Posts tagged with "HDR Architects":

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Billion-dollar neighborhood development begins in Omaha

The City of Omaha is getting a completely new neighborhood. Currently going by the name of West Farm, the construction of the 500-acre development has begun. Like no other development in the state, West Farm is being helmed by developer Noddle, with master planning by Omaha-based HDR Architects, and the latest designs by San Francisco-based SB Architects. Though located at the edge of the city, West Farm is planned to be distinctly pedestrian-oriented. At the heart of the project is an outdoor mall, which is buffered by retail, restaurants, entertainment, as well as smaller plazas and walkways. While the land is being completely transformed, 120 of the site’s original trees are being saved to be replanted as the project completion allows. In all, roughly 20 percent of the project will be dedicated to walking and biking paths, parks, water features, and open space. The project will include 2,100 housing units and over 2 million square feet of office space, retail, and entertainment. The developers anticipate that the project will have upwards of 15,000 residents, workers, and shoppers on the site daily. In order to finance roads and sanitation for the project, the city has established a sanitary and improvement district (SID). Under the designation, tax-exempt bonds can be sold to raise funds for new infrastructure, and special taxes can be set for the area. In the past, once the debt of the district has been paid down, Omaha annexes the area. Over the next 15 years, Nebraska will join the likes of Texas, California, and Florida, other states that are all home to massive mixed-use developments. And like those mega-developments, West Farm will come at a cost of over a billion dollars. The transformation of millions of square feet of land and the building of an entire community takes time, and no small amount of money.
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Boston mayor wants ideas to overhaul the city’s windswept City Hall Plaza

If Boston City Hall were a celebrity, it might be a fixture on tabloid “Worst Dressed” lists. The Brutalist building elicits strong sentiments from architectural observers and everyday citizens alike, but most agree the City Hall Plaza could use some sprucing up. In his inaugural State of the City address Mayor Marty Walsh called on residents to help him reimagine the barren, 11-acre brick expanse. Boston City Hall Plaza is an inductee into Project for Public Spaces’ "Hall of Shame" and rated on par with Barbie’s Dream House by California Home and Design. But perhaps the city can help elevate the windswept space. Even in a city replete with 18th-century Georgian-style churches, the plaza, built in the 1960s, has long been an architectural bane. Walsh’s administration has spruced up the interior somewhat, revamping the 3rd floor mezzanine and installing the Stairs of Fabulousness by artist Liz Lamanche to inject a sorely needed pop of color, but the Brutalist face of the building belies these improvements. The administration has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather the data required to take concepts from the drawing board to actualization. Last year, AN reported the municipality’s master plan for revitalization designed by Utile Architecture + Planning with Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture, but other than the replacement of the bunker-like Government Center subway station with a sleek steel-and-glass exterior, little else has been done, notes local news site Bostinno. Other plans announced last year involved replacing a labyrinth of staircases with sloped walkways to ease access to City Hall from the subway station, installing seating, and resolving frequent flooding by planting trees in an open-joint permeable brick paving system to simultaneously green the concrete expanse. Big players the likes of landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design and architecture and engineering firm HDR had signed on. This year, Mayor Walsh’s administration is sizing up plans for a city-sponsored seasonal skating rink to be named “Frozen Harbor” as well as a 20,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed restaurant called “Polar Bar”, according to Boston Herald. Officials have not made headway with securing permits and no project costs or plans have been put forward yet.