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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

Steven Holl Architects designed this interior renovation of an 1890 building for New York University's Department of Philosophy. Photo © Andy Ryan

New York · 2007.1002
A 30,000-square-foot (2,800-square-meter) interior-renovation project is complete at New York University in New York City. Steven Holl Architects of New York designed the project, which created space for the philosophy department in an 1890 building, leaving the historic exteriors untouched. The facility includes faculty and graduate student offices, seminar rooms, a periodicals library and lounge, and a ground-floor, 120-seat cork auditorium.

A porous new stair changes direction at each floor, bathed in light split by a prismatic film. The upper floors are different shades and textures of black and white. The firm also designed furniture, coat hooks, light fixtures, and door handles for the department.

Detroit · 2007.1002
MGM Grand Detroit has opened in downtown Detroit, Michigan. The $800 million hotel-casino-entertainment complex comprises 18 stories, 400 rooms, and 1.1 million square feet (102,000 square meters). The exterior features a warm color palette, accent lighting, brushed-chrome curtain wall, and precast concrete with natural aggregate that emulates limestone. The building has separate entrances for hotel and casino guests.

The prime consultant and architect of record was a joint venture of Detroit-based firms Hamilton Anderson and SmithGroup. Tre Builders constructed the project. Consulting design firms included Cleo Design of Las Vegas, Nevada; Harris Design Group of Hamtramck, Michigan; Jeffrey Beers International of New York City; Laurence Lee and Associates of Los Angeles; SanDdesign* of El Segundo, California; Superpotato of Tokyo, Japan; tonychi and associates of New York City; Archavision International of Newport Beach, California; Ré of Montreal, Canada; and Design Solutions of Dallas, Texas.

Valencia · 2007.1001
Ground has been broken for a new music pavilion at the California Insitute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California. Architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung of Culver City designed the $3 million building, named "The Wild Beast." The 3,200-square-foot (300-square-meter) freestanding building has been designed to be adaptable for both small recitals and large public performances.

The front wall of the building will slide open, transforming the interior into an open-air performance space. A folding glass awning will help project sound to the audience. The roof and one wall will form a continuous curve, sheathed in copper shingles. Bruce Gibbons of structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti designed the shell of the thin, lightweight structure. The building is expected to open in fall 2008.

Washington, D.C. · 2007.1001
RTKL Associates Inc. has promoted Darren L. Vican, RCDD/OSP, to vice president of its special systems design group. Based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Vican focuses on the design, installation, and management of sophisticated telecommunications systems. He has over ten years of experience, including work for such clients as the Architect of the Capitol, the U.S. Capitol Police, John Hopkins University, and the American Trucking Association. Vican joined RTKL in 2001.

Braunschweig · 2007.0928
The foundation stone has been laid for the Schlosscarreé Health Center in Braunschweig, Germany. ArchitektenRüdiger of Braunschweig designed the two-story, 22,000-square-meter (237,000-square-foot) building, which is replacing a 1950s-era shopping mall in an urban location. Courtyards will be added to the interior, while the existing block perimeter will be preserved with few added accents.

Buffalo · 2007.0928
The Charles and Marie Fontana Boathouse has opened on the Black Rock Channel in Buffalo, New York. The $5.5 million building was built based on a previously unbuilt design by Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally designed in 1905 for Madison, Wisconsin, and redrawn by Wright in 1930, the boathouse will be operated both as an architectural tourist site and as a working boathouse.

The 5,000-square-foot (470-square-meter) building includes two long, open boat bays and a clubroom flanked by locker rooms, with skylights over the boat bays. The concrete exterior, pine floors, and diamond-pane leaded-glass windows were detailed by Wright in his drawings. The architects on the project were Anthony Puttnam of Madison, Wisconsin, formerly of Taliesin Architects, and Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects of Buffalo.

San Francisco · 2007.0925
Construction continues on BLU, a 21-story residential tower in San Francisco, California. The slender building allows substantial sunlight to reach street level. The facade consists of light-colored, glass-fiber-reinforced concrete with a bluish window wall. The design, by the San Francisco office of Handel Architects, reflects goals in the Rincon Place Plan, the Transbay Plan, and the General Plan for downtown San Francisco. The developers are Lennar Urban and Malcolm Properties. Completion is scheduled for June 2008.

Atlanta · 2007.0924
Julian Tablada, AIA, has joined the Atlanta, Georgia, office of HOK as a vice president in the advance strategies division. Tablada has over thirty years of experience in providing strategic planning, workplace strategies, facility process improvement, architectural design, project management, computer-aided facility management (CAFM), marketing, and sales. Prior to joining HOK, he was a principal with Facility Resources / DBAssociates, an international facility management and consulting firm. Tablada has worked with such clients as American Express, The Coca-Cola Company, the U.S. General Services Administration, and Lockheed Martin.

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