The third and final building defining Water’s Edge, a 6.5-acre office campus in Playa Vista, California, is nearly complete. Designed by Los Angeles-based firm SPF:architects, the four-story structure, named WE3, will provide a striking new building with over 183,000 square feet of creative workspace and two floors of underground parking to an area gradually being referred to as “Silicon Beach,” given its recent influx of top-level tech companies, including Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, BuzzFeed, Facebook, and AOL. Multinational corporation Nike has already agreed to rent two floors of the building. According to SPF, the main challenge of developing the design language for WE3 was creating “a plan fully integrated with existing conditions that both maximized the lot’s buildable area and maintained a compelling architectural standard.” To achieve this, the design team went beyond the client brief by creating a new public courtyard, planning for highly flexible office space, and relocating the preexisting soccer pitch, which will now be more central to the office campus to visually connect the site’s main amenities. To meet their goal of LEED Gold certification, the architects incorporated locally sourced and recycled concrete and metal in the construction process, while the large, insulated windows defining the exterior are designed to reduce energy use. The “floating” perforated aluminum skin wrapping the facade is not only the project’s most distinguishing feature, but it also functions as a solar shading device in conjunction with the building’s many deep-set balconies. And, because the building’s top floor was not legally allowed to exceed 20,000 square feet due to zoning restrictions, a “sky garden” was added to the middle of the building featuring drought-tolerant landscaping within a wind-shielded terrace. WE3 broke ground in April 2018, topped out this month, and is scheduled to be completed by May 2020.
Posts tagged with "SPF:architects":
Culver City, California–based SPF:architects (SPF:a) recently unveiled plans for the Anaheim Performing Arts Center (APAC), an agriculturally inspired 11-acre complex in California’s Orange County. SPF:a’s vision includes a 2,000-seat concert hall, a 1,700-seat opera house, and a 600-seat black box theater, along with a museum, restaurants, and offices. For the project, SPF:a studied Anaheim’s most famous agricultural product: the orange. The fruit was the basis of the puckered geometries and the perforated copper-anodized aluminum panel cladding that wraps them. The site’s gridded layout follows that of an orchard as well, with each building representing a tree. Judit M. Fekete-Pali, SPF:a president and CEO, said in a statement, “The design strategy helps break down the architectural masses—no more soulless, vast, and uninviting interior public spaces. Each program element operates independently and together.” The 500,000-square-foot campus is projected to cost $500 million and will be completed in 2021.
When CAD rose up in the '80s and began replacing hand-drawing as the preferred means of rendering architecture-to-be, practitioners began decrying the death of the field. Obviously that was not the case, but in our increasingly digitized age/culture/lives, where sexy renderings predominate (to the cost of real architectural discourse, some might say, and probably rightly) on blogs and, uh, architectural websites and beyond, videos are becoming an increasingly important component of the process of placemaking. Or at least competitionwinning, as the above video by SPF:architects shows. When we first turned it up on Curbed today, we were taken aback by the lengths (some might call it desperation, but in these hard times, who can blame them) the firm had gone to to convince the judges of the worthiness of their entry in a competition to design Calgary's new Cantos project, billed as the only "national music centre" in Canada. Turns out, though, all entrants had to produce a video, including Diller Scofidio+Renfro, allied works architecture, Atelier Jean Nouvel, and the lone Canadian firm, Montreal's Saucier + Perotte. Since the LA-based SPF's is naturally Hollywood flashy, how do the other four stack up? Hey! We recognize that cut-out. Rip off! Playing the buildings? Where have we seen that before? For a Pritzker Prize-winner, this sure is chintzy. Dig the tunes.