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05 May 2010
Architecture People and Places

Designed by SB Architects, the Hillside House in Mill Valley, California, has earned a LEED for Homes Platinum certification. Photo: Mariko Reed Extra Large Image

Chicago · 2010.0504
James M. "Sandy" Stevenson, FAIA, LEED AP, has joined architecture, engineering, and planning firm Cannon Design as principal. Stevenson will lead the firm's P3 practice, focused on Public Private Partnership, an alternative form of healthcare infrastructure delivery in Canada. He previously served as president and CEO of Perkins + Will, in Chicago, Illinois, and as managing principal at Booth Hansen of Chicago.

In Cannon Design's Phoenix, Arizona, office, Robert J. Garra, Jr., P.E., has rejoined the firm as associate vice president and electrical engineering leader for the firm's western region. Garra previously served six years as an electrical engineer with Cannon Design, then worked as senior engineering project manager for ABS Consultants and M-E Engineers in the Denver, Colorado, area. Cannon Design's Phoenix office grew in October 2009 when the firm merged with OWP/P of Chicago and Phoenix.

Irvine · 2010.0503
Planning, design and construction firm gkkworks, based in Irvine, California, has acquired Syska Hennessy Group Construction (SHGC), the Los Angeles-based construction unit of New York-based engineering firm Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. The SHGC staff of 100 employees, located throughout the United States, has joined gkkworks, bringing the total number of staff to over 300. The acquisition provides additional gkkworks office locations in Los Angeles; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Honolulu, Hawaii; and New Jersey.

William Line, P.E., LEED AP, formerly president and chief operating officer of SHGC, is now vice president of federal programs for gkkworks. Dan McNary, P.E., formerly senior vice president of SHGC, is now vice president of commercial construction for gkkworks.

Allentown · 2010.0503
The Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has revealed the design by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) of Philadelphia for an expansion and renovation project. Currently housed in a 1901 neoclassical church with a 1975 addition, the museum will be renovated and 7,900 square feet (730 square meters) of space will be added. The project will include a new entrance through the existing portico of the church building, the renovation of the lobby, a new curtain-wall facade, and the creation of several new gallery spaces, an additional classroom, and storage space. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June 10.

Mill Valley · 2010.0503
The Hillside House (pictured above) in Mill Valley, California, recently received a LEED Platinum certification under LEED for Homes (Single-Family) 1.0. Architect Scott Lee, president of San Francisco-based SB Architects, designed the home as his own residence.

Located on a steep infill lot close to town, the four-story house steps back into the hillside around the existing oak trees. Every space has its own private terrace, with a covered terrace off the main living level that serves as an indoor-outdoor family room.

The building is designed to maximize passive heating and cooling and optimize solar orientation for the photovoltaic panels, and takes advantage of the insulation provided by the hillside. Other sustainable features including a solar hot water system, radiant floor heating, a whole-house automation and lighting system, LED lighting, super-insulated doors and windows, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, recycled-content materials, zero-VOC paint, and native, drought-tolerant landscaping.

The house was built by McDonald Construction & Development of Oakland, which specializes in sustainable projects.

The Bronx · 2010.0503
Meltzer/Mandl Architects of New York City has completed the design of Pelham Parkway Towers, a seven-story, 91-unit affordable housing development in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, New York City. The building will include a 53-space parking garage, a 6,000-square-foot (560-square-meter) community facility space, bicycle storage, and a gym and recreation space on the roof terraces. Slated for completion in 2013, the project will be publicly funded through the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation Development.

The architecture firm has also been retained to design a middle- and low-income housing development in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, targeting LEED certification. The eight-story, 108,000-square-foot (10,000-square-meter) building will contain 108 rental units, 11,000 square feet of commercial space at street level, below-grade parking garage, and bike storage. Westrock Development LLC is the developer. Completion is anticipated in 2012.

Construction on both projects is expected to begin later in 2010 when financing is finalized.

Oakland · 2010.0501
The Oakland Museum of California in downtown Oakland has reopened after a renovation and expansion of its 1969 building, which was designed by Kevin Roche of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, with integrated landscape architecture by Dan Kiley.

The renovation designed by architecture firm Mark Cavagnero Associates of San Francisco has transformed the art and history galleries, added gallery space, and added a new 90-foot (27-meter) stainless-steel canopy at the main entrance. Existing outdoor terraces were enclosed in a lightweight steel structure clad in stainless steel with clerestory windows.

The museum is a City of Oakland landmark, and all new work follows the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, as well as the City's landmark ordinance. The second phase of the project, including renovation of the natural sciences gallery, is currently in design.

Riga · 2010.0430
The City Council of Riga, Latvia, has formally adopted the master plan for a 46-hectare (114-acre) new urban center at Tornakalns. Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects, based in London, United Kingdom, the project will significantly extend the city center, accommodating governmental, academic, residential, and commercial functions, with new transport infrastructure and a network of public streets and squares. The plan focuses the left bank of the city on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and integrates major cultural institutions, such as the new Latvia National Library, designed by Gunnar Birkerts and currently under construction.

The master plan is anchored by the planned 44,000-square-meter (4,100-square-foot) Riga City Council building, for which Fletcher Priest has developed concept designs, and a new Museum Square, containing the reconfigured National Railway Museum. The area will be a focal point for the new streetscape and will establish strong links with the historic city center on the eastern side of the River Daugava.

Fletcher Priest led a team including Arup and Davis Langdon from the UK, and Grupa 93, Ugis Senbergs, and MG Architects from Latvia to create a model that accommodates more than 20 years of growth.

Millcreek Township · 2010.0430
The Breezeway House by Brach Design Architecture, located in Millcreek Township, Utah, has been certified by the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) as a Certified Passive House.

The three-bedroom home includes about 2,800 square feet (260 square meters) of finished living space, plus a stone patio with a built-in steel-and-canvas shading frame. The house was designed to consume only 20 percent of the energy used by a comparable new home built to code. A 2.2-kilowatt photovoltaic array and solar hot water panels are expected to provide about 75 percent of the home's annual energy needs. Construction was completed in December 2009.

The Breezeway House is one of the first ten buildings in the United States to earn the Passive House designation, which requires low-tech strategies such as very high-R walls and windows without thermal bridges, passive solar heat, airtight construction, energy-recovery mechanical ventilation, and proper solar shading. The Passivhaus standard originated in Germany, where there are many more examples of such buildings, including the Grundschule Riedberg in Frankfurt.

Decatur · 2010.0426
A new residence hall at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, has earned LEED Gold certification. Designed by Atlanta-based architecture firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent, the three-story building is expected to use about 50 percent less energy than a conventionally constructed facility. The orientation minimizes east and west exposures to reduce glare and unwanted heat gain. Other sustainable features and strategies include daylighting, energy-efficient windows, an exterior building envelope with above-average insulation values, a geothermal heating and cooling system, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, rainwater collection for irrigation, and energy-efficient lighting.

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