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19 January 2011
Architecture People and Places

HMC Architects in Los Angeles, California · HGA in Monterey Park, California · Atelier Kempe Thill in Amsterdam, Netherlands · Grimshaw in Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom · Cuningham Group Architecture in Marina del Rey, California · Kengo Kuma in Portland, Oregon · CO Architects in Los Angeles, California · Callison in Seattle, Washington · WASA/ Studio A in Brooklyn, New York · IA Interior Architects in San Francisco, California · Walton and Associates Architects in Springfield, Illinois · MVE Institutional in Placentia, California · OMA in Rotterdam, Netherlands · ESG Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska  


At Bangor University in Wales, construction is underway on the Grimshaw-designed Arts and Innovation Centre, also known as the Pontio project. Image: Grimshaw Extra Large Image

Bangor · 2011.0119
Construction has begun on the new Arts and Innovation Centre at Bangor University in Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom. Also known as the Pontio project (Welsh for "to bridge"), the facility was designed by the London-based architecture practice Grimshaw.

Straddling an area between the lower and elevated parts of Bangor city center, the building will house a 450-plus-seat theater, a "white box," a rehearsal studio, teaching rooms, a cinema, and an outdoor amphitheater. Social areas will include new student union facilities, as well as bars, cafes, and restaurants that will be integrated with external areas as an extension to the adjacent College Park. The facility will also include an "Innovation Hub" to support design collaborations between the university and local businesses. A key aim is for the structure to strengthen the relationship between the city and the university by unifying the two main campus areas of upper and lower Bangor.

The design team also includes Atkins, engineering, environmental, fire; Arup, theater and acoustics; and Gillespies, landscape. The project received planning permission in July 2010, and was recently awarded 27.5 million from the EU's Convergence European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government. The opening is slated for spring 2013.  

Los Angeles · 2011.0119
Kate Diamond, FAIA, LEED AP, has joined HMC Architects as a principal in the firm's Los Angeles, California, studio. Diamond will lead university- and education-focused design teams in the development of sustainable and high-performance architecture, and she will also contribute to the civic and justice practice.

Diamond's architecture career spans nearly 35 years and has included many project types, such as academic and research facilities, courthouses, libraries, and transportation stations. Prior to joining HMC, she spent four years at the Seattle, Washington, office of NBBJ, where she was the design principal for multiple courthouse projects for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the California Administrative Office of the Courts. She previously practiced in Los Angeles for 30 years, including for 15 years as a partner with Siegel Diamond Architects.

Also in the Los Angeles office of HMC Architects, Kirk Rose, AIA, has been promoted to managing principal. Rose joined the firm in January 2010, and has more than 25 years of experience in architecture, specializing in healthcare facility planning and design, as well as science, education, and large-scale public projects. He was previously a vice president and office leader at SmithGroup, and vice president and operations director at HOK. Rose is currently working on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center In-Patient Hospital and Multi-Ambulatory Care Center project in Los Angeles, and is also serving as principal in charge for the renovation of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California.  


HGA Architects and Engineers has revealed its preliminary design for the new Student Success Center at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California. Image: © HGA Architects and Engineers Extra Large Image

Monterey Park · 2011.0119
HGA Architects and Engineers (Hammel, Green and Abrahamson) has revealed its preliminary design, following a design-build competition, for the new Student Success Center at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California. The five-story, 130,00-square-foot (12,000-square-meter) structure will house the nine school departments that were previously dispersed throughout campus. An open-air central court will connect the center's two wings — for faculty offices and classrooms — and will serve as the main entrance and vertical circulation spine. The building's exterior design reinterprets the existing brick architecture of the campus, while multicolored blackout shades will add variety to the exterior of the glazed classroom wing.

The sustainable design goals for the $58 million project include LEED Gold certification and net-zero energy consumption. Almost 70 percent of classrooms and offices will be within 25 feet (eight meters) of operable windows, allowing for natural ventilation. High-efficiency mechanical systems and lighting will also be included. On its north side, the building will face a new quad with bioswales and permeable paving.

Completion is slated for summer 2014. James Matson is serving as principal-in-charge for HGA. The project team also includes general contractor Pinner Construction, and engineering consultants Saiful/ Bouquet (structural), FBA Engineering (electrical), and Fundament & Associates (mechanical).  


A drug-rehabilitation housing facility designed by Atelier Kempe Thill is under construction in Amsterdam. Image: Atelier Kempe Thill Extra Large Image

Amsterdam · 2011.0119
A drug-rehabilitation housing facility is under construction in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Rotterdam architecture firm Atelier Kempe Thill designed the building, which is similar to a standard hotel, with small individual units — between 15 and 25 square meters (160 and 270 square feet) — that will surround a generous skylit lobby, which will serve as a central activity space for up to 50 residents.

The building is sited at the edge of Bijlmerpark in the central area of Amsterdam-Zuidoost. Delta Forte/ Rochedale of Amsterdam is developing the facility, which will be operated by HVO-Querido of Amsterdam.  

Marina del Rey · 2011.0118
Lee Brennan, AIA, has joined the Marina del Rey, California, office of Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. as principal and leader of its new healthcare studio. Brennan has over 30 years of professional experience, 22 of which were in healthcare, encompassing all aspects of project delivery. His previous work includes the East Campus Bed Tower at the University of California, San Diego's Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, California; Kaiser Permanente's Orange County Medical Center in Anaheim; and Kaleida Health System's Global Vascular Institute in Buffalo, New York. Brennan previously worked for Cannon Design.  


The Portland (Oregon) Japanese Garden has selected Kengo Kuma to lead an expansion project. Image: Kengo Kuma & Associates Extra Large Image

Portland · 2011.0118
The Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, has selected Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to lead its expansion. The project will include construction of new garden spaces, a cultural and education center, a gift store, and a tea house at the 5.5-acre (2.2-hectare) garden, and will be the first public North American project that Kuma designs.

Kuma's design concepts for the expansion feature contemporary elements rooted in the fundamentals of traditional Japanese architectural design. He expressed a vision of building on the contributions of the garden's original designer, Takuma Tono.  

Los Angeles · 2011.0111
CO Architects of Los Angeles, California, has promoted James S. Simeo, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, to principal. Simeo has been with the firm since 1993 and is currently senior project architect of the Porterville Courthouse project in Tulare County, California, a new 96,000-square-foot (8,900-square-meter) in-custody facility. He also led the design of the recently opened Methodist Institute of Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE) at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and was lead architect of University Medical Center's Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic in Tucson, Arizona, which received a AIA National Healthcare Design Award in 2008.  

Seattle · 2011.0111
Seattle, Washington-based international architecture and design firm Callison has appointed John Jastrem its chairman and CEO. Jastrem has served on Callison's Holdings Board (Callison Architecture Holding, LLC and Subsidiaries) since 2006 and as its executive chairman since August 2010. Private equity firm Blue Point Capital invested in Callison in August 2006 and formed the Callison Holdings Board as an operating partner. Former CEO James P. Rothwell, AIA, is stepping down and returning to his previous role as principal, running the company's commercial design practice. Chairman of the board Robert J. Tindall, AIA, and executive vice president Steven E. Epple, AIA, are leaving the firm.

Jastrem joined Viad Corp in 2006 as chief executive officer of Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur. He was promoted, and retired from Viad in 2010 after combining that division with GES Exposition Services and Becker Group, forming one company rebranded as Global Experience Specialists Inc. Previously, he was an executive for eight years with Omnicom Group Inc., and has held various executive positions with TEAM Consultants, Knapp Communications Corporation, and Wickes Companies Inc. He currently serves on the boards of Medquist Inc. and Hancock Technology Partners.  


Pratt Institute's new Myrtle Hall in Brooklyn, designed by WASA/ Studio A, has officially opened. Photo: Alexander Severin/ RAZUMMEDIA Extra Large Image

Brooklyn · 2011.0105
The new Myrtle Hall has officially opened at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York City. Architecture firm WASA/ Studio A of New York City designed the six-story, 120,000-square-foot (11,000-square-meter) building to house the college's Department of Digital Arts and several administrative offices. LEED Gold certification is expected for the facility, which has exterior sun shades, a green roof, and photovoltaic panels.

The building features two distinct facades: a glass curtain wall facing south, and a paneled masonry and glass wall facing north, intended to relate to the surrounding mercantile brick structures along Myrtle Avenue. Connecting the two wall systems is a four-story atrium, with views into and through the building from both sides. Myrtle Hall contains wired studio/ classroom spaces, a digital resource center, animation labs, a recording studio, graduate studio spaces, and a prominent glazed gallery in the atrium. The building will also soon allow all student services offices to be consolidated under one roof.

Jack Esterson, AIA, partner-in-charge of design at WASA/ Studio A, served as partner-in-charge and lead designer of project. He is a graduate of Pratt's School of Architecture and is a longtime resident of the Clinton Hill district, where Pratt's 25-acre (ten-hectare) Brooklyn campus is located.  

San Francisco · 2011.0105
San Francisco, California-based IA Interior Architects has promoted Helen Watts to managing principal in the firm's Los Angeles office. IA has also promoted four staff members to principal: Mark E. Bryant, also in Los Angeles; Richard Hibbs, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, in the Dallas, Texas, office; LoriAnn Maas, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, in New York City; and Pepper Morgan, IIDA, in Washington, D.C.

Five staff members are now senior associates: Nancy Heywood, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, in Seattle, Washington; Christopher Lindes in Los Angeles, Katrina Reid in Washington, D.C., and Tamar M. Bradley, AIA, LEED AP, and Mindy Williams-McElearney in New York City. Eight staff members have been promoted to associate: Bernadette Domingo, IIDA, LEED AP, and Jennifer Kirby, IIDA, CID, in Washington, D.C.; Carrie Hahn, NCIDQ, Ann Marie Krol, NCIDQ, LEED AP ID+C, and Ruben Gonzalez in Chicago; Vicki Merkel, LEED AP in San Francisco; Elizabeth A. Pierce in Dallas; and Ali Tan Ucer in New York City.  


Erin's Pavilion at Edwin Watts Southwind Park in Springfield, Illinois, recently received LEED Platinum certification. Photo: Courtesy Walton Group Extra Large Image

Springfield · 2011.0104
Erin's Pavilion at Edwin Watts Southwind Park in Springfield, Illinois, recently received LEED Platinum certification. The multipurpose visitor center for the new 80-acre (32-hectare) park was designed by local firm Walton and Associates Architects, with sustainability consulting by Vertegy of St. Louis, Missouri.

A combination welcome center, community center, and special-needs education center, the highly accessible 16,700-square-foot (1,550-square-meter) pavilion includes a grand hall, a 4,900-square-foot (460-square-meter) program space, offices and conference space for the Springfield Park District, small program rooms, a catering room, and an expansive terrace with views of the park's main pond. The building also includes private "calming" areas for visitors sensitive to noise and other distractions. Its grand opening was in May 2010.

Sustainable design features include water-conserving plumbing fixtures, stormwater management via bioswales and a pond, a combination of asphalt and concrete paving to minimize the heat-island effect, an efficient envelope that includes insulated concrete forms for much of the structure, a mechanical system with geothermal loops and heat recovery, high-performance glazing, recycled-content materials, no- and low-VOC finishes, and diversion of more than 80 percent of construction and demolition waste from the landfill by way of reuse and recycling centers.  


At El Dorado High School in Placentia, California, construction is underway on the new District Performing Arts Center, designed by MVE Institutional. Image: MVEI Extra Large Image

Placentia · 2011.0104
Construction is underway on the new District Performing Arts Center at El Dorado High School campus in Placentia, California. MVE Institutional, an affiliate of the Irvine, California-based architecture firm MVE & Partners, designed the 17,900-square-foot (1,660-square-meter) facility, which will host events ranging from band, orchestra, choir, jazz band, theater, and dance performances to lectures, graduation ceremonies, and community events. The 600-seat venue features an adjustable proscenium to help accommodate a wide range of uses.

The center is located next to a plaza entry. A 27-foot- (eight-meter) high exterior canopy structure will extend into the courtyard, with louver panels to regulate exposure to the sun. The building's large exterior auditorium walls will be wrapped with a series of screen panels. Sustainable design strategies will include efficient irrigation systems, cut-off light fixtures, materials with high recycled content, a cool roof, high thermal building insulation, energy-efficient lighting and dimmers, waterless urinals, efficient mechanical equipment, low-VOC materials, and native and drought-tolerant landscaping.

The center is slated to open in 2013.

Construction continues on another MVEI performing arts project: a renovation of the 1927 auditorium at El Segundo High School in El Segundo, California, slated for completion by June 2011. Also in Southern California, the new Oxnard College Performing Arts Complex by MVEI was completed in November 2010 and is scheduled to host its first performance in spring 2011.  

Rotterdam · 2011.0103
OMA has appointed Iyad Alsaka and David Gianotten as partners in the company. In that role they join current partners Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, and managing partner Victor van der Chijs.

As director-architect at the firm's headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Alsaka is in charge of projects in the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently working on master plans in Libya; three buildings soon to start construction in Education City, Doha, Qatar; and projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Morocco. In 2008, he worked on OMA's master plan for Waterfront City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Alsaka joined OMA in 2007 from Dubai Holding, where he was director of design and development and responsible for dozens of project since 2001.

Gianotten is general manager-architect of OMA Asia, having launched OMA's Hong Kong office in 2009. He is project director for the firm's participation in the West Kowloon Cultural District project, a development featuring museums, theaters, cultural production facilities, and a park. He leads OMA's projects in Asia, including the Taipei Performing Arts Centre; Chu Hai College in Hong Kong; the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, now nearing completion; and the Edouard Malingue gallery in Hong Kong, completed in June 2010. Gianotten joined OMA in 2008 from SeARCH, in Amsterdam, where he was managing director-architect.  


At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a cluster of related projects designed by Elness Swenson Graham Architects was completed in 2010: renovations to Abel and Sandoz Halls, remodeling of the Dining Center, and construction of a new Welcome Center. Damon Farber Associates collaborated on the design of courtyards, such as the one depicted above. Photo: Justin Rood Extra Large Image

Lincoln · 2011.0101
Elness Swenson Graham Architects (ESG) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, designed several related projects on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's City Campus — including a new Welcome Center, renovations to Abel and Sandoz Halls, and remodeling of the Dining Center — that were completed for the beginning of the 2010-2011 academic year.

The four structures were also connected to form a complex, and sustainable features were introduced — the existing buildings were disconnected from central campus utilities and given their own high-efficiency heating systems, Super T8 lighting was installed throughout, and windows were replaced with energy-efficient glazing. For the interiors, the designers created an inexpensive palette of rich colors and durable finishes.

The two residence halls — 13-story Abel and nine-story Sandoz — had been conventional 1960s-era dorms, with central corridors, inefficient heating and cooling systems, and worn, sterile decor. ESG planned the interior spaces to incorporate a variety of social areas and study rooms with views to courtyards and gardens planted with native grasses and flowers. The first floor of each hall was remodeled to include floor-to-ceiling windows, and ESG reconfigured the floor plans with a new circulation pattern. The buildings feature new furniture and finishes in a palette of harvest colors based on a photograph of farm fields taken from a plane by ESG vice president Art Bartels, AIA. Individual rooms were outfitted with their own heat-pump systems to facilitate energy conservation.

The Dining Hall was remodeled into a marketplace with a variety of service areas and cuisines. Materials include limestone columns, polished and stained concrete floors, and maple and alder wood accents, along with a variety of hood and ceiling treatments.

The new Welcome Center includes administrative offices, learning classrooms, a lounge, a great hall, and a convenience store. Its exterior features a red brick base along with cladding in two colors of composite metal panels.

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