Page N2.1 . 27 January 2010                     
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People and Places
                                                    . . . THIS WEEK

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has revealed Renzo Piano's design for a new wing. Image: © Renzo Piano Building Workshop Extra Large Image

Elstree · 2010.0125
The design for a new clubhouse at Elstree Golf & Country Club in Elstree, United Kingdom, has been granted detailed planning consent by the Hertsmere Borough Council. Designed by London architecture firm Bell Phillips + Kimble, the 2.5 million project includes construction of a new two-story clubhouse, refurbishment of the existing 30-bay driving range, and remodeling of the existing course and parking lot. The modern clubhouse pavilion will be topped by a monopitch roof, the underside of which will feature a large-scale pleated surface clad in wood. Construction is slated to begin in March 2010 and be completed by the end of the year.

Chula Vista · 2010.0125
Construction continues on the new education center at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chula Vista, California. Designed by Domusstudio Architecture (formerly Dominy + Associates) of San Diego, with construction services from Erickson-Hall Construction Co. of Escondido, California, the building will comprise nearly 24,000 square feet (2,200 square meters) of instructional and support spaces for the the K-8 parish school and other educational functions. Completion is expected in summer 2010.

Boston · 2010.0121
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has revealed the final, detailed plans for an addition (rendered above) designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. The new wing will add 70,000 square feet (6,500 square meters) to the historic 1902 museum building, known as Fenway Court, which was designed by Gardner herself with assistance from architect Willard Sears.

Piano has designed the new wing to stand 50 feet (15 meters) behind the existing building and to rise no higher. A first floor with transparent glass walls will afford direct views of Fenway Court, the museum gardens, and the adjacent Emerald Necklace park system by Frederick Law Olmsted. Four volumes clad in patinated green copper panels, seemingly floating above the first floor, will contain a daylit special exhibition gallery and a 300-seat in-the-round performance hall, designed in collaboration with acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics. The project will also provide outdoor seating for the cafe and expanded garden spaces, for which Piano has designed new working greenhouses.

The museum is planning to seek LEED certification. Sustainable features will include a geothermal well system, daylighting, water-efficient landscaping techniques, and the use of local and regional materials. Site preparation and excavation work began in 2009. The extension is expected to open in early 2012.

The project team also includes the Boston office of Burt Hill, architect of record; the Watertown, Massachusetts, office of Buro Happold, structural and mechanical engineers; Paratus Group of New York City, owner's representative; and Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction, construction management.

Burbank · 2010.0121
Construction of the new Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center in Burbank, California, has been completed. Located at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, the $21.8 million facility was designed by the Pasadena office of SWA Architects and built by the Newport Beach office of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. The exterior of the four-story, 57,000-square-foot (5,300-square-meter) center includes stucco, metal panels, and an aluminum curtain wall with dual-pane glazing. A cooling system with thermal energy storage tanks produces ice at night while energy usage is lower, and then uses the ice as a chilled water source during peak daytime cooling hours.

Cheltenham · 2010.0121
The Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham, United Kingdom, has been completed. Designed by Foster Wilson Architects of London for the Cheltenham Ladies' College, the performing arts center comprises a new building housing a 325-seat theater, connected to a refurbished Grade II*-listed historic villa, used for backstage and teaching space.

The auditorium is designed to allow flexible staging, with an elevator that can be positioned at orchestra pit level, seating level, or stage level. Fair-faced brickwork on curved internal walls of the auditorium references other campus buildings. The balconies are formed by exposed in-situ concrete columns and slabs, combined with dark gray metalwork and clear-finished Douglas fir joinery on the balcony fronts, doors, and shutters.

The new building's oval shape reduces its perceived mass. The external walls are constructed in Bath stone, prevalent in Cheltenham. Daylighting and natural ventilation will reduce energy use, making a mechanical ventilation plant unnecessary.

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