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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

Wilkinson Eyre Architects has revealed its winning master plan for redevelopment of the Apraksin Dvor market district of St. Petersburg, Russia. Image: Courtesy Wilkinson Eyre Architects

San Francisco · 2008.0205
Dave Alpert, AIA, LEED AP, has joined the San Francisco, California, office of HGA Architects and Engineers (Hammel, Green and Abrahamson) as vice president, principal, and office director. Alpert has over 20 years of experience leading a variety of large-scale projects for healthcare, corporate, and higher education clients nationally. He comes to HGA from healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, where he was a principal in the strategy, planning, and design group for national facilities services.

Alpert has also served as a senior project manager in the San Francisco offices of Gensler and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Past projects include several high-profile corporate headquarters projects and the one million-square-foot (93,000-square-meter) California State Office Building and Supreme Court in San Francisco.

Fairfield · 2008.0201
The Argiro Student Center has opened at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. Jonathan Lipman, AIA, director of the Institute of Maharishi Vedic Architecture at the university, designed the $7.5 million building according to Maharishi Vedic principles. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600-square-meter) center includes two dining halls, a banquet room, cafe, lounge, 300-seat auditorium, bookstore, mailroom, offices for student activities, and a lobby almost three stories high.

The student center is oriented to the east to receive morning sun, considered optimal in Maharishi Vedic architecture. Different rooms in the building are placed to receive the sun's light at different times of day. Other related elements include the building's proportions, the presence of a crowning cupola and a central open area, and the use of natural materials.

The project is expected to receive LEED certification. Sustainable design elements include heat exchangers, extensive daylighting coupled with sensor-operated electric lighting, and building materials such as bamboo flooring and Marmoleum natural linoleum.

Raleigh · 2008.0201
Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, North Carolina, has revealed its winning design for the new headquarters of the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/NC). The 12,000-square-foot (1,200-square meter) building, designed to meet LEED standards and AIA COTE objectives, will be located in downtown Raleigh.

The design calls for a narrow three-story building composed of stone, wood, concrete, and glass. It will be positioned along one edge of the site, leaving the majority of the property for landscape. Sustainable features will include daylighting, natural ventilation, rainwater collection and storage, a geothermal energy system, photovoltaic panels, a vegetated roof, a porously paved "parking garden," native landscaping materials, and locally available construction materials.

An open porch will face the Peace Street neighborhood. The structure will increase in height at the opposite end of the building, facing a neighboring government complex.

La Chaux-de-Fonds · 2008.0201
The TAG Heuer 360 watch museum has opened in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Eric Carlson and his Paris, France-based architecture firm Carbondale designed the project, in collaboration with TAG Heuer staff and exhibit designers dUCKS Scéno.

Three major elements define the 200-square-meter (2,200-square-foot) museum. A circular video screen suspended overhead symbolizes a crystal watch face. A 50-meter- (160-foot-) long band of brushed aluminum inlayed with a flush glass ribbon circumscribes the four walls, creating a historical timeline. The third element is intended to symbolize a watch dial. A single seamless horizontal plane of polished black Corian covers the space to a depth of one meter (3.3 feet). A curving path navigates through this surface to reach the nine horizontal circular displays, like "sub-dials" of the watch face.

Gaithersburg · 2008.0131
The Bach To Rock music school has opened in Gaithersburg, Maryland. GTM Architects of Bethesda designed the project, located in a high-end waterfront retail district. The 3,600-square-foot (330-square-meter) space comprises ten small studios, five band rooms, a 90-seat performance space, and a recording studio. Bright colors and large-scale photo-based graphics decorate the school.

Several measures limit noise transmission to the hotel conference center above and to neighboring tenants. Two independent ceilings are isolated from the structure. To avoid penetrating the ceilings, surface-mounted lights were used, and mechanical and electrical systems were placed below the ceilings. Other measures included a saw-cut floor slab and one-foot- (0.3-meters-) thick walls.

Los Angeles · 2008.0131
T. Albert Chen, P.E., S.E. has joined Thornton Tomasetti as vice president, based in the firm's Los Angeles, California, office. He has over 25 years of experience in the design and construction of commercial buildings, parking structures, hospitals, hotels, and industrial facilities.

Chen has been responsible for the design of more than 20 million square feet (1.9 million square meters) of construction and seismic retrofit projects, including extensive work on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs, L.A. Department of Public Works, and other municipal agencies. He has also done extensive design and analysis work for medical and wastewater treatment facilities throughout Southern California.

Honolulu · 2008.0131
Design, planning, and development firm Group 70 International, Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii, has appointed Paul Bierman-Lytle to the new position of chief sustainability officer (CSO) and leader of the firm’s sustainable development division. Bierman-Lytle has almost 30 years of experience, and has served as the chief architect and planner on more than 150 sustainable development projects. He recently worked with the Sultan of Oman to plan LEED Platinum projects for the Oman Botanic Garden.

Prior to joining Group 70, Bierman-Lytle served for 11 years as president and CEO of the Sustainable Environment Associates Corporation. He previously served as vice president of CH2M Hill’s international sustainable development division.

St. Petersburg · 2008.0129
Wilkinson Eyre Architects of London, United Kingdom, has revealed its winning master plan (depicted above) for the redevelopment of Apraksin Dvor, a 14-hectare (35-acre) market district in central St. Petersburg, Russia. The developer is Glavstroy.

The plan includes careful restoration of 19th-century buildings, along with renovations and additions intended to preserve the historic character of the district while creating new spaces for retail, office, residential, hotel, and cultural facilities.

The central feature of the plan is a new civic space until a glass tensegrity roof. Another lightweight tensegrity structure will replace the severe 1960s Publishing House. A new footbridge will be added over the River Fotanka.

Los Angeles · 2008.0123
A forth-floor terrace garden has opened in a high-rise complex in downtown Los Angeles, California. Calvin Abe, FASLA, and his firm, ah'bé landscape architects of Culver City, designed the 13,000-square-foot (1,200-square-meter) terrace garden, which connects the Luma and E11even buildings.

An extensive planted area features drought-tolerant succulents and perennials, watered by a state-of-the-art irrigation system. Large, built-in Quick-Crete planters support trees and bamboo. The planters average 30 to 36 inches (76 to 91 centimeters) deep to accommodate water drainage layers and Hydrotech elastomeric waterproofing membrane. The terrace also includes a pool.

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