Designed by ajc architects, Wetland Discovery Point at Utah State University's Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville has earned LEED Platinum certification. Photo: Chris Ostlind Extra Large Image
St. Petersburg · 2009.0722
UNStudio of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has revealed its winning design for a new dance theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The new home for the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, the Dance Palace will form part of the master-planned European Embankment city quarter in the historic city center. The building will include a 1,000-seat auditorium and a smaller 300-seat hall.
UNStudio's design for the 21,000-square-meter (226,000-square-foot) building focuses on a spacious public foyer and a transparent relationship with the surrounding public square and city. A facade system of triangular cladding panels will introduce transparency through perforations, with contrasting opaque panels. The building elevation will follow and respect St. Petersburg's typical 28-meter (92-foot) roofline.
UNStudio also recently revealed its design for the mixed-use Raffles City development in Hangzhou, China. The 60-story project will include retail, offices, housing, and hotel facilities at the core of the Quianjiang New Town Area. Completion is expected in 2012, and UNStudio expects the project to receive LEED Gold certification.
Washington, D.C. · 2009.0720
The new headquarters of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have received LEED Platinum certification — the first certification at any level under the new LEED 2009 standards. Architecture firm Envision Design of Washington, D.C., designed the offices, located in a building in the Foggy Bottom district of Washington, D.C., convenient to public transit.
The 75,000-square-foot (7,000-square-meter) space, divided between two floors, is connected by an open staircase in the lobby. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide abundant daylighting to every workstation, while an electronic window shade system minimizes glare. The elevator lobby, reception, and conference breakout areas are clad in 500-year-old gumwood salvaged from the bottom of the Tennessee River. The USGBC set goals to reduce water use by 40 percent and reduce energy use to less than half that of a typical office.
Educational elements include a wall of flashcards with information about every material used in the project, and a flat-panel television in the reception area that provides real-time feedback on energy use.
Dalian · 2009.0716
Construction continues on the Dalian International Conference Center in the port city of Dalian, China. Vienna, Austria-based Coop Himmelb(l)au designed the 120,000-square-meter (1.3 million-square-foot) project, which comprises a conference center, opera house, exhibition center, and parking.
The performance and conference spaces will be located 15 meters (49 feet) above the entrance hall. At the building's core will be the 1,600-seat grand theater, directly opposite a flexible, 2,500-seat conference hall. The smaller conference spaces will be arranged like pearls around this core. Most conference rooms and the circulation areas will have direct daylight from above. A public zone at ground level includes shopping and exhibition facilities.
Conference rooms will penetrate the facades, creating a multifaceted building volume, and various theaters and conference spaces will be covered by a cone-shaped roof screen that controls daylight input. Wolf D. Prix is the design partner for Coop Himmelb(l)au. The local partner firm is DADRI Dalian Institute of Architecture Design and Research Co. Ltd. Completion is expected by September 2010.
Los Angeles · 2009.0715
Influential architectural photographer Julius Shulman died in Los Angeles, California, on July 15, 2009, at age 98. Shulman is best known for his postwar black-and-white photographs of modernist California houses designed by such architectural luminaries as Richard Neutra, Rudolf M. Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Eames, Gregory Ain, Eero Saarinen, Pierre Koenig, and Raphael S. Soriano.
Born in Brooklyn in 1910 to Russian Jewish parents, Shulman moved to Los Angeles with his family at age ten. He took a photography class in high school, and continued as an amateur photographer while briefly studying at UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1936, he casually photographed Neutra's first Kun House in Hollywood. Neutra liked the photos, and offered Shulman some assignments, starting his long career as an architectural photographer.
In 1950, Shulman opened a studio in Los Angeles, working largely for magazines. He photographed 18 houses in Arts & Architecture magazine's Case Study House Program, among many other buildings, and his work has been widely published. His best-known image is probably a 1960 photo of Koenig's Case Study House No. 22, showing two women in the home's cantilevered living room over the lights of Los Angeles.
In 2006, some of Shulman's early photographs were published in Vest Pocket Pictures.
Madison · 2009.0709
Phase I of the new Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research is complete at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This first of three phases included master planning and building design of the East Tower by the Chicago, Illinois, office of HOK. The new seven-story, 469,000-square-foot (43,600-square-meter) tower stands at the center of the UW Madison health sciences campus.
The building features open-plan laboratory benches adjacent to principal investigator office suites. Light-filled two-story conference rooms, lounges, and meeting spaces are located throughout each research lab floor. A garden connects the research tower with the UW Hospital and learning center. Sustainable features include high-efficiency ventilation, heat recovery of laboratory exhausts, and extensive daylighting.
Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc. of Milwaukee served as architect of record.
Cardiff · 2009.0707
A teen cancer treatment unit recently opened at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. The £3.4 million Teenage Cancer Trust project was designed by ORMS Architects and Designers of London to appeal specifically to teen cancer patients. In addition to wards and treatment rooms, the facility includes a freestanding "chill out" pod, a "den," and a kitchen and dining area next to a landscaped balcony with views. Patient rooms feature large graphics, individually controllable micro-environments, and special cabinetry to conceal medical equipment. The contractor was Cowlin Construction, and the contractor's architect was Stride Treglown Ltd.
Kaysville · 2009.0707
The Wetland Discovery Point interpretive center (pictured above) at Utah State University's Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville has received LEED Platinum certification. Designed by ajc architects of Salt Lake City, the center demonstrates sustainable design for the 4,000 school-age children who visit the botanical center each year.
The building's butterfly roof maximizes interior solar exposure in winter and blocks summer sun. The roof also collects water for flushing toilets. Extensive high-performance glazing maximizes daylighting, and operable windows provide natural ventilation. Other sustainable features include a trombe wall for thermal mass, solar water heating and photovoltaics, geothermal and radiant floor heating, and native landscaping.
The building is sited at the edge of the wetland ponds, with a viewing deck and boardwalk made of reclaimed wood from an old train trestle, supported by slender helical piers. All of the wood used for the building's structural beams, sheathing, millwork, and doors is FSC-certified. Other materials include concrete with 25 percent fly-ash content, steel with high recycled content, and paperstone countertops. Over 20 percent of the materials were sourced regionally.
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