Well, it happened. After years of strife over the project, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved the $2 billion, 1.5 million square foot redevelopment of the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Back in 2009 the developer, Next Century Associates, threatened to tear down Minoru Yamasaki's curving midcentury Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel to make way for the project. But a parade of preservationists, including the LA Conservancy and Diane Keaton, stood in their way. The result: a compromise in which the hotel would be preserved by Marmol Radziner and surrounded by two three-sided, 46-story residential towers by Pei Cobb Freed as well as a 100,000-square-foot retail plaza and over two acres of public open space by Rios Clementi Hale. The executive architect is Gensler. City Council certified the scheme's Environmental Impact Report and approved a 15-year development agreement. Let the construction begin on another major Los Angeles development. Momentum is building.
Posts tagged with "Gensler":
Friday marked Designight 2012—AIA Chicago’s annual awards gala—which brought nearly 1,000 members of the area’s design community together at Navy Pier to recognize 39 projects in four awards categories: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Divine Detail, and Sustainability Leadership. John Ronan’s Poetry Foundation; Perkins+Will’s Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola; Sheehan Partners’ Facebook Data Center in Prineville, Ore.; and David Woodhouse Architects’ Richard J. Daley Library IDEA Commons in Chicago (featured in the October Midwest issue of AN Midwest) were among the repeat winners of the night. Helmut Jahn accepted a lifetime achievement award, calling on the designers present to imagine a better future and then “make that future happen.” On behalf of his firm, Jahn also formally adopted the changes reported earlier—a new name, JAHN, and the ascension of Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido to share design leadership with Jahn. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow. The full list of winners and all 262 projects entered into the competition can be found on AIA Chicago's website.
The University of California Davis is becoming a cultural force. The school already has three art museums (and arts alums include artist Bruce Nauman and sculptor Deborah Butterfield), and is getting ready to add another, just releasing the shortlist for its new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The list is impressive, including the following design/build teams: wHYArchitecture and Gensler with BNBT Builders; HGA and DPR; Allied Works with Hathaway Dinwiddie; Westlake, Kitchell, WORK; Gould Evans, Henning Larsen, Oliver; Olson Kundig, Olveraa; and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, SO-IL, Whiting Turner. The list was culled from an initial list of 19. The 40,000 square foot museum, located on a 1.6 acre site that is part of a long-range master plan for the university’s new south entrance, is slated for completion in 2015,
Almost two years after the idea was first floated, AEG and Gensler's 72,000 seat, $1.2 billion stadium proposal was approved by LA City Council on Friday. The vote in favor of the project's environmental impact report (EIR) clears the way for the developer to seek an NFL team and for Gensler's steel-winged Farmers Field to move ahead. The stadium had experienced some controversy lately as news spread that AEG was putting itself up for sale. But that didn't deter the council, which voted 12-0 to move ahead with the plan. The stadium, and an adjacent convention center that was recently panned by an architectural commission, is being paid for privately, although funds are coming from $275 million in tax-exempt bonds. Another proposal by developer Ed Roski and architect Dan Meis, located in the City of Industry, is also trying to lure a team. Let the games begin.
We’re big fans of Gensler’s new downtown LA offices, which open up to a central atrium, keeping employees visually and physically connected. But the firm’s growth has forced it to partially abandon that model, moving extra employees to the decidedly-less-airy upper floors of their building, City National Plaza. Even in the most democratic offices, you can’t escape hierarchy!
On a recent sunny day in Silver Lake the Materials & Applications gallery got folks together to eat cake. In honor of the group’s 10th anniversary M&A hosted an architectural bake-off called “Elevate Your Cake,” with groovy deliciousness by an impressive group of designers. They included Predock Frane; Chu + Gooding; Escher GuneWardena Architecture; Gensler; Deegan Day; Deutsch; Patterns; Noah Riley Design; Warren Techentin; Barbara Bestor; MASS; Osborn; Modal Design; Taalman Koch; and Andy Goldman. That’s right, this was no amateur night. These were serious architectural cakes. Chu + Gooding’s cake, “Inopportune Totem,” looked like a porcupine had mated with a death-by-chocolate. Warren Techentin’s entry, “cubisphere,” was made up of Japanese Mochi and chocolate cake balls. It looked like a cube made of colorful (but edible) golf and ping pong balls stacked on each other. After several of the cakes were raffled off everybody got down to business: eating the rest.
Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades Symposium: Thursday, July 26, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco Workshops: Friday, July 27, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. California College of the Arts, San Francisco This week in San Francisco architects and engineers at the forefront of facade design and fabrication will gather to present their latest work and research. Sponsored by The Architect's Newspaper and Enclos, the first-day line-up for Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades includes Craig Dykers of Snohetta as the keynote speaker along with presentation by leaders at SOM, Thornton Thomasetti, Firestone Building Products, IwamotoScott, Future Cities Lab, Gensler, Kreysler & Associates, Gehry Technologies, Buro Happold and more. On the second day, participants receive hands-on practical instruction through workshops with industry leaders. Those attending both days will receive 16 AIA Continuing Education credits. One day left to register! For registration click here. Can't make it out West this week? Check out the next call for papers: AN's Facades + Innovation Conference, October 10-12, Chicago. Download PDF.
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."
Andrew Bernheimer, of Bernheimer Architecture, is taking over as director of the MArch program at Parsons The New School for Design. Rachel Judlowe, formerly arts and design PR guru at Ruder Finn, is partnering up with architecture and design publicist Elizabeth Kubany of EHK PR. Gensler appoints two principals as new managing directors at its London office: Ian Mulcahey and Duncan Swinhoe, who joined the firm in 2000 and 2004 respectively. Michael Algiere departs Jones Lang LaSalle to join Cannon Design as principal and leader of the firm’s corporate/commercial interiors practice for the New York region. RATIO Architects, with studios in Indianapolis, Champaign, IL and Raleigh, NC is forming a strategic alliance with Chicago-based architects SMDP. Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for our bi-weekly SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.
Yesterday, Gensler unveiled its newest plans for Farmers Field, Downtown LA's proposed football stadium, which, of course, is still awaiting a team to play in it (as are several other proposed stadiums in California). The biggest changes to the design involve the roof, which will now have large projecting wings (likely made of ETFE, said one Gensler architect). The roof will no longer be retractable, but "deployable," meaning the roof can be taken off, but not instantaneously, which will bring the structure's cost down significantly, Gensler pointed out. The new roof design, which will open up views to the city, was likened to "shoulder pads" by Curbed LA, perhaps a fitting design for a football stadium? So that the stadium doesn't dwarf the rest of the adjacent LA Live, it will be partially sunken into the ground, noted Curbed. Meanwhile two levels of stadium meeting and suite space will connect directly to the new convention center that developer AEG is also planning for the site. AEG hopes to have the stadium ready by the 2016 football season.
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.