Fancy a walk up in the trees? Upstate New York now has its own "High Line" of sorts at the Wild Center in Adirondack Park, part of the Tupper Lake area. Designed by Charles P. 'Chip' Reay, a former senior vice-president at HOK, the Wild Walk is an addition to the current Wild Center at Adirondack Park which was also designed by Reay. The elevated walkway takes you into the natural world, offering spectacular views over the park from a full-sized replica bald eagle’s nest in the tree tops. Here people can easily visualize the life of the species which have made a huge comeback to the Adirondacks. The feature is only one part of the journey through the woodland as you are submersed into the life of the forest, even traveling through old tree-trunks at points. Other features include a "spider's web," a four-story twig tree house, and swinging bridges mainly aimed at children, creating the opportunity for play in an elevated setting that would otherwise just be used for viewing purposes. Speaking to AN, Reay emphasized his idea to "create a more intimate experience," especially in relation to the center itself. "Wild Walk is much more of a journey inward" said Reay. "The journey offers a diametric opposition to what goes on in the wild... think of it as simplifying the forest geometry, we really didn't want to create a 'Disney effect'." Indeed the walk appears anything but Disney-like. Careful selection of materiality stops the experience from feeling synthetic and artificial. Pointed towers, fabricated from Corten steel reflect the surrounding natural context. The spikes rise to support various bridges and walkways. Meanwhile, tree houses make use of shingle-clad roofing. The constructed space, however, is clearly defined from its wild setting, just not abstractly so. In turn, users can feel safe, being secure in the knowledge that the steel structure is more than adequate despite their presence in the lofty heights of the forest. In constructing the walkways, Reay was was quick to comment on how the process involved minimal disturbance to the surrounding area. According to Reay, the exhibit fabricators, Cost of Wisconsin, played a big role in this, giving special attention to specially preparing the concrete and shielding wildlife from the construction site. Wild Walk also takes cues from its New York City counterpart, which looks downright low in comparison. Described by New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff as "mesmerizing," the High Line was successful in part due to its elevated nature which offered an alternative perspective of the city and providing an uninterrupted route across the city grid. "It is the height of the High Line that makes it so magical, and that has such a profound effect on how you view the city," said Ouroussoff. "Lifted just three stories above the ground, you are suddenly able to perceive, with remarkable clarity, aspects of the city’s character you would never glean from an office window." Likewise, Wild Walk offers an equally unique outlook on the forest and perhaps one that many city dwellers have never seen before. Currently, 80 percent of U.S. citizens live in cities—and the Wild Center hopes to lure some of those urbanites out into the country with their Wild Walk experience.
Posts tagged with "HOK":
A three-year battle to protect the pristine Palisades cliffs from the development of a towering headquarters for LG Electronics USA in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, has at last been resolved, in favor of conservation groups. LG has agreed to revise its initial HOK-designed proposal and reduce the building's height by a little more than half, from 143 feet to 69 feet, thus preserving the unspoiled vistas of the historic park from both sides of the Hudson River. Maybe it was LG chairman Bon-Moo Koo's passion for bird-watching and bird safety that helped sway the South Korean company to rethink its plan, as reported by the New York Times, or perhaps it was the immense support from environmental groups, four former governors, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and four former US ambassadors to South Korea that finally clinched the deal? Either way, it's a watershed moment for the coalition partners—including Scenic Hudson, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference—who feared that if this building were erected, it would be the first of many to soar above the tree-line north of the George Washington Bridge. The New York Times pointed out that the redesigned headquarters would still be twice the height of its neighboring buildings. Even so, former critics are pleased with LG's new plans, which will likely bring the top floor or roof flush with the treetops. HOK has reworked the design, expanding the length of the building to include a 5-story north wing and a 3-story south wing. The firm is seeking LEED Platinum certification for the complex, and has also pledged to employ special lighting to safeguard migratory birds and other design features to "reduce the visual impact while retaining the scale of the complex as home for LG’s growing US business," said HOK in a statement. “The new design integrates LG’s aspirations to build a world-class, sustainable headquarters in a park-like setting below the tree line of the historic Palisades,” said Ken Drucker, design principal at HOK’s New York office. “The viewshed from the Hudson River and New York will not be impacted and the surrounding area of the 27-acre site will be reforested.” While this first battle has been won, the NRDC will now focus its efforts now on state legislation "to limit development in towns along the New Jersey portion of the Hudson River Palisades to low-rise buildings," explained Mark Izeman, director and senior attorney at NRDC, in a post on the organization's website. "If enacted, this bill would put in more permanent protection for the Palisades and help prevent the type of local zoning battle that took place in Englewood Cliff," said Izeman.
Missouri's football fans are savoring plans for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis, but it remains unclear if the HOK-led designs will be enough to keep the Rams from leaving. In January fans of the St. Louis Rams got new reason to fear their football team might depart when owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build an HKS-designed 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. Twenty years after the NFL team left L.A. in the first place, they may well move back—but not if St. Louis officials and fans have their way. New renderings released in March give more substance to plans that could woo the Rams into staying: a football and soccer stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River designed by St. Louis–based HOK. The National Football League has said no team relocations will happen this year, but either stadium plan could be ready for construction in 2016.
Trust is earned. To be ensconced in the files of a design firm, products must pass professional muster on many fronts: performance, aesthetics, and value, prime among them. From high-tech building materials to hand-crafted finishes, architects and designers share their favorite resources with AN. Linear Plaster-In LED Systems (Pictured at top) Pure Lighting "Recessed lighting from Pure Lighting. So simple, clean, and neat with an huge variety of applications. Perfect to make a design statement; can be used in a group to create a pattern, or to accentuate a painting or wall, or to outline anything. This type of lighting has endless creative possibilities." Laura Bohn Principal Designer Laura Bohn Design Associates New York City Rectangle Basin Vitraform “Regarding hospitality interiors, for designers the sky is the limit. Spaces have to convey originality and stand out from the competition. That said, Vitraform basins achieve this objective. Made in the USA, each basin is one-of-a-kind and the execution of detail is flawless. I am particularly taken by the Bronze finish; with its molten, liquid-gold quality, it conveys a level of grandeur and luxury that is unmatched. The Starphire Satin Mirror finish resembles an abalone interior, iridescent and magical. Plus as the surface turns wet, it transforms into a mirrored finish and requires only minimal care. Having a resource like Vitraform that is both practical and breathtaking means minimal hassle and endless beauty. For me, that is priceless.” Christina Hart Senior Principal | Director of Hospitality Interior Design HOK New York City SPD SmartGlass Research Frontiers “On the roof terrace of our USA Pavilion at the 2015 Expo in Milan, we are using almost 10,000 square feet of dimmable glass to provide shade or sun, depending on the weather and comfort needs. SPD SmartGlass changes almost instantaneously and can be treated as an array of very large pixels; we are programming images, patterns, words, and reactive motion into what would otherwise be a simple glass canopy.” James Biber Biber Architects New York City Finishing and Edge-Protection Profiles Schluter Systems “The product I have used in every bath and kitchen job is the tile edge from Schluter. It is an elegant accent that enhances the design, and also solves the problem of using tiles that don't have a finished edge. It's a perfect bespoke detail.” Barry Goralnick Barry Goralnick Architecture and Interior Design New York City Veneziano Venetian Plaster Vasari “We have had a ten-year obsession with Venetian plaster that dates back to measuring a Carlo Scarpa building with students in Treviso at the Canova Gypsotecha. We could never get the same quality workmanship here, so we hired Italian contractors to teach us the recipes, the troweling, the joinery. Now we teach our own subcontractors. The material is unique for its durability, depth, and subtle sheen. The variegated quality of the finish speaks of a hand-crafted surface.” Alberto Alfonso Alfonso Architects Tampa, Florida Vela LD in Onyx Stainless MGS "Simply put, MGS faucets are like high-precision plumbing machines. Beautifully designed, and exquisitely crafted from solid stainless steel, they are sleek and refined. The look, the feel, and the attention to detail is second to none and they are a pleasure to use. In addition to specifying MGS fittings for many of my projects, I have the Vela LD kitchen faucet installed in my home.” Lev Bereznycky Project Manager Lundberg Design San Francisco
HOK’s ARTIC, Anaheim's high speed rail train station which AN featured today, is as much a story about technology and engineering as it is about high design. Slated to achieve a LEED Platinum rating, ARTIC is the product of an integrated, multidisciplinary BIM design process where key decisions about technology and engineering were brought into the design process from the beginning to achieve a high-tech, high-performance, and high-efficiency building. The building’s curved diagrid geometry, rationalized using CATIA, is like a contemporary reboot of the glass and steel structures that defined iconic terminals like Philadelphia’s Broad Street Station and New York City’s original Penn Station. The parabolic shell design was also utilized for its structural efficiency and for its environmental properties. For efficiency, the design team decided to go with ultra-lightweight ETFE pillows (1/100th the weight of glass). This allowed for significant reductions in foundation size and structural member dimensions. ARTIC is currently the largest ETFE-clad building in North America, with over 200,000 square feet of the high-tech material covering most of the building’s long-span shell. The ETFE system also helps to regulate heat gain and maximize daylighting while maintaining an environment that utilizes a mixed mode natural ventilation system. The building’s shape and translucent ETFE envelope work in concert with a radiant heating and cooling slab system in the public areas (optimized HVAC is used in office and retail spaces) to produce a microclimate through convection currents. This makes it possible for the building to be naturally ventilated most of the time. Heat rises and escapes through operable louvers at the top portions of the north and south curtain walls.
On Monday, the city of Anaheim cut the ribbon on one of the most important transit stations in California history: ARTIC, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. The multi-modal building, designed by HOK with engineering by Thornton Tomasetti and Buro Happold, contains facilities for regional rail, bus, automobile, and even bicycles, not to mention shops and restaurants. And if all goes according to plan, it will eventually be the southern terminus for the state's High Speed Rail system. The wide-open, multi-level structure, which looks out at Anaheim's Honda Center and the surrounding mountains, is topped with a glowing, diamond-gridded ETFE roof and fronted by two of the largest self-supporting curtain walls in the world. Check back for a full critique of the LEED Platinum project in AN's next West issue. But for now enjoy some early shots from the opening day. We're impressed that it still looks a lot like the renderings.
While architecture and design firms across the country and around the world gear up to register (the deadline is November 3) for The Architect's Newspaper's 2015 Best Of Design Awards, we'd like to take the opportunity to introduce this year's jury. As with last year, we invited a group of prominent design professionals whose expertise covers the nine categories in which we are giving awards. Collectively, they will lend their broad experience and individual perspectives to what is certain to be the very difficult task of choosing the best of many sterling projects. Thomas Balsley is the founder and design principal of New York City–based landscape architecture, site planning, and urban design firm Thomas Balsley Associates (TBA). Founded in the early 1970s, TBA has completed a range of work from feasibility planning studies to built urban parks, waterfronts, corporate, commercial, institutional, residential, and recreational landscapes. In New York City alone, the firm has designed more than 100 public landscapes, including Peggy Rockefeller Plaza, Chelsea Waterside Park, Riverside Park South, and the Queens West parks Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point Community Park. Winka Dubbeldam is founder and principal of Archi-Techtonics and the Chair of the Graduate Architecture School at PennDesign, Philadelphia. Since 1994, Archi-Techtonics has completed multiple ground-up buildings and renovations, including 497 Greenwich in New York City's Soho neighborhood, which combines the renovation of a 19th-century warehouse with the construction of an 11-story "smart loft." The firm has also received many awards, including The Architecture League of New York's 2011 Emerging Voices award. Kenneth Drucker has been director of design in HOK's New York City office since 1998. During that time he's lead the design process on all kinds of projects around the globe, including the Harlem Hospital Modernization in New York, the Sheraton Incheon Hotel in South Korea, and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in Buffalo, New York. He is also a member of HOK's board of directors and design board. Chris McVoy has been with Steven Holl Architects since 1993. He made partner in 2000. He has been the partner-in-charge and co-designer for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park, the Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University, and the Glasgow School of Art. He is currently partner-in-charge for the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, and the new Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa. Craig Schwitter founded Buro Happold's first North American office in 1999. With more than 20 years of experience, he has led the multi-disciplinary engineering process on multiple project types, including educational, performing arts, cultural, civic, stadia, transportation, and master planning projects. Under his direction Buro Happold has developed the Adaptive Building Initiative and G. Works, both related industry efforts that address today’s critical low carbon and high performance building design issues. Annabelle Selldorf is principal of Selldorf Architects, which she founded in 1988. The firm has worked on public and private projects that range from museums and libraries to a recycling facility; and at scales from the construction of new buildings to the restoration of historic interiors and furniture design. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Academician of the National Academy Museum, and seves on the Board of the Architectural League of New York and the Chinati Foundation. Erik Tietz and Andrew Baccon founded digital design and fabrication studio Tietz-Baccon in 2007. The studio has realized custom architectural elements and installations for a broad spectrum of clients that range from Asymptote Architects and Belzberg Architects, to Tiffany & Co. and The Museum of Modern Art. The firm works on every stage of a project, from conception to prototyping to fabrication and installation.
The Architect's Newspaper is proud to announce its second annual Best Of Design Awards. This year we are accepting submissions of completed works from students and design professionals in nine different categories. The categories showcase building typologies and building elements that reflect the interests of our readership, including residential work, landscape and facade design, fabrication projects, built student work, interiors, and the much coveted Building of the Year. Submissions will be judged by a blind jury made up of AN editors, prominent architects, and members of allied fields, including Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects, Craig Schwitter of BuroHappold, Kenneth Drucker of HOK, Thomas Balsley of Thomas Balsley Associates, and Erik Tietz of digital design and fabrication studio Tietz-Baccon. Registration opens today and will close on November 3. Submissions are due by December 7. The jury will convene on December 12. The winners will be published in AN's January 2015 print issues. For full details on the 2015 Best Of Design Awards, as well as to register and submit your projects, visit our Best Of Design Awards website. Last year AN accepted submissions in six categories.Check out all the winners and honorable mentions here: Building of the Year, Best Fabrication, Best Facade, Best Interior, Best Landscape, and Best Student Built Work.
In a power play for the world of arena architecture, HOK has announced it will acquire Kansas City's 360 Architecture. Their union marks HOK's return to the world of sports and entertainment facility design, possibly to compete with Populous, another Kansas City-based firm that spun off from HOK Sports Venue Event in 2008. HOK started HOK Sports in 1983, but that firm (now called Populous) no longer has any affiliation with St. Louis-based HOK. The global design firm's merger with 360 creates the largest architectural firm in Missouri. “Joining HOK enables us to take advantage of an exceptionally strong global platform and to expand our sports facility design practice while offering our clients additional expertise in other markets,” 360 Principal Brad Schrock said in a statement. “This also brings HOK, a global design leader in many building types, into the heart of Kansas City.” 360’s current projects include the Rogers Place arena for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, and a new stadium for the Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. Major competitors for the new HOK sports design giant will likely remain Dallas-based HKS and Seattle’s NBBJ. The two had been short-listed to design a major new stadium for the Detroit Red Wings, but developer Ilitch Properties selected none other than 360 Architecture as lead designer and architect of record on that project. Meanwhile HKS is tackling a new Vikings arena in Minneapolis, while NBBJ fields Lexington, KY’s storied Rupp Arena.
Despite ongoing delays, lawsuits, and government holdups, it appears that California's High Speed Rail (HSR) plans (and their associated stations) are ready to move ahead. Last week the United States Department of Transportation issued a "Record of Decision" for HSR's initial 114-mile section from Fresno to Bakersfield. The decision, "represents a major step forward, both for the State of California and for High Performance rail in the U.S," Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a statement. On the state level California governor Jerry Brown earlier this month managed to secure $250 million for the project from the state's yearly cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions fund. That number could total $3 billion to $5 billion in coming years. The total amount of track built in the network will measure over 800 miles. But the estimated $68 billion project is still short of the federal funding it needs, and there are a number of significant obstacles left. According to the Contra Costa Times, a Sacramento judge has blocked, pending appeal, the $8.6 billion in state bond funds owed to the project. The state also owes the federal government $160 million in order to receive $3.5 billion in matching funds, and the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block funds to the project as part of the federal transportation bill. Although that vote is anticipated to be overturned by the Democratic Senate. Still, California's HSR stations continue to move ahead, regardless of whether the tracks ever get built. Grimshaw and Gruen's plans to transform Union Station in Los Angeles just passed another benchmark, Pelli Clarke Pelli's San Francisco's Transbay Center is moving ahead as well, although perhaps without its signature rooftop park. And the furthest along is Anaheim's ETFE-topped ARTIC station, designed by HOK and Buro Happold. The multimodal facility combining bus, rail, high speed rail, shuttles, and more—is scheduled to be finished late this year. All of these stations will serve multiple transit functions, even if HSR never happens. But it sure would be a waste if that came to pass.
AN recently profiled the emerging architectural typology of spaceports across the country, and now there's news from the Houston site that helped launch the dream of space travel decades ago. Independence Shuttle, a full-scale replica of NASA’s iconic Space Shuttle, recently was moved from the Johnson Space Center (JSC) to its next-door neighbor, Space Center Houston. To some people, the relocation was a matter of mere logistics. To others, however, the transfer symbolized not just a lessening of power and precedence associated with Johnson Space Center, but with NASA’s space program as a whole. Johnson Space Center, formed in 1961, is one of ten major NASA field centers, and one of the most famous space travel establishments. The 40-foot deep swimming pool built for astronaut training, was, in its heyday, frequented by astronauts and the curious public alike. The control room oversaw the launch and devastating loss of the Challenger, received Armstrong’s transmission as he made his first steps on the moon, and rejoiced with the rest of America during the Apollo 13 recovery. To say that JSC is iconic, a cornerstone, and a piece of history is an understatement: it is a monolithic nexus of space travel, this world’s anchoring connection to the vast unknown. So as grand-scale space launches wane and commercial flight takes over, the creeping neglect of JSC’s facilities and consequent decline stabs into the hearts of those connected to NASA’s past—and not simply for nostalgic reasons. Astronauts associated with JSC’s glory days—men like Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and Jim Lovell—have spoken out against the political shifts associated with JSC’s downsizing. One such maneuver occurred when President Obama cancelled Constellation—a Bush-era initiative to send astronauts to the moon—in order to shuttle a sizable chunk of NASA’s funding from the manned space exploration into commercial space flight. The shift denotes a decrease in specialist training aimed at greater expansion into grand scale space projects—missions to Mars, for example, or a continuation of low-orbiting space travel—towards everything that “commercial space travel” connotes: sending consumers, not specialists, into orbit; changing the pioneer frontier into a tourism industry. Armstrong and Levitt both argue that the change negates the $10 billion already funneled into Constellation. They claim that private enterprise is taking a major step backward, that government’s funding focal change will place the U.S. into a reliant relationship with Russia, thereby relegating the nation to a second-rate spot for space travel. These men are the voice, in a nutshell, of those deeply unhappy with the changes taking place. JSC countered these claims with an official statement claiming that the center is still relevant. It cited robotics projects and continued operation of Orion—a spacecraft designed to take astronauts to asteroids—as evidence. JSC, the statement said, is a cultural mainstay of Houston’s identity, and it will stay that way. Certain facts remain however, and seeing, in this case, is part of believing. The government’s retraction of funds has instilled the center with a calcified, weary demeanor. JSC has employed far fewer people in the past two years than ever before. Half the buildings have been torn down or consolidated. One of them is a new building, the NASA Johnson Space Center 20, which has upstaged its famous brother by being the first LEED platinum project of its kind in NASA. In comparison, the control room at JSC that once oversaw mankind’s greatest scientific achievements now has less technology than the average smart phone. “Nothing’s going on there,” said one former NASA employee. “People are leaving in waves.” The Independence Shuttle was just moved next door. But as far as interpreting symbols go, they might as well have launched it to the moon.
What do architects, attorneys, and accountants have in common? Naming firms after themselves. Architecture firms are some of the worst offenders and Eavesdrop is constantly consulting Wiki to figure the names behind those initials. After decades of ego, leadership changes, and acquisitions, one would think that global design would be dominated by a firm called SOMHOKBKLMNOP. So it should not come at any surprise that St. Louis–based HOK recently acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality firm BBG-BBGM. Eavesdrop refuses to do any research on the provenance of that cluster of initials, but, luckily, it appears the combined firm will just be HOK. BBG should add an impressive, high-end roster of clients—think St. Regis and Peninsula hotels—to HOK’s portfolio of marquee projects.