Posts tagged with "Gensler":

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Renderings revealed for Gensler’s tenth tower along L.A.’s new hotel and entertainment district

Paperwork was filed this week with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning by developer Trical Construction, Inc. to replace the existing City Lights on Fig complex in Downtown Los Angeles with a Gensler-designed, 53-story glass hotel tower. The project, if completed, would add yet another monolith to the entertainment district’s growing contribution to the city’s skyline. Urbanize L.A. reports that the existing project, a 100-unit, five-story tall apartment complex, was built by the developer in 2004 and is being cleared, in part, to help achieve the city’s goal of increasing hotel supply around the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) and L.A. Live complex. The City is seeking to locate 8,000 hotel rooms within proximity to the LACC complex. A study from 2015 indicates that 3,172 hotel rooms exist in the area, with approximately 2,000 new ones on the way. The Trical Construction project would increase that number by over 50 percent, adding 1,024 rooms, and will be operated as two separate hotels. The developer has not announced which hotelier will run either of the two proposed establishments. Renderings for the proposed complex indicate that the new tower will make use of recently loosened restrictions that will no longer require tall buildings in the city to be capped by flat-topped helicopter evacuation pads. As a result, Gensler’s tower is designed to have a pointed, faceted top. The renderings depict a rectangular tower clad in riveted glass curtain walls. It's a relatively subdued design considering Gensler’s other, recently-revealed tower for the area, which is made up of stacked geometric shapes and punctured by a roughly 20-story hole. The newest project will comprise the 19th such tower for the growing entertainment district, ten of which are designed by Gensler. Renderings also depict large, ground level electronic signage in keeping with many of the other recently-proposed projects. The proposed tower, located in a new Sign District surrounding the LACC and L.A. Live areas, will bring a mix of commercial electric signage as well as art-focused installations to the pedestrian areas in the neighborhood.
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Check out Gensler’s perforated and fritted glass facade for this building in Tysons, VA

In central Tysons, VA, Gensler's Washington D.C. office has designed a mixed-use building that will house a fitness center, conference spaces, and offices. The latter will sit atop a nine-story, perforated metal-skinned podium that hosts a parking garage. The tactful metal facade bridges the two glass skins above and below it, mediating transparency in the process. At street level, glass fenestration encloses 25,000-square-feet of retail, amid other amenities—a bonus for shoppers stepping off the Greensboro Metro station which is a mere 50 yards away. Duncan Lyons, a senior associate at Gensler's D.C. office, said the building's design is “unique” for a mixed-use project and is “dynamic, yet flexible enough to attract a variety of tenants.” Floor plates will range from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet and the project offers public and private green terracing, shaped as triangles along the building’s stepped back and angled massing. The corresponding volumes are partially defined by skin, too, with various types of glazing being used either side of the parking garage’s metal facade. Above the garage, fritted glass panels—comprising 13 levels—are segmented into two volumes. Both facades employ a pattern of tall vertical piers and openings which link the levels together visually, while, according to Lyons, “providing a different material combination and view experience at each zone of the building.” Meanwhile, below the garage, a glass skin wraps around the corner edges facing onto the street. Due to the topography of the site, the glazing follows steps that run down the northside, westwards, and onto an entrance to the Greensboro Metro Station. This journey allows pedestrians to see more of the building’s street level interior as they go down, with entrances to this double-height space at both the top and bottom of the steps. “Within each zone, amenity spaces, collaboration areas, and extended terraces provide numerous interior and exterior experiences,” said Lyons. “It all adds up to a rich mixture; brings life, character, and vitality to the building; and makes the project a singular attractor,” he continued. “[The] design experience supports the continued growth of transit-oriented development and true place-making at Tysons Corner in the most responsive, distinctive, and adaptable way.” Duncan Lyons will be a co-chair for the Facades+AM conference in D.C. this March 9. He and Jeff Barber—design leader and principal and Gensler—will be speaking about this project in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to am.facadesplus.com.
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Gensler reveals renderings for 52-story tower in Los Angeles

It’s finally happened—the furious rush of development along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles stretching from the still-under-construction Wilshire Grand Tower has finally reached Interstate-10. The highway is Downtown L.A.’s informal southern boundary, separating the increasingly tony central city from starkly less affluent neighborhoods located directly to the south. Over the last year, as the Wilshire Grand Tower has gone up and the city’s transit system immediately below has expanded, a large collection of proposals for a new district of high-rise, residential towers has been gradually unveiled beside the L.A. Live and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes. The latest proposal, first reported by Los Angeles Downtown News, marks the 18th new tower proposed for the stretch, with at least 17 other new high-rise housing towers currently awaiting approval or actively under construction. Gensler has a hand in several of the projects, including the Metropolis (four towers), 1020 South Figueroa (three towers), and Fig+Pico (two towers) projects. SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development (three towers), while CallisonRTKL is working on the Oceanwide Plaza (three towers) development, and Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are partway through construction on the twin Circa towers. Gensler’s latest contribution to the district—1660 South Figueroa—will take over an existing car dealership lot and will contain more than 300 residential units, as well as a 250-key hotel and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor office and retail space. Broken down further, the tower is expected to contain 202 market-rate condominiums and 134 apartment units, including 23 condominiums and nine apartments reserved for low-income households. The project also calls for 499 parking stalls dispersed across nine levels of parking, five of which would be located underground. In contrast to many of the other projects mentioned above, most of which are articulated as generic, glass-clad mixed-use towers composed predominantly of vertically-extruded floorplates located atop ornamented retail and parking podia, 1660 South Figueroa is articulated as a hodge-podge of typological tower forms. The tower’s tripartite vertical organization exists as a long and narrow, 19-story housing block at its base that features balconies and large-scale punched openings at its upper reaches. That mass is topped by a pair of 20-story glassy condo towers, one canted slightly off-axis, creating a narrow and tall donut hole at the center of the building. Above that? A six-level mass itself topped by a diminutive, multi-story mid-rise mass. Throughout, the agglomerated mass of towers features grassy accretions, vegetated expanses of building mass punctured by horizontal, punched openings. Details for the project are forthcoming; groundbreaking, construction timeline and budget for the project have not been released.
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Chicago’s Willis Tower to get $500 million renovation

Plans have been revealed for a $500 million renovation of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. The renovation will be the first since the 108-story tower was completed 43 years ago. Gensler’s Chicago office is leading the design for the project, which is being initiated by Blackstone and Equity Office. The plan for the Willis Tower includes the transformation of approximately 460,000 square feet of the building’s interior and a completely new public experience at its base. New amenities to the tower will include a fitness center, tenant lounges, and private event space. The tower’s observation floor, Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd story, will also be remodeled. The base will include more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining, and entertainment spaces, and 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and garden space. Included in the base's redevelopment is a three-story glass structure atop the building's plinth, as well as a three-story subterranean winter garden. “With this historic investment the Willis Tower will remain a vibrant and modern icon that inspires both young and old for generations to come,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during the announcement of the renovation. “But more than that—today Blackstone is doubling-down on its confidence in the future we are building in the city of Chicago.” Built in 1973, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. It is still the second tallest in the United States, behind New York’s One World Trade Center. To achieve its immense height, architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan envisioned the building as nine square structural tubes. As part of the renovation announcement, Equity Office committed to offering 5,000 Skydeck tickets to Chicago Public School students. Equity Office will also donate $100,000 to Project Pipeline, a program sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Minority Architects (I-NOMA). Project Pipeline’s goal is to educate and mentor minority students through the process of becoming licensed architects. The tower was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009. Many Chicagoans still refer to the building by its original name, the Sears Tower.
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Dallas AIA chapter announces 2016 Built Design Awards

Out of 46 submissions, the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has selected four projects to receive its 2016 Built Design Awards. This year’s recipients were selected by a jury composed of internationally renowned architects Matthew Kreilich, AIA, design principal and partner at Snow KreilichArchitects in Minneapolis; David Lewis, AIA, a founding principal at LTL Architects in New York; and Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, founding principal at Johnsen Schmaling Architects in Milwaukee. The final award recipients were selected based on each project’s unique response to its cultural, social, environmental, programmatic, and contextual challenges. “The 46 entries submitted for Design Awards this year were commended for their quality and representation by the jury,” said Michael Friebele, associate AIA, 2016 AIA Design Awards chair and senior associate at FTA Design Studio. “The six awarded projects were recognized as not only the best in design, but also for their unique range of program and context, a direct reflection of the expertise behind our jury this year. We are pleased to honor and celebrate the recipients and their contribution to the elevation of design in our community.” The jury also recognized two additional projects with citation awards.

1. Fire Station No. 27, Perkins+Will (Dallas)

Fire Station 27 was designed to re-establish a proper civic presence and foster a strong connection to the surrounding community that is often lacking in this building type. Responding to a compact site, Fire Station 27 was the City of Dallas’s first multistory station in over one hundred years. It consists of 23,600 square feet with two levels above grade and one level of parking below grade with capacity for 15 personnel per shift.

Jurors commended the project’s success as an urban infill building, as well as its strong organizing concept and celebratory story wall.

2. Prospect House, Max Levy Architect (Dripping Springs)

At this rural wedding and event center, celebrations are accommodated inside, outside, and on a big screened-in breezeway. Above the main hall is a huge wind vane whose mast extends down into the room and supports a 12-foot-diameter ring that turns with the breezes, connecting festivities inside with the world outside.

Jurors celebrated the thoughtful, restrained design, its elemental quality, and the overall modesty and simplicity of the project.

3. Hilti North America Headquarters, Gensler (Plano)

In the new Hilti North America Headquarters, the client’s top priority was celebrating the culmination of Hilti’s people and products. Not only was the entire office built exclusively with Hilti construction tools, over 26,000 modified Hilti products were woven into the architecture of the space—all intended to generate and showcase a pride in the product and the people who design, create, and market it.

Jurors praised the project’s clear concept, clean detailing, and the creation of shared spaces that foster interaction and collaboration.

4. Houndstooth Coffee and Jettison Cocktail Bar, OFFICIAL (Dallas)

The design for Houndstooth Coffee and Jettison Cocktail Bar was driven by the building’s dual function as a bar and a coffee shop and their shared connection. The design centers on an elemental concept of day to night, with Houndstooth filling the larger, sunlit space, and Jettison occupying the intimate back corner. High ceilings create openness in the coffee shop and a “floating” wood-clad volume, referred to as the cloud, serves as the central focal point, drawing the eye up while balancing the space and concealing the mechanical system. Jettison Cocktail Bar takes the inverse of the cloud design with a lowered ceiling and a central void looking into the painted gold trusses that have the character of a chandelier.

Jurors appreciated the elegant yet playful interiors, the creative use of light, and the duality of the distinct spaces.

Projects receiving Juror Citations are:

5. House at Rainbo Lake, Max Levy Architect (Henderson County)

Located in a swampy forest along a lake, this weekend retreat houses an extended family of sportsmen and nature enthusiasts. Each room is a separate building, and a screened in porch connects each building. Color is instrumental to this design, and coloration of exterior materials merges with the site.

6. Twin Gables, FAR + DANG (Dallas)

Set within a transitioning East Dallas neighborhood, this project bridges the traditional forms of the existing surrounding homes with a modern, high-density prototype. These duplex units embrace the length of the property and are designed around visual connections to a series of carefully composed outdoor spaces.

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AC Martin and Onni group to demolish William Pereira-designed L.A. Times building in Los Angeles

Los Angeles-based architects AC Martin and Canadian developer Onni Group have released preliminary renderings for the long-rumored, 1,126-unit Times Mirror Square development that aims to replace the 1970s-era William Pereira addition to the Los Angeles Times building in Downtown Los Angeles. The project, part of a larger, overall redevelopment of the L.A. Times headquarters complex that also includes a new, 30-story tall tower by Gensler, would connect to the existing L.A. Times building via ground floor retail spaces and an outdoor, retail-lined paseo. The original 1940s-era, art deco style L.A. Times headquarters is expected to receive modest restorations via the project while the iconic, late modern era Pereira-designed structure will be completely demolished to make way for the development. The Pereira structure is just four years shy of being eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is not listed as a local Historic-Cultural Monument. Urbanize LA reports that AC Martin would bring a pair of high-rise residential towers to a neighborhood soon-to-be-brimming with open space amenities like the forthcoming revamp to Pershing Square park by Agence Ter, First and Broadway (FaB) park by Mia Lehrer and Associates and OMA, and the five year old Grand Park by Rios Clementi Hale Studios. A 37-story tower would be located directly across the street from Lehrer's FaB Park, with a taller, 53-story monolith located directly behind. Both towers are capped by pointy, crenelated caps and will reportedly rise 465- and 655-feet in height, respectively. The towers will contain parking stalls for 1,000 vehicles despite being located almost directly atop a forthcoming transit stop on the city's Regional Connector line. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
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New renderings revealed for Los Angeles Football Club stadium

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and architects Gensler have revealed new renderings for the $250-million LAFC stadium in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park. The new renderings also showcase the stadium’s new name—the Banc of California Stadium—and provide a glimpse into the complex’s sleek interiors. The 22,000-seat stadium was approved by the Los Angeles City Council in 2016 and is now currently under construction. The structure is designed as an open-air stadium with steeply-raked and sweeping seating areas shaped around the field. That “European-style” arrangement, according to the architects, emphasizes fans’ experience of watching each match by putting the viewer in a closer relationship with the field and players. The complex will also include commercial and restaurant functions oriented toward the larger community. Renderings for the complex show generous pedestrian areas surrounding the main entry of the stadium as well as tree-lined paths leading to other attractions in the park. The stadium joins a growing number of new attractions coming to the urban park, including the recently-proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) building designed by Chinese firm MAD Architects. The board of directors for the LMNA announced last week it was choosing Los Angeles as the location for its new museum. LAFC’s new stadium takes the place of the recently-demolished Welton Becket-designed L.A. Sports Arena, a structure built in 1959 that played host to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball teams as well as college basketball teams for University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. The L.A. Sports Arena held its final event in March when Bruce Springsteen performed a sold-out concert there. The new stadium is expected to open for the 2018 soccer season. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
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Three huge LED public art installations planned for downtown L.A.

Over the last few years, the areas around L.A. Live and the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles’s South Park neighborhood have been undergoing a development boom, with mid- to high-end condominium and apartment complexes sprouting up at a steady clip. However, a new crop of projects currently either under construction or in the entitlement stages of development—dubbed Metropolis, 1020 Figueroa, Circa, and Oceanwide Plaza by developers—signal an infusion of upscale amenities headed for the area, all connected to the financial core and the rest of the city by a growing transit system, including the Long Beach–bound Blue Line and Santa Monica–bound Expo Line.

Three of the four projects mentioned above—1020 Figueroa, Circa, and Oceanwide Plaza—are to be located on the blocks directly across the street from the StaplesCenter, with the Metropolis development located a block northwest. Through their sheer density and size, they will bring a sorely missing street culture to an area that is roaring back to life.

But what will greet those pedestrians when they step off the trains and onto the streets? Walls of LED screens.

That’s because each project features large expanses of LED ribbon walls wrapping street-level commercial and leisure programs. And, to varying degrees, these ribbon walls are being programmed with art content in an effort to bring a new form of artistic expression to the street.

The Metropolis project, consisting of a multiphase, multi-tower hotel and apartment complex on a 6.33-acre site, is currently under construction, with the first phase of the project due to finish at the end of 2016. Eventually, the $1 billion-plus development will consist of four towers: Tower I will be 38 stories tall and contain 308 condominiums; Tower II will be 18 stories tall and contain a 350-room hotel; Tower III will be 40 stories tall and contain 514 condominiums; and Tower IV will be 56 stories tall and contain 736 condominiums. This project, designed by Gensler, is much further along in the construction process than the others and, as such, its arts program is starting to come into sharper focus.

The Metropolis project, like the others mentioned here, is subject to Section 22.118 of the City of Los Angeles Administrative Code, “Arts Development Fee Credits” (ADF) provision that requires commercial projects valued at $500,000 or more to pay a fee either based on the square footage of the building or equal to one percent of the project’s Department of Building and Safety permit valuation—whichever is lower—into a fund used to increase access to public art citywide. The ADF fund is administered by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, an arm of the city government that maintains a trust fund organized by project address to be used to fund arts initiatives at required sites, as necessary. This “one percent for the arts” approach is common in many California municipalities and is being stretched by this collection of projects to incorporate potentially new definitions of what public art might be in the city.

For Metropolis, arts consultants Isenberg & Associates partnered with project management firm DG Hunt & Associates to find suitable artists for the project. After a lengthy selection process, a team made up of digital media artists Refik Anadol and Susan Narduli was selected for the project. Their work Convergence, a 100- by 20-foot LED wall installation, will be unveiled in January of 2017 as construction on phase one wraps up, creating, the developers hope, an opportunity to introduce the project to the city and local community. Anadol and Narduli describe Convergence as “a generative construct fuelled by data and informed by aesthetics,” a synergy of Anadol’s digitally focused art practice and Narduli’s narrative-infused artwork. The duo wants the artwork—located in a plaza facing Francisco Street on the site’s eastern edge—to “create a lively public space by giving urban activities a new experiential dimension.” They plan to do this by fusing the “real-time demographic, astronomical, oceanographic, tectonic, and climate data streams, as well as social media posts, traffic, and news feeds into a constantly shifting cinematic narrative of Los Angeles.” The project was developed hand-in-hand with the architects as part of the overall design process, and is being deployed as an integrated architectural component of Metropolis.

According to the team’s statement, “Convergence explores new ways of storytelling through an intelligent platform that both expresses and responds to the spirit of the city in a seamless fusion of digital content, public space, and urban life.” The work will be available in situ for pedestrians to experience as part of the new sports and entertainment promenade the developers behind Metropolis hope to extend from L.A. Live to the upper reaches of the financial district. It will be available online, as well as via a mobile-device-friendly website accompanied by real-time audio. Experiencing the work in person will generate changes to the physical manifestation of the art, as the attendant data resulting from proximity, interaction, and occupation become woven into a living digital display.

It’s unclear what pedestrians can expect from the arts programs developed for the other three projects, but if Anadol and Narduli’s Convergence is a guide, expect more lights, more data, and perhaps most importantly, a closer relationship among architecture, digital art, and the public realm.

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New hotel towers revealed for L.A.’s booming South Park neighborhood

San Francisco–based Gensler and New York and Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg have released renderings for the Fig + Pico development, the latest set of towers for Los Angeles’s rapidly transforming South Park neighborhood. New York-based real estate firm Lightstone Group is working on the latest scheme for the city’s entertainment district, which encompass a grouping of towers on a 1.22-acre site directly across from the Los Angeles Convention Center and rising on the same block as the Harley Ellis Devereaux-designed Circa project, which is made up of a pair of elliptical, 38-story residential towers containing 648 units. Urbanize.LA reports that according to an initial study released by the Department of City Planning, the Fig + Pico project would encompass trio of mixed-use hotel projects, with two of those hotels co-located within a 42-story tower containing a combined 820 rooms. The third hotel will be located in a 25-story tower adjacent to the tallest mass and will contain 342 rooms. Preliminary renderings contained within that report show a cluster of rectilinear, glass-clad monoliths sprouting from a mid-rise podium structure. All three towers are supported by slender, super-tall columns and are alternately oriented toward the south and west. The podium structure for the two taller masses has been designed to contain 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail spaces, as well as rooftop pool decks, conference areas, and a 353-stall parking structure while the third tower will contain 2,100 square feet of retail space among other programs. The project represents the latest addition to the city’s projected skyline, which according to proposed and currently-under-construction projects, will be steadily marching southward from the new AC Martin-designed Wilshire Grand tower toward Interstate 10 over the next few years. Just last week, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S revealed designs for a crop of residential high-rise towers. Like many of the adjacent residential and hotel projects, Fig + Pico is expected to have, per the developer’s request, illuminated signage along the retail podium levels for advertising and possibly, digital public art installations, as well. Pending city approval, the project is due to break ground in late 2017 or early 2018 and will be completed by 2022.
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Pei Cobb Freed & Partners breaks ground on renovation and addition to Yamasaki’s Century Plaza Hotel in L.A.

New York–based Pei Cobb Freed & Partners broke ground this month on a $2.5 billion development aimed at retrofitting and expanding the Minoru Yamasaki-designed Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles’s Century City business district. The project will convert the existing 16-story, 726-room hotel structure from 1966 into a luxury development with 394 high-end suites and 63 condominium residences. The elliptically-shaped hotel will be revamped by firms Gensler and Marmol Radziner, with the latter firm focusing on the historic restoration components of the project. The hotel has a rich history and was used as a stopover for visiting dignitaries during its heyday, including presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. The building was also the site of violently-quelled anti-Vietnam war protests in 1967. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners has designed a pair of 46-story, 600-foot tall Reuleaux triangle-shaped glass towers containing 290 luxury condominiums to flank the historic structure. Los Angeles—based architects Harley Ellis Devereaux are acting as Architect of Record for the residences contained within the glass-clad towers. The towers feature masonry-clad plinths at their base and are covered in repetitive, scalloped-edge balconies in deference to the Yamasaki-designed building’s distinctive facade. Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCH Studios) is providing landscape design for the project; the firm aims to connect the new towers to the existing building via an elaborate series of landscaped shopping terraces. The shopping areas are designed to pull through the hotel’s interior from Avenue of the Stars, the major boulevard bounding the southern edge of the site. RCH Studios has laid the site out symmetrically around the center of the Yamasaki tower with wrap-around walkways and shaded areas connecting a proposed subway stop along the forthcoming Purple Line extension with the terraced areas at the feet of the towers. Plans for the redevelopment scheme were approved in 2013 as developers Next Century Associates—who originally wanted to demolish the 50-year old hotel—and preservationists clashed over the plans. The preservationists eventually won out when the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the hotel to its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for that year, bringing a public spotlight to the project and causing the developers to change course. Construction for the project is expected to finish in 2019.
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L.A.’s Playa Vista is becoming “Silicon Beach” and plays host to top architecture firms

The Playa Vista neighborhood on Los Angeles’s west side is quickly becoming Southern California’s answer to Silicon Valley, as it plays host to a growing contingent of technology-focused companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, and WeWork. And as capital, brainpower, and new residents flow into the area, so too have big-name architecture firms with high-minded designs.

The Playa Vista tract was originally owned by airline mogul Howard Hughes, who used the ocean-adjacent expanse as the manufacturing facility and airstrip where he built his famous Hercules (Spruce Goose) airplane. President Bill Clinton designated the 1.3-square-mile area as one of six national pilot projects of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing in 1998, and the property began its redevelopment as a mixed-use neighborhood in 2002. In the years since, the 460-acre area, partially master-planned by Los Angeles–based Moule & Polyzoides, has seen its population boom to over 10,000 residents. In recent years, the area has gained the moniker “Silicon Beach,” as technology companies originally based in the nearby communities of Venice and Santa Monica have outgrown their initial outposts, expanding the technology industry’s footprint southward.

Last year, Google signed on to lease 319,000 square feet of space in the Hercules Campus, a complex redeveloped by Brenda Levin and Associates and EPT Design for the Ratkovich Company, including the 200- by 700-foot Hercules building in which Spruce Goose was designed. The team restored the building, adding pedestrian-oriented amenities to the complex while also converting the historic structure into a series of soundstages and tech-friendly offices.

Michael Maltzan Architecture, which designed the eight-acre Playa Vista Central Park in 2010 with Office of James Burnett (OJB), is adding a new 425,300 square foot office complex called The Brickyard. The Brickyard is also beind developed with OJB. The new complex, currently under construction, will feature partially-sunken landscaped parking areas that aim to extend the park outward into the office zones. The office structures, articulated as a maze of stacked, shifted, and offset volumes, are made up of two principal masses: one long office block that bends at two elbows in order to frame the aforementioned parking deck and a singular, six-story office tower. Both buildings feature punched openings as well as a variety of delicately-articulated access points that connect the parking and ground-level areas with what’s above. The complex will include a 9,000-square-foot daycare facility and will help fulfill Playa Vista’s goal of becoming a full-service neighborhood.

Gensler has also been busy at Playa Vista, undertaking the architectural repositioning of four existing office spaces in its Playa Jefferson complex. Vantage Property Investors has announced a tech-focused project dubbed “Building E,” which will encompass another large office structure designed for creative collaboration. The structure, undertaken with 360 Construction Group and AHBE Landscape Architects, will bring 200,000 square feet of open plan creative office space to the district, with large expanses of glass, terraced floor plates, and a cantilevered anchor office space. Li Wen, design director and principal at Gensler, detailed several key aspects of the design, including “side-core configurations that allow open floorplates, direct access to and abundance of private outdoor space, operable windows, sawtooth skylights, thinner floorplates for natural ventilation and deep penetration of natural light, and flat slab construction that provides for 13-foot ceiling heights.” The ocean-oriented project is located adjacent to the “lifestyle amenity-rich” Runway at Playa Vista Apartments by Johnson Fain.

Last but not least, Shimoda Design Group and OJB completed work in 2015 on The Collective, a 200,150-square-foot, LEED Gold office park complex designed for Tishman Speyer that features five two-story buildings clad in distinctive, tilt-up concrete panels (seen at the top of the article). These panels, interspersed with expanses of glass, are topped by zigzagging, metal-clad roofs. The campus connects the humdrum of office life directly to the adjacent outdoor areas via a series of landscaped paths, bringing in the sensitive Ballona and Bluff Creek wetlands that run alongside Playa Vista’s northern and southern edges. With new lease agreements being signed almost by the day and the careful, meticulous process of filling in the district’s vacant parcels fully underway, Playa Vista looks more and more like a sure bet for L.A.’s growing roster of creative offices spaces.

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2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325 by DDG

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 in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325

Architect: DDG Location: New York, NY

Acting as design architect, developer, and general contractor, DDG developed a custom, cast-aluminum screen using 3-D modeling software and state-of-the-art hardware. A burlap texture was hand-applied to the set of 12 repeating components before the sand-cast molds were made and the finished components cast. The resulting sinewy surface creates dialogue with the cast iron historic buildings of the area.

Executive Architect HTO Architect

Structural Engineer Severud Associates Fabricator Walla Walla Foundry RenShape Foundry Pattern & Tooling Board Freeman Manufacturing & Supply Company Aluma Black Birchwood Casey

Honorable Mention, Digital Fabrication: Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Architect: Payette Location: Boston, MA

The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern University is a high-performance research building with a triple-glazed curtain wall and solar veil to help the building exceed 2030 energy savings goals.

Honorable Mention, Digital Fabrication: FilzFelt LINK

Architect: Gensler Location: Los Angeles, CA

Originally created as a one-time solution for Gensler’s Los Angeles office, the company recognized its wider possibilities and partnered with FilzFelt to produce a flexible modular panel system that adds texture and color to an environment while serving as a privacy screen, shade system, room divider, and acoustical element.