Posts tagged with "RMJM":

Placeholder Alt Text

Pininfarina and AECOM top Fuksas and Hadid to win Istanbul New Airport commission

Pininfarina and AECOM have won an international competition to design an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and technical building at the Istanbul New Airport. The team was selected from a competitive shortlist, which included Zaha Hadid, Fuksas, Moshe Safdie, Grimshaw-Nordic, and RMJM. “One of the World’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers traveling through the airport," said İGA's chief executive officer, Yusuf Akçayoğlu, "We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage." According to the design team, the tower's form was inspired by the tulip, a symbol of Istanbul's culture. This victory marks AECOM's first collaboration with Pininfarina, a firm recognized for designing cars for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. "The collaboration combines the expertise of AECOM’s architectural and engineering teams with Pininfarina’s distinctive architectural style that epitomises speed and movement, influenced by automotive design," announced the design team. The Istanbul New Airport is expected to have the largest, annual, passenger capacity in the world, accommodating 90 million passengers per year at the first stage and 200 million passengers per year by the final stage. According to the design team, İGA secured a $4.9 billion loan from a group of six banks in October to fund the first phase. The following stages will expand the airport to include six runways and three terminal buildings. AECOM and Pininfarina's design will be approximately 22 miles from the city center, on the European side, adjacent to the Black Sea.
Placeholder Alt Text

Scotch on the Rocks

RMJM may have been pushed into a corner financially over the last few years, but the firm is coming out swinging, with talking points that channel the British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill. In a recent interview with Forbes.com, RMJM CEO Peter Morrison counts Churchill’s famous “We shall never surrender” speech as a source of inspiration and has taken to referring to the firm’s offices as “the War Rooms.” When asked about his goals, Morrison said, “Success, at all costs. We have sacrificed much, invested heavily, and we now find ourselves in a strong position post-recession with a global platform poised to support clients in all corners of the Earth.” If the RMJM outlook doesn’t improve, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Scottish management takes it up a notch by donning blue and white face paint, Braveheart-style.
Placeholder Alt Text

Safe Harbor?

If you need to turn around an aircraft carrier, it helps to have an experienced captain on board. Maybe that’s the strategy behind RMJM’s rumored choice of Danish shipping exec Jesper Bo Hansen to lead its New York office. Hansen has spent the last two decades not in architecture but in the shipping biz, first at cargo giant Maersk and most recently at Torm. Maybe he’ll instate some ship to shore protocols at RMJM, whose financial management woes have played out publicly in recent years. As Bjarke Ingels might say, held og lykke—good luck, Jesper!
Placeholder Alt Text

SHFT+ALT+DEL: March 9

Vishan Chakrabarti joins SHoP Architects as a partner, but will remain director of the Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, a position he's held since 2009. Peter Schubert becomes a partner at Ennead Architects, where he'll be "enhancing international efforts"; Schubert was most recently at RMJM. Robert Allen Design appoints Kerry Galloway as their new vice president of contract sales. Galloway was formerly vice president, sales and marketing for Contract Décor International. In office expansion news, Aedas announces it plans to double the size of its London office (currently 80 staffers) in the next two years to keep pace with work in Russia and North Africa. Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to people@archpaper.com!
Placeholder Alt Text

Irving Convention Center Facade: RMJM with Zahner

Fabrikator Brought to you by:

A new convention center in Texas is wrapped in a skin of delicate copper circles that appear to float in midair.

Located halfway between sister cities Dallas and Fort Worth, the Las Colinas master-planned community is an ideal place for the newly opened Irving Convention Center. It is also a natural setting for the copper facade that architect RMJM Hillier designed for the 275,000-square-foot, $133 million project. Fabricated by architectural metal and glass innovator A. Zahner Company, its angular walls rise from the ground like a sun-baked geological formation.
  • Fabricator A. Zahner Company
  • Architect RMJM Hillier Architecture
  • Location Irving, Texas
  • Completion Date January 2011
  • Material mill-finish copper
  • Process ZIRA
Up close, these walls look surprisingly delicate. To let light into the center’s expansive interiors and avoid a conventional convention-center design, RMJM and Zahner designed a skin of perforated copper that wraps the building’s cantilevered forms. Inspired by the town’s Robert Glen sculpture of nine bronze mustangs, and by the copper roofs of nearby Williams Square, the facade reflects sunlight during the day and allows the facility’s lights to shine through at night. The skin’s custom perforations and bumps were fabricated using Zahner’s trademarked ZIRA (Zahner Interpretive Relational Algorithm) process, which the company developed to expedite complex perforation and embossing projects. Here, RMJM envisioned the copper panels overlapping at several points on the facade, so the firm experimented with multiple layers of perforated material to understand how the cladding would layer to form new patterns. Once a digital map had been drawn, Zahner translated the image into bumps, dents, holes, and shapes that were reproduced by machining equipment in its shop. The resulting pattern changes with light and vantage point. From close range, its circular shapes appear to float because the copper bridges of the pattern are so slender. At night, the convention center’s lights penetrate some areas of the skin, making the shapes translucent. The mill-finish copper cladding will also let the building evolve over time as the bare surface undergoes gradual patination. The material has already begun to darken, its bright finish turning to brown umber since crews began installing the panels in 2010. This color will eventually give way to deeper greens and blues, a patina that will protect the surface from further corrosion. Even for those who don’t go inside, there are plenty of reasons to visit the building, but the facade serves its purpose on the interior, too, providing reduced lighting and cooling costs for the facility, which is targeting LEED certification. Having already hosted its first non-civic event—the annual spicy food exhibition, ZestFest—the center is on track to be a new hub for convention-goers far and wide.
Placeholder Alt Text

WWCOT to DLR: Merger Mania

We learn via email today that  California firm WWCOT has been taken over by midwest mega-firm DLR Group. WWCOT's offices in LA, Modesto, Palm Springs,  Riverside, and Shanghai will be known as DLR Group WWCOT. The merger, says 500-person DLR, will give the firm a needed presence in California and Asia, and improve its education, healthcare, and senior community design. Like most businesses, architecture's biggest firms are interested in the takeover, which gives them more geographic reach, more talent, and more clients. This move follows behemoth firm AECOM's purchase last October of Ellerbe Becket, and in 2007 RMJM's purchase of Hillier, and Arcadis' purchase of RTKL. According to a 2009 survey by business management consultant ZweigWhite, Seventy-one percent of architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms plan to conduct a merger or acquisition in the next five years. Sounds high, but maybe there will be one giant firm running all of architecture the next time we check?
Placeholder Alt Text

Als Well With Alsop

As suspected, Will Alsop wasn't out of the game for long. The foul-mouthed StirlingPrize winner announced less than two months ago that he was leaving Archial, né SMC, the British architectural conglomerate that had bought up his smallish practice but three years earlier. Now BD reports that Alsop has teamed up with RMJM, and he will launch an atelier within the international powerhouse based in Battersea called Will Alsop at RMJM. “I like the overall vision they have for the future and the fact that it’s really global,” Allsp told BD. “In Archial, the only international bit was me.” Indeed, RMJM has been on a bit of a tear lately, including a big push stateside when it acquired Princeton-based Hillier in 2007. As BD notes, they have been teaming up with renowned architects of late, including a project with Frank Gehry for Glasgow Metropolitan College—that job was won by Atkins, though Archial was also bidding—and "a number of undisclosed projects" with Jean Nouvel. The strategy could backfire, however, as it might subordinate RMJM's generally successful work. Says a BD source: “I know they’ve been talking about working with a number of big names but it seems rather strange in that they have been pushing this notion that they are a number one design practice in their own right… a firm that can already compete with the Fosters of this world.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Up, Up, and Abu Dhabi!

When I was out in LA at Postopolis!, one of the most interesting and memorable talks I heard was Christopher Hawthorne's, on the chilling, almost creepy, effect the recession has had on the United Arab Emirates, in particular Dubai. While he still hasn't written up his version of his trip--and we wish he would, because the talk was so interesting--the basic gist was that construction had all but stopped in Dubai, and to some degree in Abu Dhabi (to say nothing of New York and LA), because the spigot of liquidity--money had dried up with the collapse of the financial system. He termed it Ponzi-scheme urbanism. Well, it seems some things are still moving out in the wild, sandy yonder, as RMJM's Princeton office (formerly Hillier) just passed along the following impressive photo of its Capital Gate tower passing the half-way mark. According to the firm, the 525-foot, 35 story hotel--future home of Hyatt Abu Dhabi--will be the leaningest building in the world, with an 18-degree cant, surpassing the Tower of Pisa's 14-degree bend. RMJM says reaching the halfway point is a touchstone because of the building's structural technicality. Simon Horgan, CEO of client Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, put it thusly in a press release:
Capital Gate is not about being the biggest or the tallest, it is about advanced technical ingenuity and aesthetic splendor. This is one of the most challenging buildings under construction in the world at the moment but due to the partnership between ADNEC, RMJM and all contractors on the project, ground breaking solutions are being designed on a daily basis.
To quote LL Cool J, don't call it a come back... Abu Dhabi'll be here for years to come.
Placeholder Alt Text

HOUSEpital

On the popular Fox doctor drama House, actor Hugh Laurie plays an acerbic, yet ingenious infectious disease specialist whose curmudgeonly ways, drug use, unrepentant machinations, and sadistic treatment of patients has earned the show—now in its fifth season—an enormous and dedicated following. The series unfolds at the fictitious Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where, segment after segment, Dr. House and his team bicker, sneer, and get to the bottom of rare medical afflictions, killing off the odd invalid from time to time. Well, the stage for this gripping serial need not remain a figment much longer: the utterly factual Princeton hospital has recently announced that it will soon move its facilities to a brand new home in none other than Plainsboro, New Jersey! The new $440 million hospital, to be known as the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP), has been designed as a joint venture between RMJM and HOK and is scheduled for a 2011 completion. It will combine facilities for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, including 238 private patient rooms, areas for families to spend the night, and operating rooms designed to accommodate robotics. The project will feature green-era perks, such as 100-percent fresh air ventilation, sustainable finishes, and energy efficiency controls. Digital technologies will also be employed in the form of self-check-in kiosks and computerized record keeping. UMCPP will act as the centerpiece of a 160-acre healthcare campus that will also include a medical office building, a nursing unit, a health education center, a fitness and wellness center, a senior residential community, and a 32-acre public park. With all of these amenities, it's hard to imagine what the cantankerous Dr. House would find to gripe about!