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27 April 2011
Architecture People and Places

UNStudio in Groningen, NetherlandsPelli Clarke Pelli Architects in Macomb, IllinoisFoster + Partners in Hangzhou, ChinaZGF Architects in La Jolla, CaliforniaRatcliff in Walnut Creek, California... ...  

A new Dutch government office building designed by UNStudio has been completed in Groningen, the Netherlands. Photo: Roland Tilleman Extra Large Image

Groningen · 2011.0420
A new office building for the Dutch national tax office and Dutch student loan administration has been completed in Groningen, the Netherlands. Designed by UNStudio of Amsterdam, the 48,000-square-meter (520,000-square-foot) building is a curving, asymmetrical structure with a 24-story highrise portion and an 11-story lowrise portion, accommodating a total of 2,500 workstations, along with an underground parking garage for 1,500 bicycles and 675 cars.

The government office building was built as part of a far-reaching form of public-private partnership. In a DBFMO contract, the design, construction, financing, maintenance, and operation of the building for 20 years was undertaken by the DUO2 consortium, comprising Strukton, Ballast Nedam and John Laing. As the architect, UNStudio collaborated with landscape architect Lodewijk Baljon, structural engineer Arup, and interior advisor Studio Linse.

The facility incorporates numerous sustainable design features. The building orientation and the distribution and size of windows were chosen with attention to daylight and heat penetration. Horizontal fins deflect direct summer sun while allowing winter sun to penetrate the building. Work spaces feature daylighting and individual climate control. A combination of concrete core activation and underground long-term energy storage reduces the demand for external energy sources.

The building is also designed so that it can be transformed into housing in the future without major structural modifications. The locations of elevators, stairs, and technical spaces were carefully considered, and a structural grid of 1.20 meters (3.9 feet) was used, rather than the conventional office grid of 1.80 meters (5.9 feet).  

Ground has been broken for the new Performing Arts Center by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Extra Large Image

Macomb, Illinois · 2011.0426
Ground has been broken for the new Performing Arts Center at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, based in New Haven, Connecticut, the 126,000-square-foot (11,700-square-meter) facility will comprise two brick-clad wings connected by a two-story, glass-walled gallery. The building will contain a 250-seat theater with a thrust stage, a 150-seat studio theater, and a 1,400-seat proscenium theater.

The design team is led by Mitchell Hirsch, AIA, LEED AP, principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli. OWP/P is the architect of record. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and last about 30 months.  

In Hangzhou, China, construction has begun on a new branch headquarters tower for China CITIC Bank, designed by Foster + Partners. Image: Foster + Partners Extra Large Image

Hangzhou · 2011.0426
In Hangzhou, China, construction has begun on a new branch headquarters tower for China CITIC Bank, designed by Foster + Partners of London, England, United Kingdom. The 20-story, 100-meter- (330-foot-) tall skyscraper is being built in a prominent location on a main axis through Hangzhou Qian Jiang New City, a new central business district being constructed next to the Qian Jiang River.

Comprising 43,000 square meters (463,000 square feet) above ground and 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet) below ground, the building will feature a bold, diagonally braced structure. The facade will be pulled inward near the base to form a symmetrical V shape across the south-facing elevation. Wrapped in a bronze-colored diagrid lattice, the floor plates will widen as the tower rises, expanding to provide panoramic views of the river and the surrounding public plaza. The design maximizes the available area within a compact rectilinear footprint while respecting sightlines from neighboring structures.

At the base of the tower, a 30-meter- (100-foot-) high A-frame canopy will stretch 72 meters (240 feet) across the ground floor to create a dramatic entrance. This will lead to the heart of a diamond-shaped central atrium, which will rise up through the full height of the tower and help to facilitate natural ventilation. Tiered skygardens will line the perimeter of the upper floors, and a winter garden with a mezzanine level accommodates VIP club and meeting spaces at the top of the building.

The tower will be naturally ventilated for part of the year, graywater will be recycled, and local materials used where possible to reduce embodied energy. The East China Architectural Design Institute is serving as collaborating architect, structural engineer, and mechanical engineer. The facade consultant is Zhejiang Zhongnan Curtain Wall.  

Construction has begun on UC San Diego's new LEED Platinum-targeted Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility, designed by ZGF Architects. Image: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects Extra Large Image

La Jolla · 2011.0419
Construction has begun for the new Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California. ZGF Architects LLP, based in Portland, Oregon, designed the $105 million project, which is targeting LEED Platinum certification.

The new five-story, 196,000-square-foot (18,200-square-meter) research laboratory will fit within the modern design context of the academic mall on the School of Medicine campus, with an exterior incorporating concrete, curtain wall, metal panels, and terra cotta cladding. The facility will encompass wet labs, open lab space, lab support, and administrative support space above ground, with core lab space and support mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in the basement.

The building will feature dynamic, computer-controlled exterior solar shading systems on the east, west, and south facades. In response to San Diego County's water shortage, the design also dictates extensive reuse of water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing. Completion is scheduled for August 2013.

The contractor is the San Diego office of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. The project team also includes KPFF, Portland and San Diego, structural engineer; IBE Consulting Engineers, Sherman Oaks, mechanical and plumbing engineer; Integrated Engineering Consultants, Los Angeles, electrical engineer; Spurlock Poirier, San Diego, landscape architect; and RFD, San Diego, laboratory-planning consultant.  

A new patient tower by Ratcliff has opened at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California. Photo: Courtesy Ratcliff Architects Extra Large Image

Walnut Creek · 2011.0417
A new patient tower at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, has opened to patients. Designed by architecture, planning, and interiors firm Ratcliff of Emeryville, California, the Tom and Billie Long Patient Care Tower is the centerpiece of a $600 million expansion project.

The five-story, 380,000-square-foot (35,000-square-meter) tower includes 242 patient beds, a renovated and expanded 24,000-square-foot (2,200-square-meter) emergency department, a rooftop helistop, a new neonatal intensive care unit, and three surgical suites. Improvements also include a 20,000-square-foot (1,900-square-meter) central utility plant and a 780-stall parking structure. Ratcliff also developed the campus master plan that guided the project, which was designed and built over a nine-year period.

The building is clad in stone, metal, and glass. At the hospital entry, a metal and glass installation by artist Gordon Huether echoes Mt. Diablo. Inside, the entry sequence opens into a two-story wood-and-stone-paneled lobby with a vast skylight canopy. A 52-foot- (16-meter-) diameter glazed rotunda provides a central point of visibility for patients and visitors. The project addresses seismic safety standards mandated by California SB-1953 with a "resilient bracing" system.

Sustainable design features include rooftop gardens; low-VOC materials; and generous windows in all patient rooms, corridors, and lobbies to provide daylighting and views. Energy-efficient mechanical systems and lighting will help reduce energy consumption, as will intelligent building controls. The new central utility plant cogenerates a portion of the energy used on campus.

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