Posts tagged with "Stantec":

A full-block stadium district comes to downtown Denver

Following the recent opening of Stantec Architecture’s first Wrigley Field-adjacent development in Chicago, the firm’s Colorado office is following suit with the announcement of a mixed-use project next to Denver’s Coors Field that will take up an entire city block. Because the West Lot project is aiming to better integrate the Coors Stadium into lower downtown Denver as well as supplement the stadium’s offerings, the project will be developed and paid for by the Colorado Rockies. Representing the last open parcel of land in downtown Denver adjacent to Coors Stadium, West Lot will occupy a full block between 19th and Wazee street, and directly connect to the stadium across the street. Referencing the way that arenas direct viewers’ attention to a centralized event, the project will use what Stantec refers to as a ground-level “context plaza” to both anchor the surroundings and offer amphitheater-style seating to the public. The landscaped courtyard will also thread through and connect the three buildings that curve around it. “The plaza is designed as a pre- and post-game gathering place for Rockies fans, complete with unique restaurants and state of the art audio and visual systems,” said Larry Weeks, principal at Stantec. The buildings on the three-acre site are a mix of glass and brick and include a double-height glass sky bridge complete with amenity space on top, with plans to project ongoing games on its underside. Other than the plaza, West Lot will hold an unspecified amount of hospitality, office, residential, retail, entertainment, and concessions space, in addition to a new Colorado Rockies Hall of Fame facility. Similar to the Wrigley Field developments, visitors will be able to seamlessly move between the stadium and the adjoining public space. “Beyond baseball, the plaza will serve as Denver’s ‘outdoor room,’ a year-round space that can accommodate neighborhood concerts, festivals and other activities,” said Daniel Aizenman, senior principal at Stantec. Currently undergoing the first steps of a government review, construction on the project is expected to begin in the second half of 2018, with no estimated completion date available.

Chicago Cubs open the first of their major developments near Wrigley Field

In recent years, Cubs baseball fans have watched as the neighborhood immediately surrounding their beloved Wrigley Field transformed into a Cubs-themed village. A new hotel, residential real estate, and entertainment venues are making the area a year-round destination. Nearest and dearest to the stadium though is a new mid-rise office building and a public plaza. Designed by Stantec Architecture’s Chicago office, the project shares an odd-shaped block with the stadium and houses the baseball team’s administrative offices.

While the space is everything you might expect of a new office (with the addition of plenty of Cubs branding and some appropriately ivy-covered walls), it is the public plaza, currently being called the Park, that is creating the most buzz.

Debuted for the 2017 Cubs home opener, the Park is wedged between the stadium and the new office building. The ground floor of the office building houses a handful of stores and food and drinking options, but the plaza itself was designed to be used for more than just pregame events. Tiered seating, strategic plantings, and performance space provide opportunities to watch scheduled programs or just take in Wrigley’s atmosphere. Stantec took cues from Place des Vosges, in Paris, and Chicago’s Millennium Park when designing the Park, with the goal of making it more than just an entrance to the stadium.

“When we first dreamt about what the plaza could be, we wanted it to be more than just a walkway people pass through on game day,” said Grace Rappe, principal designer at Stantec. “We wanted to create a park for memories, a place for the community to gather and thrive.”

In its first year, the Park has already seen plans put in place to activate the space when there is not a game being played. The Old Town School of Folk Music has started biweekly morning and afternoon music programs. The nearby art-house Music Box Theatre will also be hosting six of the city’s “Movies in the Park”—the first of which will be, appropriately, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Rookie of the Year and The Sandlot are also on deck.

However, not everyone has had the same vision for the space. Local alderman Tom Tunney pushed, with some success, for a handful of restrictions on the use of the Park, citing the well-being of the residents of the surrounding neighborhood. Ald. Tunney was able to establish rules about who could drink alcohol in the Park on game days, and when. Currently, only ticket holders will be allowed onto the plaza immediately before and after the game, and barriers and bike racks have been set up to control the crowds. This did not make the Cubs administration too happy.

“I want to apologize to our fans when they show up today; they’re going to see bike racks and other things that channel them in and out of the Park, rather than walk in and let them enjoy it,” Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations, said to the press on opening day. “So we’ll try that for the first year and see how that works. Nobody has more to lose than we do if something happens that is untoward, and so we’ll police like we do everywhere else around Wrigley Field.”

Kenney had other words for the city, which he felt could have provided more financial support for the project, as it is part of a larger $500 million renovation of the entire complex.

“The mayor made clear the city could not give us the kind of financial support the White Sox got in rebuilding Comiskey Park or the Bears got renovating Soldier Field,” Kenney said.

Despite the financial discussion, the Cubs were openly grateful to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was on hand at the ribbon cutting. While the city has not provided the tax and financial backing the team had hoped, it has provided support through the temporary and permanent closing of multiple streets surrounding the stadium. 

Exactly what the Park’s role will be in the greater Wrigleyville neighborhood may still be up for debate, but, for the Cubs, the new space is a chance to reach out and bring the community a little closer. And timing couldn’t be better: With the Cubs winning the last World Series and effectively having the best season in the stadium’s 103-year history, much of the city is already going Cubs crazy.

A young developer hopes to shake up the Boston development scene with this 38-foot-wide, 30-story tower

Rafi Properties is not your typical millennial-led startup. It's not peddling some iPhone app or trying to become the Uber of [insert industry here]. Instead, Rafi is attempting to build a 30-story residential tower in Boston's Downtown Crossing. No small undertaking. The real estate startup is led by 25-year-old Collin Yip who holds a business degree from Boston University. The Boston Globe reported that Yip, who has renovated multiple buildings in the Boston area, has submitted a letter of intent to the Boston Redevelopment Authority to build a 305-foot-tall tower with the millennial-friendly name of “Canvas.” With the development site only 38-feet wide, the Globe has compared Canvas to Manhattan's many “pencil towers." But that comparison likely won't fly with New Yorkers as the building is more elongated than the super-thin supertalls rising in Midtown. Pencil tower or not, Canvas has 94 residences, restaurants, and co-working office space. The glass and zinc tower was designed by the Boston-based ADD which has since been acquired by Stantec. As part of the project, Rafi will also be restoring the facade of the existing four-story building that the new tower will rise above.
"We are still refining the program on the first four floors but we are envisioning it being a center for the collaboration and appreciation of art, technology, unique food, and ideas," said Yip in an email to AN. "Being able to design, build, and manage the property ourselves gives us the flexibility to build and run an integrated project that truly represents what it means to live and work in Boston." Perhaps wanting to reassure skeptical parties that his young company can handle such a significant project, Yip added that Rafi is getting guidance from "veteran real estate development mentors/advisors, investors, and neighbors."
Yip reportedly expects to fund the project with overseas investors including some of his family members. Rafi is confident that it can complete the tower by summer 2017.   [Editor's Note: An earlier version of this piece misstated information about the building's facade. It is glass and zinc, not glass and limestone.]

Old-School Meets New in Stantec’s Pew Library

Contemporary stone envelope asserts the continued relevance of book learning at GVSU.

For the new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, SHW Group, now Stantec, considered a brick skin to tie it to the surrounding edifices. "But at the end of the day, the library, we believe, is one of the most important buildings on campus," said senior design architect Tod Stevens. "That's where we started to have a conversation about the library as it moves into the 21st century. We wanted to signal the continued importance of the library to university life." To do so, the architects designed a quartzite envelope whose random pattern of stones sits in tension with an interlaid stainless steel grid. On the building's north facade, a 40-foot-tall glass curtain wall creates an indoor/outdoor living room on the campus's main pedestrian axis, and reveals Pew Library's state-of-the-art interior to passersby. Stantec chose a multi-hued quartzite, said Stevens, as a nod to the limestone banding on many of GVSU's historic buildings. In addition, he explained, "when it rains, it brings out the red and other colors embedded in it. Even on a grey day, you can see that this building has personality and sparkle. And that red knitted it back to the other buildings as well." The architects wanted the stones set in a random pattern because, said Stevens, "the pattern really talks about the care that it takes to build this building: one stone at a time is the importance of this building." But achieving such a level of craftsmanship was easier said than done. "Nobody wants to take ownership of what it looks like," explained senior project architect Joe Mitra. "We spent a great deal of time coming up with a strategy to create that pattern. No two of the rectangular spaces are identical. Instead every stone is planned. We made shop drawings for each one."
  • Facade Manufacturer Dwyer Marble & Stone (stone), Architectural Glass & Metal (stainless steel), Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (curtain wall)
  • Architects Stantec
  • Facade Installer Pioneer Construction (construction manager), Architectural Glass & Metal (glazing, stainless steel), Burggrabe Masonry (stone)
  • Location Allendale, MI
  • Date of Completion 2013
  • System quartzite veneer with hung stainless steel grid, high-performance curtain wall, punch windows, faux copper accents
  • Products custom stone veneer from Dwyer Marble & Stone, custom stainless steel accents from Architectural Glass & Metal, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope Reliance curtain wall, Guardian SunGuard glazing, Euramax faux copper shingles
The purposefully irregular stone design is counterposed to a surrounding stainless steel grid. "This is a contemporary building, and we wanted to signal that on the stone facades," explained Stevens. "We wanted to get that snap: it's a crisp conversation between the quartzite and the metal reveals." Faux copper accents signaling entry points on the stone cladding nod to other contextual cues, including Cook Carillon Tower. With respect to installation, maintaining a constant level of humidity was a special concern, given Michigan's hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. After performing a number of moisture-migration analyses in WUFI, the architects settled on a 2 1/4 inch stone veneer backed by a 1 3/4 inch cavity and 3 1/2 inches of insulation. "The corners are mitered," noted Mitra, "so the stone looks thicker; you don't get that feel of veneer." On the north side of Pew Library, the architects pulled the massive curtain wall away from the stone to create a multi-purpose atrium. "The aspirations for LEED on this project were the highest we could get," said Stevens. "Bringing light into the building is fundamental. Flooding the library with natural light from the north was one of the drivers of the design. A side benefit," he noted, "is that when students are working late into the evening, the glass wall signals and shows their scholarly work." The triple-glazed curtain wall is hung from a twinned truss system. "We wanted the structure behind the glass to disappear," said Mitra. "It wanted to look light. We did a lot of physical models to test different systems. Ultimately, the twinned truss system at each of the column heights allowed us to have that transparency; you can see the building behind it." On the south, east, and west sides of the building, the size of the windows indicates the program within. Smaller windows mark individual study spaces, while larger apertures attach to communal meeting areas. To mitigate thermal gain, the architects employed a number of shading strategies, including horizontal sunscreens, interior motorized shades, extruded mullion caps, and 18-inch insets for the vertical punch windows. On the roof plane, Stantec created a landscaped terrace for student use. Pew Library, with its Automated Storage and Retrieval System and 31 types of indoor and outdoor seating, has been celebrated for its high-technology approach to learning. Its message—literally written in stone—is that the library is not dead. Far from it. Though it has been carefully adapted to meet the needs of today's students, GVSU's newest monument to education suggests that the university library remains a place worth celebrating, a beacon for the campus's thriving intellectual life.

Anshen + Allen Swallowed By Swirly Blue Stantec Ball

Another day, another corporate architecture takeover. But this time it’s not the usual suspect, AECOM, which has recently swallowed Davis Langdon, Ellerbe Becket, DMJM, and EDAW. It’s Canada's largest architecture firm, Stantec (whose stock ticker on the NYSE, for the record, is STN), which already has a total of 10,000 employees in North America and designs behemoth projects ranging from airports to wastewater treatment plants. The firm today announced it was eating up storied SF firm Anshen + Allen. Anshen, famous for building the original Eichler Homes in California, the amazing Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona, and a big chunk of the University of California campuses, still has a firm stronghold in healthcare, education, and research. Recent projects were at Cornell University, UCSF Medical Center, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, and Kaiser Permanente. Some have decried the move as part of architecture’s inexorable march toward just a few “too big to fail” firms. But one of AN’s Deep Throat sees it as a smart move for Anshen in this economy: “Mid-size firms, even larger mid-size firms, are going to have a rough go of it during the next few years,” our source said. “You need a larger platform to keep getting healthcare (and presumably other institutional) work."