Page N2.1 . 09 April 2008                     
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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

Leo A Daly designed a $60 million seismic retrofit of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego. Photo: Tom Bonner Photography Extra Large Image

Incheon · 2008.0409
GDS Architects of Pasadena, California, and Seoul, Korea, has revealed its winning design for Tower Infinity in Incheon, Korea. The design features a 450-meter- (1476-foot-) tall observation tower, and a cultural village with a performance center, indoor water park, children's area, retail stores, a museum, and a sports center. The project is the planned centerpiece for a large new town development.

The tower will feature a special system that captures photographs of different views and projects them onto the skin, creating the illusion of an invisible building. At 392 meters (1,286 feet) high, the upper-level observation deck will allow visitors on a clear day to see the neighboring city of Gaeseong, North Korea.

The Korea Land Corporation plans to break ground in 2010 and complete the project by 2013, based on the GDS design.

Newtown Square · 2008.0407
Construction nears completion on an $8.5 million chapel for the Episcopal Academy campus in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc. of Philadelphia designed the 900-seat chapel with a fan-shaped plan so that people attending services may face each other as well as the altar, a configuration suggested by the chaplain with the goal of fostering community.

Two levels of clerestory windows transmit daylight into the 15,000-square-foot (1,400-square-meter) building. Spaces between masonry walls allow air circulation and convey indirect light. On the exterior, striped patterns at pedestrian level soften the scale of the building. Construction is expected to be completed in May 2008.

Robert Venturi previously designed a chapel for the Merion, Pennsylvania, campus of Episcopal Academy as part of his 1950 master's thesis at Princeton University. The Newtown Square chapel is based on a new design, however.

Kansas City · 2008.0407
Multidisciplinary design firm Ellerbe Becket has named Steve Duethman, AIA, managing principal of the firm's Kansas City, Missouri, office. Duethman has been with the firm for 16 years, managing large-scale sports projects. He is currently managing the design of the new JQH Arena at Missouri State University in Springfield. Other recent projects include the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena, the Louisiana Superdome renovation, and the new Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

San Diego · 2008.0401
A seismic retrofit nears completion at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (pictured above) in San Diego, California. The Los Angeles office of multidisciplinary firm Leo A Daly designed the $60 million retrofit to allow the the five-story, one million-square-foot (93,000-square-meter), 238-bed medical center to remain open during construction.

The building's external stairwells were reconstructed to serve as load-bearing structures. A web of bracing, finished in white, spans the four pairs of stairwells. The structural steel cage stabilizes the building against lateral movement in the event of an earthquake.

Leo A Daly provided structural analysis, concept design, architecture and engineering documents, and construction administration services. Nabih Youssef Associates is serving as engineer of record. The general contractor is Clark Construction.

Plano · 2008.0401
The new Plano, Texas, corporate headquarters of education architecture firm SHW Group are complete. Located in the mixed-use Legacy Town Center, the office is expected to be LEED certified.

The office features an open plan, without enclosed offices, cubicles, or other obstructions to views along its full length of approximately 360 feet (110 meters). Instead of departmental and seniority-based segregation of wokstations, the firm organized the interior into "neighborhoods," each comprising eight people with various backgrounds and specialties. A winding, cork-covered pathway connects the neighborhoods. The focal point of the space is The Cube, a suspended, glass-enclosed conference room that frames a gallery space below.

Sustainable design features include Energy Star appliances, floors and cabinetry covered in rapidly renewable cork and bamboo, and showers and bike racks to encourage non-motorized commuting. Daylighting reaches 90 percent of employees throughout the workday.

New York · 2008.0331
Construction continues on a new high-end hotel in Harlem, New York City. The New York office of Handel Architects, LLP designed the 176,000-square-foot (16,400-square-meter) hotel, which will include 14 levels of guest rooms, plus a restaurant and bar, and community and conference spaces. The outdoor amenity spaces at the second, fourth, and 19th levels will include banquet areas, a sundeck with a pool, a cafe, bars, and lounges.

Fabricated metal panels will form ripples on the north and south facades, and the south-facing rooms will have views of Central Park and midtown Manhattan. The hotel is scheduled to open in December 2009. Frank Fusaro, AIA and Rick Kearns are leading the design.

Construction has also begun on another Handel Architects project in New York City: a new 42-story residential tower on the Upper West Side. Blake Middleton, FAIA, and Deborah Moelis, AIA, are leading the design of the tower, which is slated for completion in 2010.

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