall of 2012, and the first phase, with 820,000 square feet, is anticipated to take four years to complete.