Page N1.1 . 02 December 2009                     
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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

On the Villanova University campus outside Philadelphia, the new law school by SmithGroup has opened. Photo: Jeffrey Totaro Extra Large Image

Washington, D.C. · 2009.1201
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named four recipients of the 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. In south-central Pennsylvania, the Lancaster County Planning Commission was recognized for overall excellence for a countywide comprehensive growth management plan, which protects valuable farmland and historic landscapes by directing development to established towns and cities. The City of Charlotte was honored for its Urban Street Design Guidelines, intended to make walking, bicycling, and transit more appealing.

An award went to the Chicago Housing Authority, FitzGerald Associates Architects of Chicago, and Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation for Parkside of Old Town, the redevelopment of a public housing complex, tying together mixed-income housing, parks, and new shops and restaurants. Tempe, Arizona, was recognized for the Tempe Transportation Center, a multi-modal, mixed-use regional transportation hub that incorporates innovative and green building elements tailored to the desert Southwest.

Copenhagen · 2009.1201
At Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) of Copenhagen, Denmark, five members of the management group have become partners: Andreas Klok Pedersen, Finn Nørkjær, Thomas Christoffersen, Jakob Lange, and David Zahle. Two associate partners, Sheela Maini Søgaard and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, have also joined the ownership group.

Villanova · 2009.1124
Villanova University's new law school (pictured above) has opened in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Washington, D.C., office of SmithGroup provided programming, site planning, architectural design, interior design, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering for the $75 million project, which is targeted for LEED Gold certification.

The 170,000-square-foot (15,800-square-meter) building features classrooms configured for Socratic and seminar methodology, flanked by offices, as well as a 45,000-square-foot (4,200-square-meter) law library on four levels, and spaces for moot court, mock trial, and special colloquia and conferences. The project also includes an adjacent sheltered 1,000-car parking garage.

The building's atrium faces south and is sheathed in ceramic fritted glass, which serves as a sunscreen. Windows have low-e coatings to reduce heat transmittance. SmithGroup engineers designed highly efficient mechanical systems to pursue LEED energy modeling points. Other sustainable features include regionally quarried stone and brick, extensive daylighting and views to the campus in public areas and circulation corridors, and onsite stormwater treatment using a created wetland. The general contractor is Gilbane Building Company.

Bath · 2009.1124
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios of Bath and London, United Kingdom, has been named Sustainable Designer of the Year in the UK Green Building Council's 2009 Sustainability Awards, given in conjunction with Building magazine. The judges said, "Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios won this keenly contested category, partly because of its willingness to share its knowledge with rivals." The firm has uploaded the primer section of its book Feilden Clegg Bradley: The Environmental Handbook onto a dedicated web site, sharing lessons learned over 30 years of design. The firm previously received the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize for the Accordia housing development in Cambridge.

Brussels · 2009.1124
Architecture firm cepezed of Delft, the Netherlands, has revealed its preliminary design for the new headquarters of Environment Brussels, formerly the Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment, in an urban renewal area in Brussels, Belgium. In addition to offices, the building will house a laboratory, visitor center, auditorium, library, meeting center, and restaurant.

The design consists of a compact volume beneath a curved and largely transparent roof. A central atrium has been designed as a continuation of the public domain, and the first two floors will be easily accessible to the general public. The compact form with relatively low surface area will contribute to energy efficiency. Triple glazing helps reduce heat loss, and awnings help control solar gain. Individual ventilation units in the facades prevent high temperatures during the summer.

Santa Monica · 2009.1121
Two architects have joined the Santa Monica, California, office of WWCOT. Hraztan Zeitlian, AIA, LEED AP, has returned to the firm as principal and director of design. He has over 20 years of experience, with special expertise in sustainable design. Mark R. Nay, AIA, has joined the firm as principal. Nay has over 25 years of diverse architectural design and management experience.

Richmond · 2009.1118
The Civic Center in Richmond, California, has reopened after the first phase of a $91 million renovation and expansion project designed by Los Angeles-based Nadel Architects. Phase I included the renovation of three landmark buildings: City Hall, the Hall of Justice, and the combination Civic Auditorium–Art Center, originally master-planned and designed by Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler in the late 1930s, and executed by San Francisco civic architect Timothy Pflueger.

The City Hall, Hall of Justice, and Civic Auditorium underwent complete seismic upgrades, interior renovations, and exterior envelope rehabilitation, including replacement of all exterior glazing, stone panels, and large portions of the brick exterior using brick that replicates the original cladding. The ground floor of City Hall was expanded by approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 square meters). City Hall and the new 440 Civic Center Plaza building are expected to receive LEED Gold certification.

Phase II will include a new LEED Platinum-targeted public safety building, and Phase III will include mixed-use structures incorporating market-rate and affordable housing, office space, and ground level retail. The project is being led by Richmond Civic Center Partners LLC, a design-build partnership consisting of Los Angeles-based Alliance Property Group and Mission Viejo-based Wasatch Advantage Group, LLC; and implemented by general contractors Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd and C. Overaa & Company Inc.

Dallas · 2009.1118
Ground has been broken for the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, Texas. Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne designed the 180,000-square-foot (16,700-square-meter) structure, which will include five floors of public space housing ten exhibition galleries, with a children's museum and outdoor play space. The $185 million museum will be constructed at Victory Park, north of downtown. Good Fulton & Farrell of Dallas is serving as consulting architect.

Rotterdam · 2009.1118
Construction has begun on the new Rotterdam Market Hall, a 100,000-square-meter (1.1 million-square-foot) mixed-use project in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as part of the regeneration of the city's postwar center. Designed by architecture firm MVRDV of Rotterdam, the structure will be a hybrid of a public market and multifamily residential building.

The building form consists of a roughly half-cylindrical tube form that will contain 102 rental apartments and 126 condominium units. The large hall it defines will house 100 market stalls, shops, and restaurants, 1,200 parking spaces, and an underground supermarket. Each residential unit will have a balcony on the outside and a window to the inside of the market. At either end of the tube-shaped form, openings 40 meters (130 feet) tall and wide will be covered with a flexible suspended glass facade. Completion is slated for 2014. The developer is Provast.

Dallas · 2009.1118
Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York City has revealed its design for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, planned for the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The brick-and-limestone structure was designed to complement the existing Collegiate Georgian campus architecture. The building will house the Presidential archives, a museum, and a policy institute. Groundbreaking is slated for November 2010, and the opening is scheduled for February 2013. LEED Platinum certification is targeted. The landscape architect is Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Santa Paula · 2009.1117
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel has been completed at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. Designed by Duncan G. Stroik Architect, LLC of South Bend, Indiana, the $23 million, 15,000-square-foot (1,400-square-meter) chapel features Spanish Mission-style elements along with a dome and an ornate limestone facade. The chapel has permanent seating for 350 in its nave and transepts, and its generous side aisles can be used to accommodate another 300 in temporary seating. Rasmussen and Associates of Ventura, California, served as the architect of record, and the general contractor was HMH Construction.

London · 2009.1117
A multifamily housing project designed by Anne Thorne Architects of London, United Kingdom, has been completed in the South London area. The project comprises two linked four-story brick apartment blocks, comprising nine rental units and eight supported units for 16-to-25-year-olds. One volume faces onto Tulse Hill and the other onto Brockwell Park. Sustainable features include well-insulated masonry walls, high-performance wood windows, and solar thermal collectors. The clients were Metropolitan Housing Trust and Ekaya.

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