Posts tagged with "Gensler":

Placeholder Alt Text

Stacked box tower to face off against neighboring L.A. Times building

Tribune Media Company, owners of the Los Angeles Times, is aiming to build a 30-story tower on an existing parking lot across the street from the historic L.A. Times building in Downtown Los Angeles. The project, first reported by Urbanize.LA, is designed by architecture firm Gensler and will feature 107 condominium units, 534,000 square feet of commercial space, and 7,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial area. Located at the corner of 2nd Street and Broadway, the project, when completed, will also stand directly above a new underground subway station being built as part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) so-called Regional Connector project. The Regional Connector is an underground tunnel that will link together the existing Blue and Expo transit lines with Union Station and the Gold Line, fusing the Blue and Expo lines with the northern and southern halves of the Gold, respectively, creating two cross-regional transit lines that pass through the downtown area instead of merely coming to a dead end there as they currently do. A rendering for the project shows a highly-articulated tower with sections of grouped, projecting floorplates jutting out at various heights, along all sides. Each of the building’s boxy, projecting masses is clad in a different material and utilizes alternating stylistic approaches, with certain portions clad in floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls and other sections featuring vertical ribbons of glazing spanning multiple floors. These masses overhang and project from one another, with other types of sun shading strategies like vertical and horizontal louvers populating the structure’s facades throughout. The development adds to speculation that a previously-mentioned plan to demolish a William Pereiradesigned section of the existing L.A. Times building will begin to move forward, as well. That plan would demolish the 1970s-era structure for another housing tower, this one potentially containing apartments instead of condominiums. A construction timeline for either tower has not yet been released.
Placeholder Alt Text

Gensler designs a new vision for the unloved Milwaukee Post Office

The long, low-slung Milwaukee Post Office is not a popular building. The rust-covered Brutalist structure sits along a five-block stretch of the Menominee Riverfront, a place that, until recently, was generally seen as the undesirable backside of the city. But that is all quickly changing. Just east of the post office, the Third Ward neighborhood has been completely transformed in the last ten years. The Menominee River Valley to the west is also seeing new life after over 100 years of being the city’s industrial heart. Now, Chicago-based developers R2, in collaboration with Gensler, are betting on a brighter future for the much-maligned post office.

When R2 bought the building and the surrounding land for $13 million in 2015, it knew it was going to be a long-term project. The United States Postal Service has a lease for its space through 2020, with the option to sign for up to 30 years. Even if the Postal Service were to vacate, the site would always have active train lines running under the building, between its massive concrete piloti. But that is not stopping R2 from planning ahead.

R2 and Gensler recently released new renderings and an outline of their plans for the site. Gensler’s designs call for a major mixed-use development that incorporates office space, residential, and entertainment, as well as small and big-box retail. The site benefits from extensive access to transportation, including ramps from the adjacent elevated freeway, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, the city’s main Amtrak and Greyhound station, and the now under-construction city streetcar.

“The concerns that are on the site, that in the past have be seen as barriers to development, are now seen as potential drivers for the project,” explained Benjy Ward, Gensler principal and regional design leader. “The market has flipped. The elevated highway that runs by the site and the river have become assets.”

Along with renovating the current building, the project could include two large towers at each end of the site. The east tower would have 282,000 square feet of residential space, while the west tower (along with space in the existing building) would account for nearly one million square feet of office space. The 1,500 feet of riverfront would also be developed as a public promenade and an extension of the city’s growing Riverwalk. Restaurants will line the promenade, and kayak launches and boat docks will connect the project with river traffic. A foot bridge is proposed to connect the existing building to the James Biber–designed Harley Davidson Museum across the river.

Though the Postal Service will remain a tenant in the building for at least the next few years, Gensler’s plans are such that, if given the go-ahead, the project could begin. By working in the currently open land around the building, much of the proposal could be realized without disrupting normal operations.

If realized, the post office project will be one of many changing the face of downtown Milwaukee. Of those projects rising just north of the site, few are as ambitious in scale or program. Yet with at least three years to go before the site could be completely free of its current tenant, the city is going to have to wait a bit for delivery.

Placeholder Alt Text

Tom Wiscombe Architecture beats out Zaha Hadid Architects and Gensler to redesign the L.A. billboard

  Tom Wiscombe Architecture (TWA) has been selected as the winner for The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign Request for Proposals (RFP) competition for a site located at 8775 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. The firm’s proposal, a partnership with Orange Barrel Media and Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) beats out submissions by JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Ltd.; Outfront Media, Gensler and the MAK Center; and Tait Towers Inc. The RFP comes as the city of West Hollywood, California seeks to modernize the ubiquitous billboards that dot Sunset Strip, a 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that cuts across the city’s northwestern edge, for the 21st century. The municipality’s RFP called on designers to“ design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure” while also inspiring “a 21st-century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media, and multi-dimensional graphic design.” TWA’s proposal seeks to reinvent the billboard as a typology overall, replacing its static, image-based, and automobile-centric qualities with digitally-driven and public space-making approaches. The scheme takes the typical double-sided billboard and rotates it 90-degrees so that the short edge of the sign rests on the ground. The two planes are then bent and folded into a configuration that allows for human occupation, with the whole assembly located in a public plaza. Wiscombe described the project via email to The Architect’s Newspaper, saying, “Just a few months ago Elton John and Lady Gaga did a pop-up duet right nearby our site, in support of his AIDS Foundation. I like to think of our Belltower as a contemporary catalyst and venue for civic engagement like that. We are also committed to making it into a kind of digital testing ground for artists, who will be curated by our partner MoCA. They will essentially be able to take it over for periods of time. I think that fusing together the worlds of art and commerce will give the project life, and force us out of our habitual modes of consuming media.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Archtober’s Building of the Day: Samsung 837 by Gensler and Morris Adjmi Architects

This is the first in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Samsung 837 837 Washington Street New York, NY Gensler (Interior); Morris Adjmi Architects (Exterior) And we’re off! Our first Building of the Day tour location was Samsung 837, the brand’s digital playground in the Meatpacking District. We started in the ground floor’s recording studio, where the company hosts local DJs and artists. There, Steve Bitterman, AIA, from Gensler told us about the design process his team employed in designing the interiors for Samsung 837. Everything in the building is completely custom-made—the floors, the chairs, the casework—in order to attract talent. To that effect, the space is designed to be very collaborative. The first and second floors comprise the experience and event spaces. Bitterman and the Samsung team led us into the Social Galaxy, which has over 300 Samsung screens displaying Instagram posts from different times and places. To add to the social media experience, Samsung also commissioned a three-story screen, the largest interactive social media display in the world, made up of 96 individual screens. Visitors are encouraged to take a selfie, which is then created on the megascreen by thousands of former selfies. Gensler had to carve out three stories of Morris Adjmi’s structure in order to accommodate this display. We then moved on to VR Tunnel and 4D seats. Through a virtual reality headset and moving seats, I was transported to a thrilling virtual roller coaster ride. From there, we moved to the second floor, more service focused than the experience focused first floor. A mock-up of a living room and kitchen enables visitors to see how different Samsung devices will fit into their homes. Bitterman then led us to the sixth floor, which houses offices for Samsung personnel. Everything on these upper floors is also custom-made, a creating a unique work experience. The design team wanted the space to evoke the industrial history of the Meatpacking District, evident in the metal beams and manual desk cranks. Moving down, we were shown additional floors that serve distinct purposes. The trapezoidal pyramid structure of the building means that the floor plates increase in area as you go down, making the third floor large enough to function as an event space. It’s easy to see why so many people would want to come here for everything from seeing a concert to having a meeting. Tomorrow, we go below ground to the Lowline Lab. About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Ticket to Ride!) and brewing his own beer.
Placeholder Alt Text

West Coast architecture firms are a hotbed for virtual reality applications

Though digital modeling and documentation tools have been an integral part of architectural practice for decades, until recently, visualization tools hewed closely to traditional elements of two-dimensional representation. Several firms and independent practitioners, however, are striving to adopt virtual reality (VR) as a design tool.

At the corporate level, established firms like Gensler and NBBJ are setting up in-house VR departments and standing to benefit from their corporate heft and connections.

NBBJ’s Seattle office recently launched a business partnership with construction industry start up Visual Vocal to incubate and develop what the firm referred to as a “breakthrough virtual reality productivity platform.” The tool aims to streamline the firm’s collaborative design process by allowing clients on-demand access to project information and design updates. NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell described the firm’s approach in a press release: “This partnership will radically shift the way design feedback is sourced and integrated into projects, and the speed at which it can be done. As a result, we can more broadly and deeply engage project stakeholders.… Virtual reality will deepen design discourse and bring together communities in new and exciting ways.”

Gensler’s Los Angeles office has taken the opposite approach, creating a virtual reality department that engages with existing VR technologies, looping the latest design tools into Gensler’s corporate workflow as they come online. Gensler’s San Francisco office utilized VR to create a highly detailed climate model as it designed a new headquarters for computer graphics card maker Nvidia. Alan Robles, experience designer in charge of VR technologies at Gensler’s L.A. office, described the firm’s efforts as an attempt to streamline the use of VR as a design tool, calling VR the “next logical evolution for rendering technologies.” Gensler integrates VR into its workflow early in the conceptual diagram stage while also pairing Unity software with Autodesk Revit later in the process to bring designers and clients directly into a working digital model where design options can be updated in real time.

The firm’s VR capabilities are also being utilized in the ongoing design of the new Los Angeles Football Club stadium in South Los Angeles, where Gensler’s team was able to integrate VR design approaches early into the design process to communicate possible sponsorship opportunities and overall project concept. VR is incorporated into the conceptual design phases, making Gensler’s approach toward VR basically one of normalizing the technology as a design tool. The evolution of project concepts in VR takes off from there, with the technology being deployed as necessary to convey design intent. These efforts result in a custom app made by Gensler’s in-house team that clients can use as a personalized marketing and development tool.

Operating in a parallel stream, a school of emerging designers has taken up VR as a key visualization and production tool.

Güvenç Özel, principal at Özel Office, made use of VR in a recent competition proposal made for NASA. His NASA 3D-Printed Habitat project, runner-up in the competition, creates a VR environment to convey its design intention and functionality. The project, showcased at the Architecture and Design Museum’s recent exhibition, Come In! DTLA, allowed observers to wear VR headsets to explore the scheme: A space capsule 3-D-printed from martian rock and occupied as an operating base for astronaut-explorer scientists.

Özel, who spoke to AN via email, described VR’s potential impact on architecture in no uncertain terms, saying, “The immersiveness of these digital environments are becoming so convincing that they start to exist as environments in their own right. I am convinced that the architecture of our near future involves physical and digital spaces superimposed on each other, and will further blur the lines between what is interface design and what is architectural design.” Designer Devin Gharakhanian, in collaboration with VR specialist Nels Long, presented Room XYZ at this year’s One-NightStand L.A. showcase, utilizing VR to recontextualize an all-white room into a variety of experiences. The project, in a different iteration, places the viewer into a precise, virtual recreation of an elaborately staged room. For the two architecturally-trained artists, the works serve to explore existential architectural issues directly.

Adding to this inertia, is a growing stock of interdisciplinary, VR-focused coworking spaces and organizations that are coalescing across L.A., where the edges of the visualization, filmmaking, and architectural professions run into one another, like Virtual Reality Los Angeles, Navel.la, and RotoLab. With the recent announcement by computing giant Intel of a new collaboration with Microsoft aimed at developing VR capabilities for Windows-based machines and plans to open an L.A. research studio, the future of VR is here—and it’s very real. 

Placeholder Alt Text

A major mixed-use development includes a new Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters

A star is on the horizon: Situated roughly 30 miles north of Dallas, Frisco Independent School District (ISD), one of the fastest growing school districts in the U.S., is home to more than 54,000 students across 68 schools, with eight more schools planned to open before 2019.

To accommodate this rapid growth, Gensler designed a 25-acre complex comprising a 300,000-square-foot office building, 300-room hotel, and a 12,000-seat indoor stadium known as the Ford Center. Totaling $1.5 billion, the project is known officially as “The Star in Frisco” and is part of the area’s larger 91-acre mixed-use development.

Gensler’s scheme has been hotly anticipated by the local community. The Ford Center’s inaugural event, which saw four football games between teams from Frisco’s ISD on August 27, was sold out a week in advance.

Emblazoned with the Dallas Cowboys’ signature blue—conveniently similar to that of Ford’s—the indoor athletic facility will be used by the NFL team, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s eight high schools. With a clearance of 94 feet and offering football-shaped locker rooms to be used by both high schoolers and professional football players, it is the only NFL training facility in the country that is shared with the public.

Project architect and Gensler associate Scott Armstrong said that the venue was “always going to be indoors in order to provide flexibility,” and to create a “multi-use event space.” As a result, visitors can expect a vibrant atmosphere at events as sound reverberates around the space. Given the stadium’s parabolic roof, Armstrong also highlighted the extensive gutter system that spans the perimeter to capture water runoff.

Unlike most NFL and high school sports arenas, fans can enter the venue through the same side. “Everybody’s a home team here at this stadium,” principal at Gensler Ted Kollaja told the Dallas News. “We wanted to ceremonially bring them all through the front door together.”

Sitting in the middle of the 25-acre area, the Ford Center will be joined by offices and a “War Room” (a space for football tactics to be discussed) to its right, and an Omni Hotel, retail, and restaurant space to its left. Directly in front of the arena will be a public plaza, complete with a football field (one of three outdoor fields in the complex), which will bridge the surrounding typologies at a pedestrian level. 

Present throughout Gensler’s project is the theme of openness. In the office complex, a five-story atrium connects the main lobby and entrance to the football field on the opposite side. Aligned with the 50-yard line, the feature provides what Armstrong described as the “wow factor” for the site while also emphasizing the notion of “walkability” within the general area.

The hotel, known as the “Omni Frisco Hotel” will boast a 13,000-square-foot ballroom, as well as 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The luxury hotel will also offer a rooftop pool deck with a bar and grill overlooking the open plaza and main entrance to the Ford Center.

The 25-acre development is due to be complete in fall 2017, though the Ford Center is currently up and running. As for the overall 91-acre scheme, Armstrong said that this “will phase into competition at various times throughout the next few years.”

Placeholder Alt Text

Belzberg Architects to bring 100 senior housing units to L.A.’s Westside

With a newly proposed plan for a 100-unit senior housing complex by Belzberg Architects, the Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) is making clear its plans to expand outside the San Fernando Valley are serious. The LAJH, with over 1,000 residents, is already the largest single-source senior housing provider in Los Angeles. Still, it seems its latest expansion can’t come soon enough. Although LAJH has yet to wrap up construction on a new, Gensler-designed campus in the coastal Playa Vista neighborhood, all 199 units in that $100 million project have already been reserved. This recently-revealed proposal will provide 100 additional units in a second location a few miles away. The new mixed-use complex, located in the Beverly-Fairfax area in L.A.’s Westside, will feature 40 independent living, 40 assisted living, and 20 guest rooms in a structure that will also contain a new synagogue for the Orthodox Jewish Congregation of Beth-Israel and a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (P.A.C.E) clinic that will be available for use by the public as well as residents. Belzberg Architects’s preliminary designs for the new six-story housing complex is a terraced apartment block whose pixelated, multi-planar facades step back from each street line to create terraces, balconies, and overhangs. Some of these areas turn the building’s corners, creating wrap-around mezzanines and loggia in a series of compositions that also include large, punched openings denoting individual apartment units. The similarly-variable ground level storefronts aim to activate the street while a rooftop terrace overlooks everything below. This approach mirrors LAJH’s Playa Vista outpost where neighborhood amenities include a library, gym, and community gathering spot. Evidently, the senior housing services provider is making a bet toward mixed-use development in an effort to keep its residents integrated with the wider community, and vice versa. According to materials released by LAJH, the mixed-use design aims to alleviate high rates of loneliness among the elderly population. The project’s public profile will surely get a boost from the P.A.C.E. clinic that both residents and community members age 55 and older will be able to use. The complex also contains a two-level, 137 stall parking garage. A timeline for construction has not been announced.
Placeholder Alt Text

New renderings revealed for Gensler’s C3 “vertical creative office” in Culver City

Gensler’s Los Angeles office and IDS Real Estate Group are coming together to bring a new coworking office space to Culver City, California. The project, referred to as Culver City Creative, or C3 at Culver Pointe, is currently well into construction: the concrete slabs, beams, and columns of the first two floors are already in place. A third floor is framed and underway. Ultimately, the latest addition to the region’s thriving “Silicon Beach” area will rise seven stories up, encompassing a 280,000-square-foot “vertical creative office campus.” Each floor plate is due to contain between 38,000 to 45,000 square feet of leasable space. Architecturally reminiscent of the early 20th century manufacturing structures being converted to offices elsewhere in the city, this wholly new construction will feature subdued architectural massing, with the building’s structural concrete frame and expanses of glass walls figuring prominently. Renderings for the project depict operable double height glass walls in some areas. Two of the facades contain projecting, building-wide balconies. Alternating floor plates that rise along the height of the structure, pushing beyond the building envelope, create the aforementioned balconies. Along one exposure, these balconies are connected by brightly colored staircases. The building also extends a series of Pratt truss-framed skywalks connecting the office tower to an adjacent parking garage.You can watch construction as it happens via a live camera feature on the project website.
Placeholder Alt Text

See Iwan Baan’s photos of DS+R’s Vagelos Education Center

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) with Gensler as executive architect, the Vagelos Education Center is filled with high-tech classrooms and facilities meant to keep Columbia University's medical students at their field's cutting edge. The Architect's Newspaper has already covered the center's facade design, and our upcoming regional East issue (available September 7) will feature a full "Crit" by professor, editor, and scholar Edward Dimendberg. We've included an excerpt of that article below, and in the meantime, enjoy the Iwan Baan pics!

This 100,000-square-foot, 14-story tower—the tallest realized by DS+R and one of the rare medical school facilities designed as an integral vertical structure—inevitably raises the question of how successfully DS+R has negotiated the jump to the larger scale and challenge of a Manhattan high-rise. Happily, nothing in the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, except perhaps the somewhat perfunctory lobby, misses a beat, from the circulation and separation of complex programs to the small footplate that eliminates long, alienating corridors and the soundproofing that admits city sounds while maintaining a welcome silence. The "study cascade" side of the tower evokes the "folded noodle" of DS+R’s unrealized Eyebeam design. But here, it is subject to a rigorous logic that is likely to establish the Vagelos Center as a textbook example of a much discussed design strategy, in the late 1990s and early twenty-first century, but not often realized in an effective and definitive form.

Placeholder Alt Text

More details emerge on the massive Port of Los Angeles redevelopment

Gensler’s Los Angeles office has revealed plans for a $150 million expansion to the Port of Los Angeles by marine science and business innovation group AltaSea. Revealed plans detail a 280,000-square-foot facility encompassing a new waterfront promenade, aquaculture research center, and science hub that combines the existing dockside warehouses with a new visitor’s center and signal-house.

Three formerly industrial warehouse shells with exposed composite steel beams and original overhead trusses will house dedicated research and business development facilities for aquaculture and underwater robotics endeavors. The project’s development will be divided into phases beginning with the redevelopment of Warehouses 58 through 60, which will add 180,000 square feet of combined research and business hubs to the site. This phase also incorporates an education pavilion and wharf plaza. The second and third phases entail renovating Warehouse 57—which will contain 60,000 square feet of laboratory and classroom space—and the construction of the site’s two new structures.

Those new constructions, Berth 56 and a tower dubbed “the Viewing Structure,” are located between the arms of the two docks housing the science warehouse spaces. Berth 56 is a landscape-oriented community center with educational and exhibition spaces, as well as amenities like viewing platforms and a theater. The five-story viewing tower is located at the foot of a Berth 56’s roof terrace, which has been sculpted to blend with a street-level plaza.

Gensler expects to begin construction on the first phase of the project in 2016 with the community center set to open in 2023. 

Placeholder Alt Text

First look at DS+R’s new 14-story “Study Cascade” at Columbia University Medical Center

facadeplus_logo1
Brought to you with support from 0716_AkzoBanner_234x60
  The Vagelos Education Center is a new state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building at Columbia University Medical Center. The building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, is a 100,000-square-foot, 14-story glass tower that incorporates technologically advanced classrooms, collaboration spaces, and a modern simulation center to reflect how medicine is taught, learned, and practiced in the 21st century. The design seeks to reshape the look and feel of the medical center and create spaces that facilitate a medical education. The project, which broke ground in September 2013, comes amidst a wider campus revitalization plan for CUMC that involves increases to green space, renovations to existing buildings, and the construction of new facilities. All new construction and renovation projects within this plan work toward the goal of minimizing CUMC’s carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025. On a larger scale, the Vagelos Education Center will help to define the northern edge of the campus, providing a bridge to the surrounding Washington Heights community. In a press release, Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at DS+R said, “Space matters for structured and informal learning. To support Columbia’s progressive medical education program, we designed a building that will nurture collaboration.” This is reflected in the most captivating feature of the building: A highly transparent south-facing 14-story “Study Cascade,” designed to be conducive to team-based learning and teaching, that opens onto south-facing outdoor spaces and terraces. The organization of the interior spaces produces a network of social and study “neighborhoods” distributed along an exposed, interconnected vertical staircase that extends the height of the building.
  • Facade Manufacturer Josef Gartner (Glass Fin Curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America, (Unitized Curtainwall)
  • Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (design architect); Gensler (executive architect)
  • Facade Installer Josef Gartner (Glass Fin Curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America, (Unitized Curtainwall)
  • Facade Consultants Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C. (curtain wall)
  • Location New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System GFRC panels, Unitized aluminum mullion curtain wall, and an insulated stick built glass fin curtainwall enclosing a reinforced concrete core with post-tensioned concrete slabs
  • Products Bischoff Glastechnik AG (glass) ; Josef Gartner (glass fin curtainwall); Permasteelisa North America (unitized curtainwall); David Kucera Inc. (precast glass fiber reinforced concrete cladding), IMETCO (metal panels); Bilfinger (metal screen); Resysta Tru Grain Wood Composite (exterior wood); Blumcraft / C.R.Laurence (doors)
DS+R’s design takes advantage of an incredible view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. The building is composed of cantilevered post-tensioned concrete slabs cast with Cobiax void formers to achieve a lighter weight long span system. These slabs form the basis of the Study Cascade, and spring from a site-formed reinforced concrete core providing structural shear capacity for the building. The vertical core programmatically divides the education center into two halves: a south-facing active collaborative zone, and a north-facing series of specialized spaces that include classrooms, administrative offices, and a “Simulation Center” of mock examination and operating rooms. The facade system works to visually express these two types of spaces from the exterior. The Study Cascade reads more as a continuous unfolding of the ground plane in large part due to a highly transparent stick-built curtainwall system that incorporates glass fin supports, low iron glass, and a low-e coating. GFRC paneling follows the trajectories of the formal folds of the slab edges, further defining each interior zone. Around the side and rear of the building, at the location of specialized educational spaces, the slabs normalize into a more typical repetitive spacing, and are clad with a unitized aluminum mullion curtainwall integrated with GFRC elements to provide a more controlled day lit environment. Ceramic frit glazing, set in one large gradient pattern, transitions from transparent to opaque along the side elevation, filtering and diffusing sunlight while mitigating solar gain. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the building integrates a range of sustainable features, such as locally sourced materials, green roof technologies, and an innovative mechanical system that minimizes energy and water use. In addition to specialized glazing coatings and assemblies, the facade incorporates both fixed and operable shading to optimize the regulation of daylighting and solar gain by program area. “The Vagelos Education Center started with a clear vision as a place of excellence for higher learning that would also act as a much needed social center,” said Madeline Burke-Vigeland AIA, principal at Gensler. “Because of everyone’s deep involvement, it has transformed into something that exceeds even those high expectations: a vibrant new hub for Columbia's Medical Center campus.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Gensler releases renderings of GE’s new Boston HQ

  Fresh images of General Electric's new Boston headquarters have surfaced, courtesy of GE and architecture firm Gensler, which is based in San Francisco but has an office in Boston. Earlier this year General Electric (GE) announced they would be leaving their Fairfield, Connecticut headquarters, which they originally moved to in 1974. A new location was chosen in Fort Point on the Boston waterfront. GE will remodel two historic brick structures on the site and build a new 12 story building. The company says their new site—which will accommodate 800 employees—will encourage public employees to commute by public transportation, biking, and walking. According to Bldup, only 30 new parking spaces will be constructed on site as part of an underground garage. GE's new location, which they describe as a "campus," will include a public coffee shop, restaurant, and 1.5 acre public outdoor space. Among its other sustainable features are a rooftop solar system and vegetated roof areas. GE isn't the only major corporation to move into an urban center this year. McDonalds recently announced that they would move their headquarters from the suburb of Oak Brook to Downtown Chicago. Kraft made a similar move after their merger with Heinz. Companies who once deliberately moved out to expansive suburban campuses are finding new financial and logistical incentives to return to cities. Cities are also more attractive than suburbs to the younger generation of workers, whom GE is actively courting. According to a press release the campus will include a "Maker Space" for tech startups as well as university and high school students. The move is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016 with employees relocating to a temporary Boston location. Their Fairfield campus will be sold, along with their offices in the building at 30 Rockefeller Center that once bore its name. This, along with incentives from the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts, will offset the moving and construction costs. The company expects the move in to be completed by the end of 2018.