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10 March 2010
Architecture People and Places

The new MIT Media Lab Complex designed by Fumihiko Maki has opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photo: Andy Ryan Extra Large Image

Omaha · 2010.0309
Omaha, Nebraska-based international multidisciplinary firm Leo A Daly has promoted two vice presidents: Deborah DeBernard, LEED AP, has been appointed to newly created position of chief officer for strategic innovation, and John Kraskiewicz has been named chief operations officer.

DeBernard previously served as chief operations officer, and prior to that, as vice president and director of operations for the firm's Washington, D.C. She has almost 25 years of practice in the roles of principal, project manager and architect. Kraskiewicz has over 30 years of experience in operations and project management, including eight years with Leo A Daly. He previously served as the director of operations for the firm's Dallas, Texas, office. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at HOK for 18 years in various leadership positions.

Mitchell Alguadich, AIA, recently joined Leo A Daly as director of healthcare of the firm's Washington, D.C., office. Alguadich has over 20 years of experience in architecture and healthcare design. He previously served as principal and company officer for Cannon Design in Los Angeles, California, and prior to that as founder and president of MKA Associates, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland, a medical planning and project management firm.

Hobe Sound · 2010.0308
One of the leading American designers of high-rise buildings, Bruce J. Graham, FAIA, RIBA, RAIC, died in his sleep on March 8, 2010, at age 84, at his home in Hobe Sound, Florida. A design partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in Chicago, Illinois, from 1960 to 1989, Graham personally led the design of such Chicago icons as the 100-story John Hancock Center (1970) and 110-story Sears Tower (1974), now called the Willis Tower, as well as the Inland Steel Building (1958).

Graham was born in 1925 in Colombia, and was of Scottish and Peruvian descent. He served in the U.S. Navy during World WarII, studied at the University of Dayton, Ohio, and the Case School of Applied Sciences in Cleveland, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in architecture. Following a stint in the offices of Holabird & Roche (now Holabird & Root), Graham joined SOM as chief of design in 1951.

Graham helped advance the "Chicago school of Architecture," a style of commercial building based on steel-frame construction and spatial aesthetic. Although he never actually studied with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, he was an enthusiastic practitioner of the Miesian manner. Graham's works stand in Hong Kong, London, Cairo, and many other cities in North and South America and around the world, as well as in Chicago.

By structuring SOM into multidisciplinary studios, Graham integrated both design and engineering into the earliest stages of project conception. He also inspired such integration through his collaboration with engineer Fazlur Khan, including on the John Hancock Center and Sears Tower.

His late wife, Jane Abend Graham, was also an architect and was an important influence on Graham's work and vision.

Cambridge · 2010.0305
The new Media Lab Complex (pictured above) has opened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Priztker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and his Tokyo firm designed the facility in association with Leers Weinzapfel Associates of Boston.

Located at the heart of the MIT campus, the six-story, 163,000-square-foot (15,100-square-meter) building is adjacent to and integrated into the existing home of the Media Lab, the Wiesner Building, designed by MIT alumnus I.M. Pei. The new building features an open, flexible, atelier-style layout designed to support the cross-disciplinary research style of the Media Lab and other academic units that will occupy the building. Laboratories and workspaces are arranged around light-filled central atria, with views of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. Lecture halls and other public gathering spaces occupy the upper floors.

The building's several double-height, glass-enclosed research labs are vertically offset from one another, making possible long and often surprising vistas through the building. The aluminum-and-glass curtain walls that surround the steel-framed building extend the feeling of openness and transparency to the exterior.

Belo Horizonte · 2010.0304
In Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a new government complex has opened, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a 1988 laureate of the Priztker Prize and now 102 years old. The project includes a 265,000-square-meter (2.85 million-square-foot) building to serve as the new seat of government for the state of Minas Gerais.

Rotterdam · 2010.0301
Ole Scheeren, a partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is leaving the firm to establish his own studio. He has accepted a post as visiting professor at Hong Kong University.

During his time at OMA, Scheeren led several of the firm's projects, including the design and construction of CCTV and TVCC in Beijing, China; the Prada Epicenters in New York City and Los Angeles, California; the MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok, Thailand; and the Interlace in Singapore. Scheeren said, "My collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and OMA has been an extraordinary experience we have generated some remarkable projects both in East Asia and North America."

OMA is streamlining its Beijing operations and expanding its Hong Kong office, and has placed both offices under the leadership of David Gianotten, general manager of OMA Asia.

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