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09 February 2011
Architecture People and Places

kadawittfeldarchitektur in Aachen, Germany · BIG in New York, New York · Halcrow Yolles in Toronto, Canada · Gonzalez Goodale Architects in Pasadena, California · Cannon Design in Phoenix, Arizona · Dominikus Stark Architekten in Nyanza, Rwanda · Good Fulton & Farrell in Dallas, Texas...  

Insurance company AachenMünchener's expanded headquarters, designed by kadawittfeldarchitektur, recently opened in Aachen, Germany. Image: Jens Kirchner Extra Large Image

Aachen · 2011.0204
The expanded headquarters of insurance company AachenMünchener recently opened in Aachen, Germany. Local architecture firm kadawittfeldarchitektur designed the 28,050-square-meter (301,900-square-foot) project, which straddles two irregularly shaped blocks within the 19th-century urban fabric. Integrating the existing AachenMünchener building from the 1970s, the architects created a new interpretation of the typical perimeter development, with semi-public courtyards.

The program is dispersed throughout several buildings connected by glass bridges. The complex includes an interior garden courtyard as well as a public plaza and pocket park, effectively continuing a pedestrian route from the main train station and the inner city. What seemed at first a hurdle proved to be a strong point: the extreme difference in the street levels between Aureliusstraße and Borngasse. A long stair integrating a zigzagging ramp now connects the two streets.

The office spaces are designed on a flexible grid. The office facades have a black anodized aluminum element construction in a structural glazing optic. Glass panels alternate with window elements with window stops and closed gold-colored anodized aluminum panels in a uniform rhythm.

The project is a nominee for the 2011 Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture. The headquarters officially opened in September 2010, and the park landscaping will be completed in spring 2011.  

Durst Fetner Residential and Bjarke Ingels Group have revealed BIG's design for a new 600-unit residential building in Manhattan. Image: BIG Extra Large Image

New York · 2011.0210
Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) and Copenhagen, Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have revealed BIG's design for a new residential building planned for West 57th Street in New York City, between 11th and 12th Avenues. The 600-unit, 70,000-square-foot (80,800-square-meter) building will target LEED Gold certification.

The design is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise. By keeping three corners of the block low while the northeast corner rises up to 467 feet (142 meters), the courtyard will help ensure views toward the Hudson River, transmitting low western sun deep into the building and preserving the adjacent tower's views of the river. The building will look like a warped pyramid from the West Side Highway, but like a slender spire from West 58th Street.

The slope of the building will provide a transition in scale between the low-rise structures to the south and the high-rise residential towers to the north and west. The highly visible sloping roof will consist of a simple ruled surface perforated by terraces, each one unique and south-facing. Every apartment will have a bay window or a balcony.

BIG recently opened a new office in New York in order to oversee the development and upcoming construction of the West 57th project. The architect of record is SLCE Architects. DFR is a collaboration between two New York City developers: The Durst Organization and Sidney Fetner Associates.

BIG also recently revealed its competition-winning design for the new National Gallery of Greenland in Nuuk, Greenland, in collaboration with local firms TNT Nuuk and Rambøll.  

Toronto · 2011.0201
Halcrow Yolles welcomes two additions to the leadership team of its building structures practice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: senior principal David Bannister and senior associate Ken Sissakis.

Bannister has more than 30 years of experience in the management of engineering teams and groups, and in the design and design management of a wide variety of structures. He was previously a partner and vice president of structural engineering at MMM Group Ltd., and prior to that was a partner with Carruthers and Wallace Ltd.

Sissakis is a structural engineering professional with a degree in architecture. His most recent post was at Halsall Associates Limited. Halcrow Yolles is the building structures group within Halcrow, an international company providing planning, design, and management services for infrastructure development.  

A new building designed by Gonzalez Goodale Architects has opened at the Department of Water and Power in Pasadena, California. Photo: Heliphoto Extra Large Image

Pasadena · 2011.0131
A new building for the City of Pasadena's Department of Water and Power has opened in Pasadena, California. Gonzalez Goodale Architects of Pasadena designed the 31,400-square-foot ( 2,920-square-meter) building, which houses operations, maintenance crews, and supervisors, along with a municipal Emergency Operations Center.

Located within Pasadena Water and Power's existing yard, the new structure reprises the volume and vertical rhythms of the historic 1930s brick-and-concrete warehouse across from it while maintaining a contemporary architectural identity. An outdoor space framed by oak trees separates the two buildings. Screens of perforated metal clad the box-shaped new building, adding visual interest while reducing heat gain and glare. At the north wall, a two-story glass curtain wall, backed by a braced steel frame, transmits daylight deep into the building.

Other sustainable design features include enhanced air-change ventilation, operable windows and views, an evaporative cooling water feature on the west-facing wall, highly reflective roofing, and recycled-content and locally sourced materials. Two green-roof demonstration areas are planted with Mexican feather grass and sedum.  

Phoenix · 2011.0131
Charles D. Knight, AIA, CID, LEED AP, has joined Cannon Design as principal. Knight has over 25 years of experience as an architect with a focus on social needs. He will lead the Phoenix, Arizona, office and will be responsible for advancing the firm's healthcare practice. He was previously principal and managing director of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office of Perkins + Will.

John P. Reed, AIA, has joined Cannon Design as a design principal. He will lead design commissions from the firm's New York City office. Reed has more than 25 years of experience designing cultural and public projects worldwide. He previously worked for Koetter Kim & Associates, Richard Meier & Partners, and Thomas Phifer and Partners, and also established his own practice.  

In Nyanza, Rwanda, a new education center designed by Dominikus Stark Architekten was recently completed. Photo: Florian Holzherr Extra Large Image

Nyanza · 2011.0129
In Nyanza, Rwanda, a new education center has been built. The 2,400-square-meter (26,000-square-foot) complex combines an existing building and new buildings around a central plaza. Dominikus Stark Architekten of Munich, Germany, designed the facility, which houses classrooms, a language laboratory, library, kitchen, dining room, administrative spaces, and an internet cafe/ copy shop.

The individual buildings have no outward-facing openings, but rather are oriented toward the plaza. Only the publicly accessible internet cafe opens up to the outside, serving as the forecourt and entrance to the facility. A long wall of the dining hall, which also serves as an event space, opens directly onto the main plaza, while intermediate courtyards and rows of columns form a filter between the plaza and several other buildings. A simple ventilation concept in combination with the thermal storage capacity of the solid brick walls provides a comfortable indoor climate, and the roof structure is oriented to the inner courtyard to collect rainwater.

The building materials were reduced to three basics: bricks, steel, and wicker. Clay was manually processed to form fired clay bricks for use throughout the complex. The wicker of the restaurant doors and courtyard gates was woven by local basketmakers, and papyrus ceiling linings were also crafted locally. The project was completed in September 2010.  

Dallas · 2011.0121
Good Fulton & Farrell of Dallas, Texas, has promoted architect Evan L. Beattie, AIA, LEED AP, to principal. Beattie has over nine years of experience in architecture and planning, and has been with the company since 2005. He recently served as the project leader for The Canyon in Oak Cliff for Stratford Land, among other projects.

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